Day two started with a traffic jam, on the way from Providence, RI to Boston, MA. It should have taken an hour, allowing us plenty of time to spare before our interview at Mas En Vivo, a local morning show a part of MasTV and Boston Latino TV. Two hours later, with only fifteen minutes left to spare in the program, we made it by the skin of our collective teeth. There we met up with Digna Gerena, and Carla Medina, who after the interview, took us to Angela’s Café, a delicious Mexican restaurant whose owners are from Puebla, the town where Cinco de Mayo originated. Despues del desayuno, it was off to South Side Boston, where we visited an amazing neighborhood called Villa Victoria.
As briefly mentioned in yesterday’s recap, this barrio was once in danger of being bulldozed in 1968, that all changed when a group of predominantly Puerto Rican community activists, came together to form the IBA – Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, transforming the area into a 435 unit affordable housing community. I can honestly say that more Latinos should use this barrio as an example as to what our neighborhoods and communities should be. They do a tremendous amount of work to honor and cultivate our culture, housing numerous programs for youths and elders, a technology, performing arts, and art center. After the walking tour, we went back to Vejigante Restaurant where they have taken a slice of La Isla del Encanto and brought it to the heart of Villa Victoria, with an eatery that looks straight out of Old San Juan. A few blocks away, we were shown the future site of The Puerto Rican Veterans Monument, the first of its kind, honoring the men and women who served in the armed forces; there have been Puerto Rican soldiers in each of the wars America has fought in. Now it’s off to dinner and tomorrow we’re back on the road to New Hampshire, to meet with the president of Latinos Unidos, a local film festival in Manchester. Hasta el tercer dia, famigos!