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Developing a Personal Language Learning Plan

Developing a personal language learning plan

By: Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D.

 

You have rung in the New Year and written your list of resolutions. Like many others, your list includes lose weight, exercise more, and learn a new language. After a week into the New Year, we ask, how are you doing with that list? How have your daily practices changed? Are you still committed to those resolutions?

 

If you are still doing them, terrific! Stick with it! If not, we want to help. People often decide that they are going to make sweeping changes in their lives, but do not really contemplate all that goes into making those changes happen. Ask yourself when, why, where, and how to get on the right path. When do I have the time to exercise? Why do I want to make this change? How do I find the support that I need to stay committed?

Change Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

www.englishandculture.com

As language learning specialists, we want to help you develop a plan that will help you achieve your language learning goals this year. We believe that there are five main obstacles to learning a new language (or making other significant changes in your life). Those obstacles include: time, energy, money, commitment, and support. Though many people will use these obstacles as excuses not to do something, we believe they are the resources that make all the difference. Consider this…we all have time for the things we enjoy doing. They are important to us so we find time. Our jobs, kids and other activities drain energy from us, but yet we find more energy to forge ahead. We are a little short on cash this week, but if it is important to us, we always find a way to get the funds. We simply need to be committed. If the commitment is not there, we will never follow through. However, if we clear our minds and stay focused on the goal, nothing will deter us.

 

Learning a new language requires the same mindset. It requires changing the way we think about those so-called obstacles. By turning the challenges into small hurdles to jump rather than mountains to climb, we alter our brain chemistry and turn them into possibilities instead of limitations. That alone opens up our mind to thinking in a new way—something that is critical for learning a new language.

www.aischool.org

www.aischool.org

To learn a new language, we recommend establishing a learning plan. Start by determining how much time you can realistically set aside for learning. The key word there is ‘realistic.’ If you only have 10 minutes per day, then set that as your goal. Next, decide what time of day you can consistently set aside those 10 minutes. Set an alarm to remind yourself and actually use that 10 minutes to study. Now you cannot say you do not have the time.

 

Find yourself a proper study space. Make sure you have enough light and are comfortable in the space. Bring your materials (pens, notebooks, dictionaries, etc.) so you do not have to get up from the space during those 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes are for you to study. Do not let yourself be distracted by other things. Maintain your focus. Now you have the materials and location. They are no longer obstacles.

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There are many language programs out there that report incredible results, but many come with an incredible price tag. If your bank account is not very deep, start with some of the free apps like Duolingo or 50languages.com. Start to learn the basics with these programs before investing large sums in programs that often end up on your shelves or hard drives, never to be opened. See, money was just a small hurdle to jump.

 

Select a method that works for you. If you are an auditory learner, use CDs, podcasts, and other online programs where you can listen and repeat. If visual learning is more your style, write the words in your notebook. Highlight important things with bright colors. Use flashcards to repeatedly see the words. If you prefer to move around while studying, make sure you have some space. Act out the words. Stretch, strike a pose, dance, or get on your elliptical machine. Now you know how to make this happen.

 

Whichever method you choose, stick with it. Remember, learning a language does not happen overnight. You have to be committed for the change the take place. For many people maintaining that commitment is the biggest challenge. One of the best ways to stay committed is by having a support network to help. Get a language coach or tutor who can help you along the way. Family members may know the language and be willing to help, but our experience has been that students often prefer to learn from someone outside the immediate family. In that space students can make mistakes and learn from them without the embarrassment of being laughed at in front of their family.

www.1stopwellness.net

www.1stopwellness.net

With a dedicated time and study space, money in your pocket, a method that works for you, and a support network around you, you can do this! You can learn a new language! Make 2015 the year that you follow through on your resolutions by taking these steps. We will be here to help you along the way!

 

For more insight into learning foreign languages, please contact Global Perceptions. We are relocation and language specialists who want to help you and your family transition smoothly from life in one culture to another. Contact us TODAY! 

 

 

 

Speeches that make a difference

With all the technology at our hands, we have come to rely on the immediacy of texts and social media posts to make our messages heard. However, when we use those mediums we lose some of the tone, rate, visual cues, and other nonverbal gestures that make a speech something for the ages. These 11 speeches from the last two centuries changed the world. How do you think they would have been different had they been posted on social media in 140-character snippets?

Take one of our public speaking workshops today!

Take one of our public speaking workshops today!

Want to practice your public speaking skills? Our trained professionals can help you learn to effectively communicate in board meetings, on conference calls, and in daily life. We train you to overcome fear while increasing vocabulary and improving grammar skills. Make 2015 the year that you say good-bye to fear! Contact Global Perceptions TODAY!

Three Healthcare Tips for Your Big Move

 

The holidays are upon us and Global Perceptions wants to reward you by givingIMG_0592[1] you 12 DAYS OF FREE GIFTS! Here are our relocation tips for DAY 4!

 

Three Healthcare Tips for Your Big Move

By Jennifer Alvarez and Julie Parenteau

 

Remaining healthy during your relocation process, as well as maintaining your health abroad, is vital. To stay healthy, Global Perceptions recommends taking the following precautions.  

  1. Medical Coverage.  If you are relocating due to your job, make sure to clarify
    Learn about healthcare procedures in your host country before leaving.

    Learn about healthcare procedures in your host country before leaving.

    what will be covered in your host country. If you will need to transfer your medical insurance, make sure you complete this transaction immediately after arrival. This will ensure that you and your family will be covered in case of a medical emergency.

 

  1.    Vaccinations. Most countries share the same series of vaccinations.  In some cases, depending on the country you are relocating to, there may be additional mandatory vaccinations that need to be completed before you travel there. Aside from mandatory vaccinations, check to see what vaccinations may be recommended, but not required.  The main point is to protect yourself against various diseases that some countries have that others do not.

 

  1. Medication Supply.  Make sure you receive at least a one month supply of all
    pills

    Get your prescriptions filled prior to departure.

    medications for all family members before you depart.  It may take some time to finalize your medical insurance paperwork and locate a primary health care physician.  You do not want to run out of your much needed medication before you are able to obtain a refill.

Taking these measures will help you and your family stay physically healthy so that you can focus more on staying emotionally healthy during this trying time.

 

For more relocation advice for your move to Puerto Rico or beyond, please contact Global Perceptions. Or visit us on Facebook and Twitter!

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5 Tips for Bringing Fall to Life as an Expat

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

5 Tips for Bringing Fall to Life as an Expat

By: Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., Owner/President of Global Perceptions

 

Fall is my favorite time of year. There’s something about the cool, crisp air ushering in the season that makes me feel renewed. Sipping hot chocolate after Friday night high school football games and picking apples from a nearby orchard add to my giddiness. Or at least

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

they did! Since moving to Puerto Rico eight years ago, I have seen precious little of the colorful trees shining in the setting sun. In Puerto Rico, there is only a slight difference from one season to another. So slight in fact, that I forget that seasons even change. That’s a pretty big change for a Midwestern girl accustomed to greeting the seasons with gusto.

Despite my change of venue, I have found ways to bring my favorite season to life, even in the Caribbean! Here are my top 5 ways to keep fall alive for expatriates living in Puerto Rico and other tropical locations.

 

1) Watch American Football

I am a HUGE Green Bay Packers fan! It’s hard to grow up in Wisconsin and not be. If American football is one of your passions, carry it to your new home and watch your team with local fans. Win or lose, cheer or jeer, get together as a family over nachos and chili, just like home. Sometimes even just the consistent schedule of games will help you recreate the fall feeling.

 

2) Bake, Bake, Bake

Get our your mixer and have a bake-a-thon! Fall without recipes made of pumpkin, apple and cranberry just wouldn’t be fall. Let the scents of cakes, breads, cookies, pies and muffins waft through your house, creating a sensation that transports you to the coziness of a fireplace-heated living room. Imagine yourself wearing flannel pajamas as you crack

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

A healthy fall treat that will leave your house smelling heavenly!

eggs, even though you are likely in shorts and a tank top. If you think ahead, you can even have pumpkin spice and butterscotch shipped right to your door via online shopping! And you’ll have something delicious to eat afterward!

 

3) Buy a new sweater

The feel of a new sweater is such a fall thing. The softness and warmth that it emits even while on the store rack beckons the aimless shopper. Cashmere, knit, wool….they all call out, promising to comfort in the best and worst of times. And somehow you know that whether it’s a cool gray or warm cranberry color, you will be comforted by its thread.

 

4) Pick up scented candles

When you start dreaming of enjoying Saturday afternoon walks in the park, listening to the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath your hiking boots, you know it’s time to find a

Sometimes giving into  your desires is the best thing you can do!

Sometimes giving into your desires is the best thing you can do!

substitute. Candles work wonders! Pick up something that screams FALL to you. I personally like apple-scented candles, but there are lots to pick from. Find one that works for you and light it!

 

5) Get on the plane

For those times when the nostalgia simply takes over and you have to see, feel, hear, taste and touch the fall, get on the plane and reward yourself with a few days in a place that offers just what you need. Consider a trip mid-October to early November in places like Washington, D.C. or Kansas City. The temperatures still aren’t too cold during the day, but they offer crisp nights perfect for trying out that new sweater.

 

For more ideas on making your transition to Puerto Rico a positive experience, consult with the Relocation Specialists at Global Perceptions! We have the local experience, but the global reach. Visit us TODAY at http://global-perceptions.com/

 

“Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com” – See more at: http://www.smallplanetstudio.com/2014/09/26/september-mygloballife-link-up/#sthash.UM54udoA.dpuf

Making independence possible

disoriented

Written by Dr. Julie L. Parenteau, President of Global Perceptions

 

July 4, 2006 marked a new chapter in my life. It was the first day that I woke up in Puerto Rico. I awoke with incredibly uncertainty. Had I made the right decision in coming? Would I figure out how to get around? How long would it take me to learn enough Spanish to communicate effectively?

 

The next two weeks were filled with challenges and doubts. It was so hot!! The power went out several times, which made me even more miserable. I tried going out once or twice, but got lost so badly and was so nervous about crashing the loaner car in the crazy traffic that Itemperature stayed put the rest of the time. That meant I did not speak with anyone either. I remember watching movies and working on scrapbook pages to fill the time.

 

In other words, I was bored out of my mind. I had moved to paradise, but felt paralyzed. This was not what I was expecting. Such an outgoing, ambitious woman should not have these feelings despite being in another country. Or so I thought…

 

Then I remembered what I had learned over the years about cultural adaptation. Even the most seasoned expatriates experienced culture shock symptoms to some degree. Now that it was no longer just theory, but rather actual lived experience, I realized that I was simply going through culture shock and needed to give myself some time. I would have my ups and disorienteddowns. I just needed to stay the course. I also realized that I could see the situation as a challenge or as an opportunity. I could continue to dwell on the things that were making me miserable or I could change my outlook. I chose the second option.

 

The past eight years have not been easy. I will be the first to admit that. However, taking on an “If you can’t beat them, join them” attitude made it possible for me to get through that first year and those that followed. My Spanish is now good enough that I teach Spanish to other expatriates. I know where I’m going and can maneuver through the traffic without fear. I avoid going back to Wisconsin in the winter because it’s so cold. I’m still not thrilled about power outages, but I know how to deal with them.

 

So if you ask me today if I made the right decision, I will tell you “Yes, I made the right P1030117decision.”  I am happy in Puerto Rico. I have become a successful entrepreneur. I have grown as an individual and have gained an incredible family of friends, students, and supporters. Because of them, I have the courage to continue living here and have the faith to believe that things will get better. Because of them, I am who I am–a free independent AmeRican. On this Fourth of July, I celebrate my independence and my extended family of boricuas who have made my independence possible! Cheers to you all!

 

For more information on relocating to or from Puerto Rico, contact Global Perceptions. We are your relocation specialists in Puerto Rico! From individuals to couples to entire families, we will help you all through the process with cultural orientation, coaching, language, and concierge services. Call us TODAY at 7874557764 or visit http://global-perceptions.com/.

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Learning to Love What Your Language Can’t Give You (and What it Can)

Guest post by: Laurie Melin

 

Today I spent five hours in a doctor’s office waiting room. During those five hours, my ears worked on overdrive. I overheard people talking about their illnesses, I listened in when the secretary explained the billing process, I tried to catch patient names called over the loudspeaker, I blocked out the music coming from the headphones of the doctor-waiting-roomguy sitting next to me, and I watched the news drone on and on from a TV in the corner. Once my name was finally called, I talked to a nurse about my symptoms and met with a doctor, who advised me about the prescriptions he was writing for me.

It was a pretty normal doctor’s office experience with one major exception: everything took place in Spanish, my second language. If I paid close attention, I could understand most things said around me and to me, although I had to ask people to repeat themselves more than once. But gone are the days of easily eavesdropping, casually picking up music lyrics, or watching the news while multitasking. In my second language, listening to the spoken word is work. It is usually tiring, and sometimes it is discouraging.

Despite the frustration involved in learning Spanish, the process has taught me to appreciate the ease with which I use English. When I write or speak in English, I am not usually aware of the thought process behind my words. Speaking is as natural as walking. When I write, speak, or listen to Spanish, I pay a lot more attention to the nuances nestled within the language.

 

Lost in Translation

I teach ESL, and my students often want to translate their thoughts directly from Spanish to English (think of the literal Puerto Rican translation of “I’ll call you back” – “te teacherllamo pa’trás”). Not everything translates that way, though. Sometimes Spanish and English align nicely, but often the students have to learn a new way of saying something rather than translating sentences word for word.

That is a good thing! Together, we learn more about the richness and variety offered by languages other than our own. The words, phrases, and syntax that cultures use to express themselves provide a window into the complexity behind spoken thought. When I have to learn how other people say things, I discover a new way to express myself. Sometimes I like the new way better than any way I have known before.

 

 

Words and Idioms

For example, at the language institute where I work, my Puerto Rican colleagues often refer to the students’ style of speaking as “pausado.” There are English words that I can use to describe the same idea – slow, halting, jerky, filled with pauses – but I find pausado to be a better descriptor than any English word I know. Lists online compile words like this from a variety of languages that describe feelings and experiences that English can’t quite capture in one word.

In every language, we blend our words into sayings and idioms that are often fun and always nuanced. Idioms take time to learn in a new language, and behind them often lies real history. Lately, my Dominican students have taught me that “the devil gives you devilnieces and nephews,” and Colombian students have taught me that “love plus distance leads to two happy couples.” English sayings do not offer exactly the same meaning: think of “out of sight, out of mind” – it does not have the same offhanded humor as “amor de lejos, felices los cuatro.”

 

Music and Literature

Music and literature blend words in a beauty that usually cannot be equaled in translation. After moving to Puerto Rico, I tried to help a friend translate the lyrics of a song she wrote, but I found that I could not capture the poignancy and perfection of her Spanish phrases within the same time signature in English. Growing up, I remember noticing that Shakira’s songs in English were not direct translations of the Spanish lyrics, and I wondered why. It is hard to grasp the undertones and intricacy of a meaningful thought when translating it.

In literature, translations also lose the tone of the stories’ speakers, especially the accents and sayings that illustrate characters’ personalities and backgrounds. Many of my Spanish-speaking friends prefer to read English-language novels in the original language rather than read the translation into Spanish.

Now when I use English, I am grateful for the effortlessness involved in manipulating my words and sharing my thoughts. As I continue learning Spanish, though, I love the way new vocabulary and idioms add to my understanding of other people’s experiences and cultural history. I am more aware of both the fun and the challenge that are part of using any language – or combining languages – to express myself.

 

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For further information on language learning in Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

10 Ways to Date Your New Home

10 Ways to Date Your New Home

By Laurie Melin

 

2013-07-18 11.48.19Relocation is intimidating. Whether your move is regional, national, or international, the transition is an adjustment. Even if you’re excited for the move, the reality is that settling in is not instant. Feeling really comfortable in a new place and within a new group of people always takes time.

 

Besides language differences, what if you cannot find people who share your background or your values or even your interests? What do you do when everything is different from what you are used to and from what you enjoy? How do you connect?

 

Think of life in your new community as a new relationship. How do you build relationships — romantic or otherwise — with other people? You spend time with them, do things together, and talk about their interests, their background, and the things you have in common. As you get to know them better, you build trust and mutual appreciation.

 

“Dating” your new community may not make you fall in love with it, but the activities below can help you get to know it and appreciate it. They may also help you meet local residents and begin building personal relationships that connect you on a deeper level to individuals as well as to the culture you are learning about.

 

1. Make a point of introducing yourself to your neighbors.

When you move into your new home, your neighbors might come to your door or you might walk up to theirs and say hello. In any case, introducing yourself when you meet can be a good way to build a safety net. People watch out for friends, and knowing your neighbors generally makes you safer. Your neighborly acquaintance may also lead to shared conversations, household supplies, gardening tips, child-rearing help, and more. It opens the door to begin interacting at a deeper level with people who are around you every day.

2. Take public transportation if available.

Public transportation gives you a peak into the real lives of real people. Who takes it? How absorbed in technology are they? How much do they like talking with people around them? IMG_1954[1]How boisterous are they? How reserved? How much space do they prefer to leave between themselves? How organized is the line to get on the bus or train? Learn by example what behavior is considered normal and acceptable in these settings.

3. Visit favorite spots of locals and tourists.

Travel guides list beautiful, interesting locations in your new community. Check them out! While you are there, take note: Who comes here? Who enjoys this place? Make a point of visiting local favorites, too. Where do locals go to relax? Where do they go out to eat? Where do they go on the weekend? Many of these places are not in guide books, but they’re powerful points of connection for people who live full-time in your community.

4. Visit art and history museums, landmarks, monuments, memorials, forts, etc.

The monuments, memorials, and landmarks of a place are the most obvious clue to what is and was important to any group of people. Take your own field trips and find out who these structures were built to honor. Learn more by visiting history museums large and small. How does this community discuss and represent its struggles and triumphs? Discover art museums in the area. Who and what do locals connect with? What do they commemorate?

101_22675. Visit churches and/or other religious meetings – even if you’re not particularly religious.

Observing and experiencing the religious traditions of a community is a window into the deepest beliefs and values of that community. Religion always shapes the human experience, and knowing more about the religious past and present of your community can help you understand the people living around you.

6. Start learning the local language.

If locals speak a different language than you, start learning it. This may be the hardest item on this list and take the most time, but it is also one of the most important ways to get to know a place and the people who live there. Do not stress about making mistakes as you learn. Speaking with someone in his/her own language opens the door to a deeper personal connection as you demonstrate your interest in understanding the culture and your desire to become part of it.

7. Plug in to local news sources: watch local TV, listen to local radio, and read local newspapers.

Want to know what people care about? Watch their television stations. Listen to them call in on the radio. Read the op-eds and life/culture sections in their newspapers. Learn about the (good and bad) news that matters to their daily lives as well as the topics that interest them.

8. Learn to cook local food.

While watching local TV, you might find a cooking show. In the newspaper, there might be suggested recipes. When talking to your neighbor, you might hear about or smell a new dish – ask for the recipe! You do not need to change your diet completely, but become familiar with the food your community enjoys. Why do they eat it? Where does it come from? Cook it, eat it, share it, learn to appreciate it….even if you do not want to eat it every night.

9. Explore community life through local eyes: Read their books. Listen to their music. 101_2181Learn the dances they love.

What music do your neighbors listen to? What did they read growing up in school? What do they dance to on Friday and Saturday nights? Build some commonality by experiencing these things, then go out and do/enjoy them with the people around you!

10. Participate in local celebrations, festivals, parades, fairs, etc.

Check out health fairs, holiday parades, independence day festivals, government celebrations, and more. These events happen because the organizers expect a crowd. Find out why people go. How do they connect with the event? Do you connect with it, too? How is it different from a similar event back home? How is it alike?

 

We are not all the same. Deep down, different values and beliefs have shaped people living in different cultures. Our personal and cultural background influences the way we interact with others and the way we see our world. We cannot overcome all obstacles by ignoring our differences, but we can build relationships on mutual interest and respect.

 

Spend time getting to know your new community after relocation. The more you learn about it, the more it may interest you, and the more you may care about it, which makes forming connections with people there much easier.

 

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For further cultural insights useful throughout your transition to Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Kerri Applegate

 

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King came from a long line of pastors, and faith would play a seismic role in his pursuit of equality. His father, Martin Luther King, Sr., demonstrated strong principles for his children by rejecting racism and segregation, and considered it an act against God’s will. King’s father adamantly taught his children that class superiority was wrong and had no place in the United States. His father’s teaching undoubtedly created a spark and influenced a future leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

The King Family

Martin Luther King was a precocious young man that skipped several grades in high school and entered Morehouse College at the age of 15, earning a B.A. in Sociology and eventually a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955. It was in Boston that King met his wife Coretta, an aspiring singer, with whom he would later marry and have four children. By 1954, King had been appointed Head Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. During his administration, segregation of public facilities such as schools, public transportation, restaurants, and even separate water fountains was strictly enforced, preventing blacks from having access to the same spaces as white people.

