This week on Puerto Rican Voices, we stay connected to the island with three segments on the ways in which art, food, and heritage bring together Puerto Ricans across the United States. In the first segment, multimedia storyteller and filmmaker William Caballero talks about his work, including the HBO series “Gran’pa Knows Best.” Then we travel to Washington D.C. to learn about Borinquen Lunchbox, a food truck serving authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Lastly, we visit Connecticut for the Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade.
In 2014, William Caballero won the AOBFF Award for Best Animation. He had made a short featuring voicemails of his grandfather entitled “How You Doin’ Boy.” From there, he adapted the concept into a series of shorts entitled “Gran’pa Knows Best,” which premiered this past September on HBO—the first interstitial series to be purchased by the network. Caballero uses 3D modeling to render his grandfather into a miniature figure, introducing audiences to the quirky sensibility and endearing qualities his Puerto Rican grandfather represents.
When Enrique Velázquez noticed the lack of Puerto Rican restaurants in Washington D.C., he decided to bring his business there to fill the void. Thus, Borinquen Lunchbox became the first food truck to serve authentic Puerto Rican food in the area. Enrique and his wife, Mary, work long days, competing with hundreds of food trucks in the city, to bring the Puerto Rican community a reminder of home.
Organized by the Connecticut Institute for Community Development, the Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade brings together one of the most concentrated Puerto Rican communities in the country. Around 50,000 people attend each year, with about 2,700 individuals marching in the parade. This year’s theme centered on nurturing the community, with an emphasis on the current economic crisis on the island.
Thanks for tuning in this week and keep watching.