The Library of Congress >  Researchers >  Search Finding Aids  >  Alejandro Paz Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico collection
ContainerContents
Series 1: Interview recordings, April 24-June 2, 2018 (continued)
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 003 Anonymous interview, part 1, May 2, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:03:48)
Interview location: Centro Communal de la Quinta Extención de Villa Carolina, Carolina. Anonymous interviewee describes damage to her home and getting electricity from a neighbor's generator. A phone call interrupts the interview. Additional notes: The anonymous interviewee is a clothes maker who specializes in Ghanan attire for women. She is also a racial activist on behalf of Puerto Rico's black community. The organization she belongs to is called "África es mi piel, África es mi ser."
Spanish transcript of interview with anonymous interviewee, part 1
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 004 Anonymous interview, part 2, May 2, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:49:39)
Interview location: Centro Communal de la Quinta Extención de Villa Carolina, Carolina. Anonymous interviewee talks about being able to make four dresses in the style of Taíno Indians thanks to her neighbor’s generator. These dresses were a commission from a school unable to purchase the product in stores following the hurricane and needing it for an event on cultural awareness. Anonymous interviewee describes her neighborhood's struggle after the hurricane as well as leaving for the U.S. mainland. She tells how the Carolina government for months cancelled the clothes-making classes she held at the local community center. She discusses the situation in Loíza, Puerto Rico, before and after the hurricane. She compliments the work of the new Loíza mayor in promoting cultural events. She is critical of the Puerto Rican and U.S. federal government response to the disaster. She sees the response as clueless and inefficient. She also criticizes the Puerto Rican Junta, a federally created oversight board meant to fix Puerto Rico’s debt problem, for its fiscal control and austerity measures. She discusses discrimination in Puerto Rico towards black people and other marginalized groups. She tells the story of a local black girl discriminated against by her school in a bullying case. She emphasizes the importance of the Turban in black women's fashion, but laments its limited use by Puerto Ricans. She tells stories of people fetishizing or being puzzled by her and other Puerto Rican black women's dress and appearance. She also includes a story about making a dress for a young lady that goes on to win a local fashion contest. Additional notes: The anonymous interviewee is a clothes maker who specializes in Ghanan attire for women. She is also a racial activist on behalf of Puerto Rico's black community. The organization she belongs to is called "África es mi piel, África es mi ser."
Spanish transcript of interview with anonymous interviewee, part 2
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 005 Raúl Ayala interview, part 1, May 3, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:06:32)
Interview location: El Batey de los Hermanos Ayala, Loíza. Raúl discusses flooding and water damage in his home caused by Hurricane Maria. He describes the damage to El Batey, specifically the workshop from which he sells masks and his sister's house, which is part of El Batey. He explains how local mayors are helping rebuild the workshop. A phone call interrupts and stops the interview six minutes in. Additional notes: Raúl Ayala is a retired economist and the son of Castor Ayala, famous mask maker and musician from Loíza. Raúl still operates out of his father's workshop making masks like his father did.
Spanish transcript of Raúl Ayala interview, part 1
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 006 Raúl Ayala interview, part 2, May 3, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:29:00)
Interview location: El Batey de los Hermanos Ayala, Loíza. Raúl says he is working on dozens of masks for when the workshop, from which he sells them, reopens. He discusses the scarcity of coconuts, which used to make the masks, in the island. He also talks about the current the demand for his masks, whose supply is lacking, and how that affects his work. Raúl makes some critical remarks about the inconsistent and inefficient work of FEMA. Raúl talks about the enthusiasm for the coming yearly Festival Santiago Apóstol of Loíza. He explains some of the characters people dress up as for the festival and what each represents. Heavy rain and wind forces open the doors of the rebuilt workshop, which is where the interview is taking place, interrupting it at 20:30. Raúl assures that the people of Loíza will be fine, and expresses gratefulness for all the help they have received. Additional notes: Raúl Ayala is a retired economist and the son of Castor Ayala, famous mask maker and musician from Loíza. Raúl still operates out of his father's workshop making masks like his father did.
Spanish transcript of Raúl Ayala interview, part 2
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 007 Carlos Rojas interview, May 6, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:17:40)
Interview location: Carolina, Carlos' home. Carlos describes the damage to his property and the suffering from stress due to Hurricane Maria. He explains the distinction between people who participate in cockfights for a living and those who simply do it to entertain themselves. He goes over the damage the hurricane inflicted to his birdcages and breeding grounds. He explains some of the changes he has made to his pen for raising fighting roosters. Carlos briefly addresses and gives his opinion on the interactions between Puerto Ricans and FEMA. Additional notes: Carlos Rojas lives in the municipality of Carolina working as a paint salesman. He breeds and raises cockfighting roosters as a hobby.