Rosa Parks, a Civil Rights leaders for blacks and women.

 

While riding a Montgomery City Bus on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and defied the Jim Crow Laws (1876-1965) that enforced segregation amongst black and white citizens in the Southern States. By December 5th, King was elected President of the Montgomery Improvement Association that led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. During the boycotts, African Americans did everything but ride the bus to get to work, school, or church. King’s involvement didn’t go unnoticed. He and his family lives through a house bombing, violent attacks and King being apprehended for conspiracy. On December 21, 1965, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public transportation was illegal, in part due to the efforts of Dr. King.

King’s leadership in the boycotts was only the beginning of his work to defend equality and civil rights for all people. King later went on to lead nonviolent protests, become arrested numerous times, stage “sit-ins”, gain support from President Kennedy, become the youngest person to achieve the Nobel Peace Prize (1964), and go on to give one of the most famous speeches the United States had heard to date.

I Have a Dream!

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in front of 250,000 protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. This historic moment was considered a major turning point for the cause of desegregation and social justice for African-Americans.

King lived long enough to create a major impact and set a more just path for future generations. It was said that King believed in visible, peaceful protest and that no change would come from not visibly seeing or hearing others stand up for change and justice. Martin Luther King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. The day before he died he gave a speech where he said, “God’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you.”

Today we remember King’s legacy and pause to reflect on the contributions that he made to equality and civil rights. Across Puerto Rico, the government offices, schools, and banks are closed in remembrance. We invite you to leave your comments on what King’s legacy means to you.

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For further cultural insights useful throughout your transition to Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

Eugenio Maria de Hostos: A Puerto Rican Legend

The Life and Legacy of Eugenio María de Hostos

 

Written by Kerri Applegate

 

Eugenio M. de Hostos

Eugenio María de Hostos was born on January 11, 1839 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, but for someone from modest beginnings, he lived an extraordinary life. He went on to gain a multitude of titles, traveled to other countries to fight for social injustice, became known for his writing and philosophy, and championed the independence of Puerto Rico and Cuba. He was known for his charismatic and staunch devotion toward humanitarian causes. To tell a small portion of Hostos’s story is to go many places; let’s begin!

Hostos received his childhood education in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but by the age of 13 he was sent to Spain to finish high school, which he followed up with a bachelor’s degree at the University of Bilbao and a law degree at Madrid Central University. During this time period he wrote arguments against autonomic reform and the abolition of slavery, and was a member of a group called Spanish Republicans. Hostos wanted to see Puerto Rico and Cuba gain independence from Spain. When Spain refused to grant independence, Hostos left for the United States, joined the Cuban Revolution Committee, and became editor of a journal called “La Revolución” in New York City.  After two years, he left New York for South America where he advocated across the board for education and humanitarian causes. A few of Hostos’s accomplishments included:

  • fighting against the exploits of Chinese workers in Peru.
  • being the first individual in Chile to fight for women to be admitted into educational institutions. Hostos was known for his support of women’s rights throughout his life.
  • helping to establish the Trans-Andean Railroad in Argentina.
  • working on educational reform in Chile and Dominican Republic.
  • championing the independence of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic and wanting to create an Antillean Confederation.

    Hostos with the Puerto Rican flag

Hostos returned to New York to support the Puerto Rico and Cuban independence movements. After the Spanish-American War there was hope for independence, but Hostos was met with disappointment when the movement didn’t gain enough support in Puerto Rico and the island became a United States Territory. Nevertheless, Hostos continued to support humanitarian causes and went to the Dominican Republic where he worked to further improve education and railway systems. In 1903 Hostos died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and his remains, per his request, will remain there until Puerto Rico becomes independent.

Being a true writer, he even wrote his own epitaph:

“I wish that they will say: In that island (Puerto Rico) a man was born who loved truth, desired justice, and worked for the good of men.”

 

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For further cultural insights useful throughout your transition to Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

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