Eric Velaquez: The importance of education in Santurce, Puerto Rico

Award-winning author and illustrator Eric Velasquez talks about the importance of education in his family and visiting the high school in Santurce, Puerto Rico — home of his grandmother, Pura Belpré, and Arturo Schomburg. You can see the full interview with Eric in our Meet the Author section.


Now, what was important about my trip to Puerto Rico when I was actually researching Grandma's Gift is when I saw the high school, there's this high school in Santurce is still there at this magnificent structure, central high school. When you see the building, you could imagine yourself as a child looking at this high school saying, I want to go to that school. And so the people from Santurce really pride themselves, or at that time on education, education's a really big thing, especially in my family.

And my grandmother would constantly mention the importance of education. And once I saw the actual building, it was like, I get it. I, it could see my mom growing up in that household, looking at that building going, I'm, I'm getting into that high school. I'm going to that high school. Consequently, it's the same high school that countless other musicians that came from that area. So Santurce is really an important place, especially for people, Afro Puerto Ricans that they call it La cuna, right? The cradle. It's like right there. Yeah.