SAN ANTONIO – Sixty-four percent of San Antonio’s population is Hispanic, according to the latest census data. While the vast majority are Mexican-American, there is a small percentage who are of Puerto Rican descent but they’re still contributing to the city’s culture in a big way.
Daniel Aponte and Carlos Ramos both from Puerto Rico were brought to Military City USA during their time in the United States Army.
In 2009, The Association of Puerto Ricans was founded by Cesar Del Valle, a nonprofit organization that both Aponte and Ramos would help carry on.
“Carlos, my wife, and I, we decided, hey, let’s do this for the community, for the Puerto Rican community here, and for the San Antonio community to better educate them on what we are all about,” said Aponte.
The association’s objective is “Nuestra Cultura para todos,” or our culture, for everyone.
“That was our motto. And we wanted to, you know, expose people not just for my generation, but for the newer generations to our culture, to what makes us unique, our traditions, culture, foods, and that sort of thing,” said Ramos.
Though Puerto Rico is roughly over two thousand miles from San Antonio you won’t have to go far to get a little taste of La Isla del Encanto or the Island of Enchantment. Aponte said every year they host a number of events, including the Latin Roots Music and Food Fest.
“That’s what we bring all the Spanish foods from around San Antonio and the surrounding area. And we ask these vendors to come in and provide their foods, Colombian food, Mexican Peruvian Puerto Rican, Cuban wherever — from the Dominican Republic. They get together with their and they bring their food flavors to San Antonio,” said Aponte.
Both Ramos and Aponte say proceeds from their cultural events go to fund scholarships for those of Puerto Rican heritage and persons with special needs.
“So those are things that we like to bring up to the people in San Antonio and around the nation. You know, when wherever we go around the world, we say, hey, we’re Puerto Ricans and this is what we do,” said Aponte.
For more information on how to apply to the scholarship or upcoming events hosted by APRISA visit their Facebook page.