Hispanic Heritage Month 2014

This year as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, under the leadership of the UConn School of Social Work’s Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Project (PRLSP), two presentations were held on the topic of Discovering Puerto Rico: History, Action and a Future of Success. This focus relates to the national theme of Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.

Eleven participants from the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 Travel and Study courses to Puerto Rico shared their experiences and knowledge and the powerful impact it has had on their professional development and services to stateside Puerto Ricans. These presentations have attracted the interest of students and professionals in the field about the upcoming May/June 2015 course and trip.

Also, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, the PRLSP coordinated a collaboration with Central CT State University, Eastern CT State University, UConn Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center & El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean & Latin American Studies, and the University of Saint Joseph to present TOCANDO FONDO.

Six presentations were given over three days by the authors, Juan Carlos Rueda and José Luis Sierra about different social, economic and political problems affecting Puerto Rico as they are addressed in their book TOCANDO FONDO. The book is a collection of 15 short stories in which the characters portray life struggles, difficulties and limitations of individuals, families and communities in Puerto Rico; in addition to their resiliency, strengths and accomplishments. Close to 250 individuals attended these presentations.

This was the first interdisciplinary and inter-university collaboration in decades and has led to stronger relationships and conversations on scholarly efforts and future projects. The TOCANDO FONDO program gave important visibility to our School and recognition for our leadership in bringing together these institutions.