THE BLOG

Puerto Rico -- Many Moving Out, But Some Moving In

02/18/2015 06:00 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

There is one interesting migration taking place in the Caribbean. Every month, many Puerto Rican families are moving out of the island. However, I know that there are those who are moving in.

We hear a lot about the island's terrible economy and the mass exodus of islanders that are leaving the island for "Los Nuyores," or, now Florida. New York had always been the major base of migrating Puerto Ricans, but that seems to be changing.

But did you know about the many New Yorkers and other Boricua and non-Boricuas who are moving back, or moving for the first time to Puerto Rico?

Since I was bit by that bug that gave me the desire to have a house or an apartment in Puerto Rico over 10 years ago, I have seen and experienced the phenomena that is rarely mentioned: meeting many returning Puerto Ricans.

There are a large number of Puerto Ricans who have been returning to the island -- yes, returning! We know about the retired, older generations, and the late baby boomers that have been moving back for years, but there are many first-generation Ricans in the states that have also been making that move, and that seems to be a new trend.

The more time I spend in Puerto Rico, the more I have been discovering the quiet, almost underground, but growing number of returning Newyoricans.

I was born in Guayama, El Pueblo De Los Brujos (The Town of Witchcraft), but I was put under a spell by another town, Cabo Rojo. I fell in love with the town, first for its beautiful beaches (Cabo Rojo has more beaches than any other town in Puerto Rico; it has seven awesome beaches), but throughout the years, I have learned so much more and seen so many other things about the town that it seems that God definitely wanted me to move to Cabo Rojo.

For example, I'm driving one day from where I was constructing my house towards the center of town, and while waiting for the light at a main intersection, I noticed the name of the street:

"Avenida Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos."

This was not just a small street sign with his name. It was a beautiful metal carving on a wall with Albizu's name prominently displayed. I smiled and felt proud that my new town respected the man that I learned to respect in my later years, once I received a real education and learned the real history of Puerto Rico -- something that a Puerto Rican growing up in the streets of the South Bronx was not taught in the public schools.

It seems that Cabo Rojo and the West Coast are very progressive areas with a rich history of what we might call the "founding fathers of the republic." Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances, the bold pirate, Cofresi and Juan Mari Bras are just a few of the revolutionaries and progressives that came from that area.

I will continue to share my experiences with you as I continue to spend more time on my island. Right now, taking a few trips a year feeds my bug, and eventually I will be moving back. I know for a fact that it won't be to far after my 68th birthday.

I have many experiences that I want to write about and share, and I will be doing that regularly. However, I would also like to share the attached article that addresses some of what I have been discovering in the West Coast, with what seems to be happening on the East Coast, particularly in San Juan.