Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, CEN_POST_B2_244
Postcard of workers planting sugar cane in a field in Puerto Rico, ca. 1940s
What was everyday life like for a Puerto Rican laborer, based on these photographs?
What would these houses be like during storms or bad weather?
How would you feel after working in a sugar cane field?
What would be some challenges you would face as a laborer in a sugar cane field?
How much do you think these laborers were paid? What would you consider a fair wage if you were working in that field today?
Sugar cane originated in the South Pacific. Who brought it to the Caribbean and why?
Many laborers like the ones shown immigrated to New York. What would motivate them to travel so far? What challenges would they face organizing their move and once in New York?
English Language Arts: Create an advertisement persuading Puerto Rican laborers on a sugar cane plantation to immigrate to New York. Be sure to include motivating reasons. Then, create a follow-up brochure that the immigrants would receive once they landed in New York. What would happen next?
Science: How is sugar cane made into sugar? Make a poster of the process from the field to the store.
Leyendas de Puerto Rico (Legends Series). Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 1999.
Dookhan, Isaac. 2000. History of the Virgin Islands. Kingston, Jamaica: University Press of the West Indies, 2000.