Many beloved people in Puerto Rico have sustained me over the years as I
moved in, around, and through this project. Magaly Robles has given me
undying friendship and creative inspiration across oceans and de cades. I am
grateful to José Flores Ramos for his wide- ranging scholarly work on gender
in Puerto Rico, for his generosity in sharing ideas and sources, for his insa-
tiable love of the intellectual life, and for his opening of home, family, and
spiritual community. Rasiel Suárez and Annie Maldonado shared their lives,
their home, and their spirits with me and my family during that fi rst sab-
batical leave so long ago when I fi rst stumbled across the sugar beet migrant
letters. Carlos Rodríguez, Laura Nater, Mabel Rodríguez, Jimmy Seale Col-
lazo, and Marilyn Miller gave me loving support then, too. Thanks to Patricia
Silver for all the many long conversations over the years, the collaborative
searching for agricultural migrants, and our shared experience of gringas
buena gente y solidaria en la diáspora.
I am grateful to Mark Overmyer- Velásquez and Blanca Silvestrini for
inviting me many years ago to give the talk at the University of Connecti-
cut that began this whole sojourn. My colleagues at American University
Phil Stern, Andrew Lewis, Kathleen Franz, Katharine Norris, Amy Oliver,
Shelley Harshe, Richard Breitman, and Allan Kraut read and commented
on another early, unruly attempt to understand the sugar beet migration, as
did Nancy Appelbaum. Ellen Feder was the fi rst to see the book hidden in
that crude chunk of writing. April Shelford agreed, encouraged me to “let
it breathe” into its current form, and read several proposal draft s. Marisol
de la Cadena, who always resides in my heart, encouraged me through the
proposal writing pro cess. Anne MacPherson commented thoughtfully on
the archives portion of the introduction, and posed some provocative ques-
tions that I’ve never really been able to adequately answer. Karin Rosem-
blatt, Barbara Weinstein, and Mary Kay Vaughan kept me connected to the
intellectual community of Latin Americanists at the University of Mary land.
Francisco Scarano, Sue Ann Caulfi eld, Frank Guridy, Lorrin Thomas, Aldo
Lauria- Santiago, Jorge Duany, Ismael García Colón, Emma Amador, Arlene
Torres, Deborah Cohen, Lisa Leff , Dan Kerr, Mary Ellen Curtin, Kim Sims,
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