My family and I took a week long vacation to Puerto Rico this summer. We knew after all the damage to the island and the economy after Hurricane Irma and Maria that we wanted to give back, while also exploring and learning about the wonderful world and culture of America's all-too-often overooked territory.
What we did not realize is that the government was about to be in turmoil, as the corruption on the island hit a fever pitch leading to one of the largest protests in the world.
Even prior to the protests my father in particular was curious about local Puerto Ricans feelings about the island's future, and though many were at first reticent to answer once they realized he was simply genuinely curious we heard passionate discussions for two of the very possible futures of Puerto Rico - statehood and independence. Regardless of the preference, those we talked to showed their love for their home in their words and hopes and aspirations for the future.
So after our conversations with locals, and an eye on the developing news, it was not so surprising to see the fever pitch starting to boil when, on the penultimate day, crowds started to take to the streets in Old San Juan. Now these were not nearly the level of protests the world became familiar with mere days later; however, everything starts from somewhere and we saw passionate outcries in the couple hundred that showed up day one that equaled the million that marched by week's end.