I’ve always been drawn to the underdogs, the raggamuffins, the workers and the unassuming simple people. Perhaps because of my own family history. I grew up in a working barrio in Puerto Rico. My family life was simple, but not the voluntary simplicity option of the middle class, but the un-voluntary simplicity of the poor. The rituals of prayers and faith were not a trendy ancient-future expression of neo-Christianity, but the strong faith of the poor whom believe on God preferential option for them. This understanding of God’s option for the poor did not come from seminary taught lessons, but from their identification with key stories from their reading of Scriptures.

While spending time with my parents this last month I’ve been able to video record my parents telling of both of their families lives stories. My family story is full faith, struggle, resistance, creativity and survival.

Here is a brief list of my proletariat heritage:

  • squatters
  • shoe polish boy
  • Itinerant worker at a port
  • carpenter
  • heavy concrete construction worker
  • campesinos – land worker (not owning the land, but working the land for the latifundistas)
  • sugar cane factory worker
  • shoe factory worker
  • security guard (wachiman as it was called in the old days in Puerto Rico)
  • fisherman
  • tuna cannery worker
  • lay pastor
  • immigrant agricultural worker
  • delivery boy
  • handyman
  • cook
  • iron worker
  • seamstress
  • nanny
  • taking care of the elderly
  • mattress factory worker
  • What’s your proletariat heritage? Or if you dare to admit it, what is your bourgeoisie heritage?