According to the 2010 Census, there are now 4,623,716 Puerto Rican Americans living throughout the mainland of the United States of America and we are proud that the State of New York, the home of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, continues to be the home of the largest Puerto Rican community in the nation.
Because of our strong presence in New York, a national bridge was built by National Puerto Rican Day Parade to proudly promote national awareness and appreciation of our Puerto Rican culture and our contributions throughout the nation. By 1999, the national interest had expanded with the participation of over 33 states in our Parade.
As part of our mission to promote education, economic development, cultural recognition and advancement, the Board of Directors selects one State to recognize the achievements of thousands of Puerto Ricans residing in the designated State.
For 2013, this special recognition has been bestowed upon the Rhode Island. Heading the delegation from the State of Rhode Island, as this year’s States’ Marshall, will be Carmen J. Bucholz, original Founder and President of the Puerto Rican Cultural Festival and Parade of Rhode Island. Special acknowledgement goes out to Vivian Moreno, current President of the Puerto Rican Cultural Parade and Festival of Rhode Island for serving as this year’s Parade liaison and delegation coordinator. Officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in the union with the longest official name and the second most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states behind New Jersey. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east, and it shares a water boundary with New York's Long Island to the southwest. Its ten (10) largest cities (2010 est.) are: Providence, 178,042; Warwick, 82,672; Cranston, 80,387; Pawtucket, 71,148; East Providence, 47,037; Woonsocket, 41,186; Newport, 24,672; Central Falls, 19,376. Puerto Ricans make up a remarkably large portion of the Hispanic community in Rhode Island. According to the Census 2010, there is a Hispanic population of 130,655 (12.4%) including 34,979 Puerto Rican residents.
While many historians consider the first hard evidence of Puerto Rican migration to Rhode Island to be in the late 1950s, extensive research by the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island reveals that the Puerto Rican presence in Rhode Island actually began in the 1920s when dozens of Puerto Rican migrant workers came to work on farms located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence and others found their way to Newport, Bristol, and places in South County to work in the plant nurseries. Important to note that in 1994, then-attorney Roberto Gonzalez was sworn in as Associate Justice of the Providence Housing Court making him the first Hispanic Judge in the history of Rhode Island (of Puerto Rican descent). To date, “The Puerto Rican Cultural Festival and Parade of Rhode Island, Inc.” is the oldest and largest Puerto Rican organization in Rhode Island; and in 2010, Ms. Vivian R. Moreno (native of Ponce, Puerto Rico) became its President.
Official name: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Origin of name: From the Greek Island of Rhodes
Nickname: The Ocean State
Residents: Rhode Islander
Governor: Lincoln D. Chafee, I (to Jan. 2015)
State symbols: Flower - Violet (unofficial) (1968); Tree - Red Maple (official) (1964); Bird - Rhode Island Red Hen (official) (1954); Shell - Quahog (official); Mineral - Bowenite (1966); Stone - Cumberlandite (1966)
Colors: Blue, White, and Gold (in state flag)
Song: “Rhode Island, It's for Me” (1996)