Scarcely a year after the American invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, Hurricane Ciriaco carries off Vicente Vega’s coffee trees. Desperate to provide for his family, Vicente and his wife, Valentina Sanchez, embark with their children and brother Raúlito on a long, onerous journey by sea and land to work in the Hawaiian sugarcane plantations. Pursued by tragedy and shadowed by old secrets, Vicente, Valentina, and Raúlito strive to survive in Hawaii and to come together again as a family.
The Liberation of Carmela Lopez (Novel)
A teenager grows up in Chicago’s barrio of Humboldt Park during the turbulent 1970s in two cultures–Puerto Rican and American–and belongs to neither. Carmela’s struggle within the patriarchal Puerto Rican world and the prejudice and police brutality of the American world, culminating in the Humboldt Park Riots, lead her to question what it means to be both Puerto Rican and American. Where does she belong? Can she make a place for herself?
You Can’t Cover The Sky With Your Hands (Play)
A play created with her daughter, Theater Artist Alyssa Vera Ramos, of how the policies of the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments led to the systematic sterilization of 39 percent of Puerto Rican women and how the pharmaceutical industry conducted, without informed consent, clinical trails of contraceptives such as The Pill on the wombs of Puerto Rican women.