Saavedra Family Magazine Article

#9 History Harvest.jpg

Title

Saavedra Family Magazine Article

Subject

Puerto Rican Catholics
Catholics—United States
Puerto Rican families
Puerto Rican women

Description

This 1990 Family Magazine article tells the story of the Saavedra family. It focuses on one of the matriarchs of the family, Inocenica Saavedra. She was 67 at the time that this article was written which would make her 94 today. Inocenica moved from Puerto Rico to New Britain in 1969 with her husband, four daughters and one son. These five children would later give her 11 grandchildren. They lived in a three family house with her sister’s and brother’s family, a dozen cousins under one roof. She later divorced her husband but remained very close with her children. It was her daughter, Awilda Saavedra Reasco, who brought this article into the History Harvest. Maintaining close ties with family is an important aspect of preserving any culture but this is particularly true for Puerto Rican’s who call New Britain home. Culture is often passed from one generation to the next through the home, which in the early 1960s was the domain of the mother. Puerto Rican’s have some of the highest number of women run households in the country. Of the 984 Spanish speaking households in New Britain at the time 143 of them were either female held or had a female primary individual. This means that many Puerto Rican women are both the caretakers and breadwinners of the family.

Incocenica was by no means the only woman to move her family to the continental United States in the 1960s. She was part of a larger immigration of Puerto Ricans that settled along the countries eastern shore line primarily in New York and Connecticut. The number of Puerto Ricans in the United States quadrupled from 1950 to 1974. In 1969 the year that Incocenica moved, the net migration of Puerto Rican’s was 66,674. Connecticut’s population of Puerto Ricans more doubled from 15,247 to 37,609 between 1960 and 1970. Connecticut was second only to California in Puerto Rican population by 1970. New Britain alone had a Puerto Rican population of 2,413 in 1970. The reasons for moving are as varied as the people who came but many of the same themes can be seen. A search for better employment opportunities, a decrease in living standards at home and a desire for a better life for their children are often given as reasons for moving to the continental United States. The majority of these employment opportunities for women came from manufacturing and professional services. Men were found mostly in these fields as well but they also had a large presence in retail trade.

Inocenica Saavedra and the Saavedra family are symbolic of Puerto Rican families in New Britain at the time. They were a mixed family that had brothers and sisters living under the same roof with cousins, aunts and uncles. They moved to the continental United States to start a new life yet still visited their old home when they could. Their ties with Puerto Rico remained strong while their relationship with New Britain grew. They were not materialistic, they valued family and faith above all else. They lived by Catholic values and promoted their heritage and culture through the generations, values that continue to be spread to this day through Inocenica’s children and grandchildren.
Citations for Supplementary Sources and Context:

Maldonado-Denise, Manuel, The Emigration Dialectic Puerto Rico and the USA. New York: International Publishers, 1976.

Ortiz, Vilma, "Migration and Marriage among Puerto Rican Women." The International Migration Review 30, no. 2 (1996): 460-84.

Perez y Gonzalez, Maria, Puerto Ricans in the United States. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Rodriguez, Clara E., Puerto Ricans born in the USA.Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989.

Saavedra Reasco, Awilda, (New Britain Puerto Rican Society Member) interviewed by Morgan Bengel April 6, 2017.

U.S. Bureau of Census, Census of Population and Housing: 1970 CENSUS TRACTS Final Report PHC(1) – 141 New Britain, Conn. SMSA.

Entry Author: Joseph Guerrera

Creator

Family Magazine

Source

Personal Collection of Awilda Saavedra Reasco

Publisher

Family Magazine

Date

Creation Date: 1990
Accession Date: April 6, 2017

Contributor

Awilda Saavedra Reasco

Rights

Copyright to this resource is held by Awilda Saavedra Reasco and is provided here by CCSU for educational purposes only.

Relation

History Harvest 2017, Interview #4

Format

.jpg Image File

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

History Harvest, April 2017, Object #5 (formerly object #9).

Coverage

New Britain, CT; Connecticut; Puerto Rico; 1990; 1990s; 2017; 2010s; 20th century; 21st century.

Original Format

Framed Magazine Article

Citation

Family Magazine, “Saavedra Family Magazine Article,” Latino History Harvest, accessed May 28, 2024, https://library.ccsu.edu/latinohistoryharvest/items/show/15.

Output Formats