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Bodega The importance of the corner store in the Puerto Rican barrio Today in several neighborhoods of northeastern United States there are still remnants that tie predominate Puerto Rican communities together In these communities you wont find much room for big businesses On the contrary here several of the corner stores called bodegas offer more of an impact than other larger businesses In these smaller stores you can sometimes buy goat meat mangoes and even plantanos a platanain is a banana-like fruit that is eaten boiled or fried These stores not only have ties to a lifestyle far from the every day burger and fries feeding frenzy but it also gives state-side Puerto Ricans a chance to experience food products that are authentic to Puerto Rico The bodega in fact has been a key part of Puerto Rican development Bodegas are a necessity to Puerto Ricans because they offer strong ethnic enclaves and a history of helping Puerto Rican migrants to better integrate themselves into state-side culture When Puerto Ricans came to the States as labor migrants with and without government sponsored labor contracts the transition was difficult Around the time of the Second World War employers and government agencies enrolled the services of Puerto Rican men for seasonal food processing jobs in southern New Jersey After the War had ended the governments of Puerto Rico and the United States encouraged a contract labor program for Puerto Rican men to come to the continental United States for only seasonal farm work in Pennsylvania and its other surrounding areas in New York and New Jersey For migrants the contract labor program was part of an economic strategy to earn seasonal income or a stepping stone towards permanent settlementWhalen 24 1998 Indeed many migrant workers used the opportunity along with the money they had collected in farm labor to find a permanent home in areas such as Pennsylvania In several cases of Puerto Rican migration
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