Operation Bootstrap Series

Operation Bootstrap. Oil and Acrylic on Plexi-Glass.  14"x11" each. September 2013

During the first half of the 20th century, home needlework was by far the largest manufacturing industry in Puerto Rico. Because average earnings were only between 3¢ and 4¢ an hour, many employers began hiring impecunious women. It was not until 1954 that legislative revisions were made raising wages in Puerto Rico. For such industries, a 25¢ hourly wage proved fatal and employers began fleeing the island. By 1960, close to a million Puerto Ricans had migrated to New York, forced off their island in part by the economic plan for industrialization and modernization of Puerto Rico, known as Operation Bootstrap.


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