Version: 11112202 Rev. 1
The Caribbean soon surpassed its geographic confines. Just as in the early centuries it had been mainly an area of immigrationimmigration: Population movement consisting of the arrival of people to a country or region other than their homeland in order to establish themselves there., after the end of World War II it became an area of emigration. But earlier, a curious experiment was conducted. In the early 20th century, the United States sent hundreds of Puerto Ricans to the islands of Hawaii as settlers, where they dedicated themselves to raising pineapples. Descendants of these emigrants still remain, and though many of them do not speak Spanish, they continue to play Puerto Rican traditional folk music, play the cuatro and dance to traditional rhythms. That's how strong this little rhizome is. The huge exodus from Puerto Rico to the United States began in 1901 for economic reasons, due to the poverty on the island. It is the biggest rhizome in the Caribbean. This was especially so after 1917, when U.S. citizenship was given to Puerto Ricans. While initially the migration was almost totally to New York, it extended to other states, creating large communities in New Jersey, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, etc. Nearly half of the Puerto Rican population lives in these many rhizomes.
In the 20th century, the New York rhizome produced a unique phenomenon: the growth of Puerto Rican music from one that was completely local and insular — as it was at the beginning of the century — to becoming, after the 1930s, one of the three great musical traditions of the Caribbean, along with those of Cuba and Mexico. Results of this growth were musical phenomena such as the Nueva Canción and Nueva Ola trends, the rise of salsa in Puerto Rico and especially in New York, and the emergence of international stars (such as Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, etc.). This is the phenomenon that led to the Gran Combo having an ongoing presence in Colombia and to the spread of salsa throughout the Caribbean and later throughout the world.
An exodus from the Dominican Republic to the United States began in more recent years when, after the fall of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the government began allowing Dominicans to travel freely outside the country, something they could not do before. This migration, especially to New York, has grown to the point that today the Dominican population in New York is greater than the Puerto Rican population. They took with them merengue and bachata, two musical genres of their country that have become accepted worldwide. Juan Luis Guerra is one of the Dominican artists known worldwide.
A significant migration from Cuba to the United States, especially Miami, began after the revolution that took power on January 1, 1959. But even before that, although the numbers of people moving to the United States were small, Cuban music had made a mark in New York. After the revolution, the flow of people continued, including musicians who had a lot of influence in the development of Latin jazz. Cuban communities also formed in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico after 1959, which would be part of the internal diaspora, and had influence on the local musical scene, especially in Puerto Rico. Cuba also has internationally famous stars such as Celia Cruz and, in Latin jazz, Bebo Valdes and Paquito D'Rivera.
Many Mexicans live in the United States but few of them are Caribbean. Most of them are from the northern and central parts of the country and migrate to the states that were formerly part of Mexico, such as California, Texas, New Mexico and others. The immigrants from states such as Veracruz and Merida can be considered Caribbean.