“For an island long crippled by enormous debt and anessentially bankrupt financial system, Puerto Rico’sroad to recovery has gone from long to seemingly endless.” -- NYTimes, Sept. 22, 2017

My island of Puerto Rico was seemingly hit all at once by atriumvirate of casualties: Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the $73 billion Greek-like debtcrisis following a decade-long recession that pushed theunemployment rate over 20%. But unlike Greece, thousands ofresidents, many of them young professionals, have fled to themainland seeking career opportunities. Now there is a shortage ofskilled laborers who are needed for reconstruction.

A little history

Since the passing of the Jones Act in 1917, which gave allPuerto Ricans U.S. citizenship, its people have served in everyarmed conflict since World War I. My father served in the KoreanWar.

Puerto Ricans love music and dance; you can hear salsa musicblaring in grocery store parking lots. Its talented people havecontributed to our culture. The Tony-awardsensation Hamilton was written, directed andperformed by a Puerto Rican. The most popular YouTube video rankedat number one is the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi.

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