I remember my first thanksgiving as an adult in the United States of Amerikkka. When one of the ladies at the table heard I was from Puerto Rico she said, “ SO you must grow your own food.” She seemed really stoked about the idea. I guess the whole noble savage idea has not gone from the European American mind. She seemed deflated when I told her “No, most of our food is imported.” In fact, about 85% of it is imported and has to come from US ports. Even if we import from the Dominican Republic, it still needs to be on US ships from US ports.
This puts Boriquas at a dangerous disadvantage. Luckily there are those trying to put a dent in this crisis. Tara Rodríguez Besosa an architect and creator of El Departamento De La Comida. What started as an online service became a tangible organization that connects urban city dwellers with local agriculturist. They are no big money Ayn Rand, Mark Cuban capitalist profiteer preying on calamity. Tara is a person with great vision and a desire to bring people together and make resources accessible for all people. The government of Puerto Rico has tried to boost agriculture but has focused more on industrialized methods for the purpose of creating jobs. None of those approaches actually benefit the residents of Puerto Rico since the jobs pay very little and provide a limited selection of foods.
Check out the video from PBS below.