Spanish transcript of Carlos Rojas interview
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 008 José A. Román interview, May 16, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:18:18)
Interview location: José's home in the neighborhood of Martorell, Yabucoa. José, also known as Toco, recounts how he and his brother started breeding and raising roosters, following in the footsteps of their father. Toco talks about the extent of his interest in the sport. He lists some of the places throughout the island where he likes to attend cockfights. He mentions having taught local kids about cockfighting and selling them young chickens and roosters for them to entertain themselves with. Toco says as long as Puerto Rico doesn't become the fifty-first state, there will always be cockfighting in Puerto Rico. Additional notes: José Román, more commonly known by his nickname Toco, works as a handyman in Yabucoa. He also breeds fighting roosters along the street he lives in.
Spanish transcript of José A. Román interview
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 009 David Sostre Rivera interview, May 26, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:23:58)
Interview location: In the backyard of David's home in the neighborhood of Martorell, Yabucoa. Throughout the interview, one can hear David's roosters loudly crowing. David describes the destruction he witnessed in his neighborhood and people cleaning up the streets afterwards. David talks about a childhood friend he shared his cockfighting hobby with. He explains how they helped each other out during Hurricane Maria’s aftermath and how they take care of each other's birds when they are away from home. He goes over the damage to his breeding set-up, or rancho, which consists of a wire and zinc plating structure where young birds are kept and mated. He explains how he learned about cockfighting as a child by attending cockfighting arenas and assisting in the preparation that takes place before cockfights. He discusses government attempts to make cockfighting illegal in Puerto Rico. Additional notes: David Sostre Rivera lives in Yabucoa. He breeds and raises cockfighting birds in his property as a hobby.
Spanish transcript of David Sostre Rivera interview
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 010 José E. Santiago Vásquez and José E. Santiago interview, part 1, June 2, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:06:38)
This interview takes place while both Kike elder and the younger Kike give me a tour of their property. Most of the interview is filled with the noise of shrieking birds. They start off explaining the purpose of keeping certain birds in cages as opposed to roaming free. They give an overview of why they raise the types of birds they keep. They go over breeding, the culinary uses of guinea fowls, and "padrotes," or roosters kept alive through old age for breeding. Additional notes: José E. Santiago lives by the hills in Martorell, Yabucoa with his son, also named José (Santiago Vásquez). They go by the same nickname as well, Kike, although the elder calls the younger "Kikito." Son and father live in the same property, which consists of two small houses and whatever they can salvage from the steep surrounding land. They raise birds amongst other occupations. They make money off of breeding cockfighting birds, and occasionally gambling on fights.
Spanish transcript of José E. Santiago Vásquez and José E. Santiago interview, part 1
Item ID: AFC 2020/005: 011 José E. Santiago Vásquez and José E. Santiago interview, part 2, June 2, 2018
1 mp3 interview (0:31:37)
After a brief interruption, father and son showcase their two pigs, kept for christmas dinner. They explain young roosters are kept in cages due to their uncontrollable aggressiveness. At one point the elder kike takes a young rooster out of a cage, opens another cage containing a separate rooster, and, holding one rooster in his arms, thrusts it towards the caged rooster. Both roosters' plumage flares and they swipe at each other with their spurs and beaks. This demonstration is meant to show the turn to aggression when two young roosters come near each other. Later on, the two of them walk through where they keep their adult fighting roosters. They explain and give demonstrations of the training techniques and tools they use on roosters. They also show and explain how roosters were trained before the advent of some of these tools. The two also discuss how the metrics of cockfights, the length and frequency of fights, affects how their roosters are trained and kept. The two discuss the importance of an effective fighting rooster in breeding for superior cockfighting birds, as well as a chicken’s role in the transference of genes. Elder kike shows how they label their chickens with a tag to keep track of them. Father and son say interest and expertise in cockfighting came to them from their childhood experiences. They describe cockfighting as part of Puerto Rico's idiosyncrasies. They also discuss how both the rich and poor gamble in cockfighting at their corresponding price ranges. The interviewer recounts going to a cockfighting arena in Yabucoa. The discussion turns to the state of Puerto Rico's cockfighting venues. They discuss taxation and the cockfighting federation. Younger kike describes the destruction Hurricane Maria brought to their property. Younger kike shows and talks about their horse. He also discusses the importance of having faith when recovering from disasters like the hurricane. Additional notes: José E. Santiago lives by the hills in Martorell, Yabucoa with his son, also named José (Santiago Vásquez). They go by the same nickname as well, Kike, although the elder calls the younger "Kikito." Son and father live in the same property, which consists of two small houses and whatever they can salvage from the steep surrounding land. They raise birds amongst other occupations. They make money off of breeding cockfighting birds, and occasionally gambling on fights.
Spanish transcript of José E. Santiago Vásquez and José E. Santiago interview, part 2
Series 2: Still images, April 30-June 2, 2018
121 jpg files
Item-level inventory attached in Appendix. Photographs include images of interviewees, community members' homes and work/craft making spaces, hurricane damage, as well as rooster farms and animals. From donor: "I used my cellphone (Camera on LG Android Phone (VS835). The photos were mostly of poor quality in both their resolution and how well they were taken. Nevertheless, I think they are quite usable, especially those of cockfighting 'faenas' and of the ruins of the Batey de los Hermanos Ayala."
Appendix: Inventories
Still image inventory
Inventory of still images taken by Paz with file-level information, including locations, dates, and descriptions.

Contents List