Isla/Vida: Home Puerto Rico Puerto Rican inspired tshirt. | Freedom Effect

Isla/Vida: Home (Puerto Rico)

This design captures an image of the Island/Tree or Home/Tree, which is re-imagined through the idea of growth but also the fragility of change.

Around 1998, I noticed the presence of a long-standing tree that survived the years following the construction of the Los Colobos Mall in Carolina, Puerto Rico. As I was finishing college, I recorded the branches and roots of this marvel. The tree not only became the subject of many art pieces but a symbol of the hope that I would always be honoring my roots.

And when the time came to uproot, to leave the Island of Puerto Rico, I carefully packed four things: a framed picture of the sky taken after hurricane George, a heart-shaped music box, a container half filled with dirt from my parent's backyard, and a couple of enaguas that once belonged to my aunt and Abuela. As I carried those objects along with a one-way ticket to Chicago, they became not only constant reminders of a home that was no longer available but of the journey on which I re-imagined the rest of my life.

Brenda Torres-Figueroa
Brenda Torres-Figueroa