An investigator of Puerto Rican history, a national motivator -- that’s how Jesús Omar Rivera, best known as "El Boricuazo" describes himself. A figure who has dedicated his career to exalt his country's contributions to the world, as well as to "cucar" (encourage) his compatriots to learn their history and Caribbean culture.
"I'm like a detective, I've been searching for information to demonstrate that Puerto Ricans are highlighted in all human interest topics globally," said the speaker who offers workshops across the globe. "Puerto Ricans inside and outside of the U.S. like to know about their achievements, they are thirsty to learn about their origins."
Rivera's Borincano pride was born at a young age, but it wasn't until he began his own research center that he managed to fulfill his intense desire of learning more about what he calls "his nation" and to educate others about national pride.
Today he travels to share his message, and a couple of years ago he published his first book, "Boricuazo: Your National Pride", where he compiled glorious success stories that make Puerto Rican's hearts swell with emotion.
"There is no country in the world with the size or population of Puerto Rico, that has made more contributions than us," Rivera told The Huffington Post. "There is no other Latin American country that has more global mega stars than Puerto Rico. Except for Shakira, who is from Colombia, no other Spanish speaking country has as many international figures of the caliber of Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony."
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There are eight million Puerto Ricans in the world, both inside and outside the island, making sure their nation is well represented, and acting as "national ambassadors."
"You don’t have to be born or ever have visited the island in order to be part of it. If you feel it, you are a Puerto Rican," Rivera said.
For Rivera, this population is also highly receptive to the influence and traditions of other countries -- especially that of the United States. But rather than weakening Puerto Rican culture, he assures it helps Puerto Ricans create and solidify their own identity.
"Cultures are not static. Inert cultures die. The United States is a world power, and its influence reaches every country," said Rivera. "In Puerto Rico an intriguing phenomenon takes place. There are customs that we assimilate, but we also [make them ours]. We celebrate Thanksgiving, but the food served is ours, and on Christmas Day, we listen to our own music."
That's why he explains the need of continuing commemorations like the Puerto Rican Heritage Month in November. These types of celebrations offer the opportunity to take a moment to praise the contributions of an entire community that has helped development a whole nation.
"It's like a cultural break. It is important because it rethinks the homeland; it allows you to look for your origins, where you come from," says Rivera.
With the help of "El Boricuazo" and to close the Puerto Rican Heritage Month in the United States, we've made a compilation above of some of the most amazing and unknown achievements made by Puerto Ricans.
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