Centro's New Educational Tool
Highlights Puerto Rican Heritage

Centro’s new Puerto Rican Heritage Poster Series is a collection of five large posters that provide a brief historical chronology of Puerto Ricans in the United States and three posters that are historical and demographic maps that pictorially reflect Puerto Rican migration. As part of Centro’s Traveling Exhibits program, the posters are available to educational and not-for-profit organizations. The posters are also available for sale to the general public.

This rich eight-poster heritage series is designed to provide an attractive visual educational tool for teachers and others to use in classrooms or other public spaces, and to introduce students to and interest them in this significant piece of Puerto Rican and American history. The series also comes with a study guide, a Centro project, which includes learning goals for the poster series, topics to stimulate more detailed discussions on each poster and section, a selection of recommended readings, online sources, and films and documentaries that enhance the information introduced in the posters.

The series is the result of collective efforts undertaken since the 1970s to rescue, document and preserve the history of Puerto Rican migration and the experiences and contributions of Puerto Ricans to the United States. Centro has been a leading contributor to these efforts. This series relies on and incorporates many decades of historical recovery work by Puerto Rican studies researchers at Centro and many other higher education institutions.

The series kicks off with a brief historical chronology of Puerto Ricans in the United States. The first poster covers Puerto Rican Cultural Roots (c. 1200-late 1700s) and Beginnings of Puerto Rican Presence in the United States (1815-1897). This poster focuses on the cultural roots of the Puerto Rican people and emphasizes the development of Puerto Ricans commercial ties with the United States in the early 19th century. The chronology highlights the early presence and contributions of Puerto Rican expatriates in New York, known as the “pilgrims of freedom.”

Subsequent posters spotlight the migrant pioneers to the United States and the Great Migration Years. It emphasizes early organizations and their leaders, the growth of communities, struggles for recognition, and key accomplishments in organization and institution building. Most historians trace the origins of the Great Migration to the beginning of Operation Bootstrap in Puerto Rico and to the migration policy of the governments of Puerto Rico and the United States during the early postwar period. During that time, Puerto Rican men and women contract laborers were brought to different parts of the United States to work in manufacturing, the service industries and agricultural fields.

Posters highlight Puerto Rican social, political, educational and cultural activism during the 1960s, 1970s and beyond. Key moments covered include some of the key struggles and accomplishments that characterize the Puerto Rican Civil Rights Movement and its leaders such as the youth and student movement, the alliance with Blacks and Chicanos, the Young Lords, the women’s movement, and gay and lesbian rights. Educational struggles such as bilingual education and linguistic rights, the advent of Puerto Rican students, the establishment of Centro, Hostos, and Boricua Colleges, and community organizations such as the Puerto Rican Parade, ASPIRA and El Museo del Barrio are also featured.

The final set of posters consists of maps of the Puerto Rican diaspora.

The first of these is a world map showing the Americas in the center of the poster and portion of the European and African continents to the right. This map uses arrows to illustrate the diasporas in the history of Puerto Ricans. It is cartography of Taino, Spanish, and African roots (c. 2000 BC-1890s). Population flows to the island contributed to the formation of the Puerto Rican people and represent their cultural roots.

The second map is a cartography depicting Puerto Rican migrations to the United States (including the Hawaiian Islands) and the Caribbean (1898-2012). It illustrates Puerto Rican migrations to different parts of the United States and indicates the growth of diverse Puerto Rican communities at various historical periods, most notably during the post-World War II Great Migration and since the 1990s.

The final poster is a demographic map based on the 2010 Census indicating the Puerto Rican population of each state, highlighting those states that had more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans. It includes sections on population growth and major facts about the Puerto Rican population in the United States.

The Puerto Rican Heritage Poster Series was developed by Dr. Edna Acosta-Belén, distinguished professor emerita of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies and Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. She wrote poster captions and selected images in consultation with other Puerto Rican studies scholars and Centro Library and Archives and editorial staff.

To order the poster series:

Full set (eight posters): $100
Historical chronologies posters one to five: $75
Three maps (posters six to eight): $45.
Plus shipping $15

To place your order and for more information, Click Here Puerto Rican Poster Series Order Page

To request the posters as a library loan, contact the Centro Library and Archives at (212) 396-7874. For more information, in the Poster Series Click Here.


Poster donation letter

Click Here to learn more about how to acquire a donated set of the Puerto Rican Heritage Poster Series available for educational institutions and community organizations.

To Purchase the Puerto Rican Poster Series

Click Here