La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc., also known as “La Casa” is a not-for-profit, historic cultural organization, originally developed in 1980, and incorporated in 1983 by Puerto Rican pioneers, as a Heritage Library and Research Center, to promote, enrich, and preserve the culture, literature and the arts of the Puerto Rican nation. With its programs, events, and workshops, La Casa celebrates the legacy of the Puerto Rican community, from the islands, to New York City, and beyond.
Puerto Rican cultural heritage is a topic that goes way beyond that beautiful archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, which include the main island, Vieques, Culebra, Mona, and smaller islands. While the roots of the culture originate there, the Puerto Rican enterprise has blossomed past oceans of time and space, leaving an unusually bright mark in the universe. But it’s not because of the wonderful beaches, or the incredible rain forest. It’s because of her people, their culture, and history — stemming from the islands, stretching across the diaspora, and reaching beyond the heavens.
A Puerto Rican once sang, “Que Bonita Bandera”, while orbiting the planet at 17,150 miles per hour. It is a privilege and honor for us to explore the connections through the arts, literature, history, and social movements of the Puerto Rican nation to see why a person would do that. Cultural heritage is what connects indigenous Taíno, African slaves, and Spanish conquerers to NASA astronaut Joseph M. Acaba.
The Puerto Rican universe is indeed epic in scope relative to its geographic origins. But there’s a map that clearly and beautifully connects the dots, and displays the boundaries. That map is our culture, and the unyielding spirit of the Puerto Rican nation, generation after generation, era after era, from one colonial government to another.
No matter how small the islands appear on the map, the world is brighter because of Puerto Rico’s distinct style, voice, and passion for life. From the days the Spaniards invaded and colonized the Taínos, to the US invasion and colonization, to the Summer Revolt of 2019 that ousted the insular governor, the culture and national affirmation connect the dots in the Puerto Rican constellation. And we are blessed to facilitate, nurture, preserve, and add to that map of the Puerto Rican experience.
Despite centuries of natural and man-made disasters, the Puerto Rican story continues to unfold. However, her people keep baring the weight of political and economic calamity under colonial rule. And that affects everything. As with all nations around the world, politics seeps into the culture, the arts, and into the blood of the people — as it should. Through history and the arts, we can easily identify a sense of never-ending struggle as a recurring theme; “la lucha”. That constant battle for survival is not always healthy, nor conducive to growth. The development and prosperity of a person, or a nation, is sometimes marked by a resurgence of spirit, and a major shift in policy that can open new doors, new chapters, and new levels of evolution. That is what we see in the culture, as with most countries in the world: a constant push forward, “pa’lante”, toward a greater life, a better world.
From Luisa Capetillo to Jennifer Lopez, from Ramón Emeterio Betances to Bruno Mars, Puerto Rican history and culture trails behind them all like a comet across the sky.
We hope you enjoy our events, programs, and workshops, and join in the conversation on Facebook. As a non-profit, we appreciate any tax-deductible contribution you can make to further our mission. Thank you.
Some of our recent and upcoming events: