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Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898, and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917. Since 1952, Puerto Rico has been a U.S. commonwealth, but the dilemmas of Puerto Rican status vis-à-vis the U.S. linger on in 2008. In Central Florida today, Puerto Rican families include people who have come directly from Puerto Rico and people whose cultural ties to Puerto Rico have been filtered through their experiences of living in U.S. northern cities.

With funding from the Florida Humanities Council, the University of Central Florida's Digital Ethnography Lab, together with the Orange County Regional History Center, created and hosted an exhibit on Puerto Rican life in Central Florida from the 1940s into the 1980s. The exhibit brought together the photographs and stories of over 75 people to sketch a history of the Puerto Rican community in Central Florida.

In March and April of 2009, this history was presented in exhibits free and open to the public. The exhibit told a history of this community via museum panels that relate the major themes of the history of Puerto Rican experience in Central Florida and digital stories that tell of personal experiences from those who lived during this important history in the region.

Following spring 2009, the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando will have the exhibit available for travel to other sites. To learn about how to bring the exhibit to you, visit http://www.prcf.info.

 
Click on Progress and Plans to learn more about the exhibit.
Click on Community History and Digital Storytelling to see the digital stories.
Click here to see the panels and participate in a community discussion forum.
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