Interview with Tomas Javier Rivera on February 20, 2019

CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-

00:00:00 Rivera was born in Bayamon, and moved in early childhood with his family to San Juan. Rivera remembers playing gallitos, and was very active in a swimming team. 00:04:00 Rivera states that with Fiestas Calle San Sebastian in Orlando (SANSE) his commitment to the Puerto Rican culture has grown. Rivera shares that he has been attending the Puerto Rican Center Summit in New York for the past three years and the interactive learning experience between all groups was amazing. 00:07:27 Rivera discusses how he started his career in the entertainment world in Puerto Rico, moved to Orlando in 1998, and created Gufiao Entertainment LLC. 00:09:12 SANSE's main purpose is to showcase Puerto Rican culture, like its food, music, and art. Rivera explains that parents attending the festival explain to their children that this microcosm is Puerto Rico. Rivera states that in 2019 the festival included 120 artesanos. 00:12:00 Rivera states that his idea is to immerse the visitors into an almost real scenery of the island by using montajes, or photo ops. 00:16:30 Rivera states that by showing that Puerto Ricans have power and that they invest, politicians will need to take them into consideration. 00:18:27 Rivera mentions that Fiesta Calle San Sebastian Orlando is the largest festival in Florida. 00:22:12 Rivera remembers fiestas de marquesinas as the beginning of the idea for SANSE. 00:28:06 Rivera explains that he is aware that not all Puerto Ricans in Central Florida are the same, due to different backgrounds, but that major disasters, sports and parties unite all of them. 00:32:09 Rivera thinks that the issue in which the Puerto Rican community needs to work is in identifying good community leaders. 00:33:12 Rivera feels that community leaders must show new entrepreneurs the intrinsic way of doing business here, so we can be successful and acquire power. Rivera envisions a Puerto Rican as mayor of Orlando in five years, and more political representation.

February 20, 2019, Recording date
Tomas Javier Rivera
Mareitssa Griggs
46m 0.0s
Location of interview

Orlando, FL

Object Type
Moving Image
Related Keywords
Art, Masks, Festivals
Individuals or Organizations Mentioned
Jose Dueno, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Gufiao Entertainment, Asociación Borinqueña
Related Places
Orlando, FL (interview location), Festival Park (is referenced), Bayamón, PR (is referenced), San Juan, PR (is referenced), Orlando, FL (is referenced), New York City (is referenced)
Related Dates
1998, Date mentioned
2000s, Date mentioned
CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-. Interview with Tomas Javier Rivera on February 20, 2019: TJR.2019.02.20.fullinterview. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY. Web. 12 Aug 2020.
Use Restrictions

No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only

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Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library & Archives
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library and Archives
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