When I Was Puerto Rican Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

Jibara and Fighting Naked

• Santiago's narrative begins with "Jibara."

• When Esmeralda Santiago is four years old she and her family move to Macun.

• The family's house is made of tin.

• Santiago gets the nickname "Negi" because of her darker skin.

• Esmeralda's mother tells her to stay out of the way as her father repairs the house, but her father lets her help.

• When Esmeralda picks up firewood filled with termites and is bitten, she believes she has been punished for disobeying her mother.

• The children sleep in hammocks inside.

• One morning, Esmeralda wakes up to her mother's moaning and crying.

• Neighbors arrive to tend to Esmeralda's mother and the children.

• In "Fighting Naked," Esmeralda says that she's certain her parents started fighting before birth of her brother, Hector but that it's not until after his birth that she recalls the fights being more severe.

• Esmeralda's father leaves the...

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