6. “Boricua en la Luna” — The Moon’s Distance
“Boricua En La Luna” is a classic anthem about a young man born outside Puerto Rico, who dreams of going back to his parents’ home but never does. Based on a poem written by Juan Antonio Corretjer, the song vividly evokes themes of displacement and connection. And it asserts that Puertoricanness exists no matter where one lives, declaring, “yo seria borincano aunque naciera en la luna” – “I would be Puerto Rican even if I were born on the moon.”
That got our team wondering: “what would happen if someone Puerto Rican were actually born on the moon?”
We asked the acclaimed Puerto Rican writer Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón to answer the question in a short fictional story. Kelvin is the first human born on the moon, and finds himself growing up there alone. By listening to recordings sent by his grandmother, he learns to love the island he’s never seen. But when he finally meets someone else on the lunar surface, Kelvin is faced with a dilemma about his attachment to both the moon and to Puerto Rico, and how much he can hold onto his two identities.
With performances by Keren Lugo (Jessica), Nancy Ticotin (Marielena) and Jesús del Orden (Kelvin). Our sound design for this work of audio fiction is by Joe Plourde.
Listen to our Spotify playlist, featuring music from this episode – and this season. We’ll keep adding to it each week as new episodes come out.
Special thanks this week to Kelly Gillespie, and to Ana María Dîaz Burgos, Orlando Javier Torres, Juanluis Ramos, and Olga Casanova-Burgess. And thank you to the other voices who brought this episode to life: Brian Lehrer, Melissa Harris Perry, Nancy Solomon, Stephen Nessen, Jeff Spurgeon, Kerry Nolan, Terrance McKnight, Brigid Bergin, Natalia Ramirez and Elliott Forrest.
Fact checking this season is by Istra Pacheco and Maria Soledad.
This season of La Brega is made possible by the Mellon Foundation.