Roberto Jiménez is son of “Tio Funfa” Jiménez. Today he lives in the small mountain town of Aguas
Buenas, Puerto Rico, but did live for some years in Detroit, Michigan, traveling back and forth in the
1950s, “when there were not that many Puerto Ricans living there.” It was cold in Detroit. And Mr.
Jiménez recalls having to rely on family and friends for transportation and other things. He likes to raise
rabbits for sale, and chickens. Mr. Jiménez also grows green bananas and other vegetables in his
backyard behind the three houses where his brothers and sisters live in separate apartments. At least
one of the houses is an inheritance and it is not bad to be able to live and to share supper with family.
When friends arrive to visit, he has a habit of giving them some bananas or a chicken or a rabbit. If he
has to do the work to prepare it, he will charge for his time. Mr. Jiménez considers himself to be just a
humble worker and recalls going to the United States because farm labor was seasonal and there was no
work. Sometimes construction was good. But it did not last long because there were many people trying
to do it. Mr. Jiménez had heard about the Hacha Viejas, but they were his cousins, children of Tio
Gabriel Jiménez, and workers who worked on his uncle’s farm, and not part of his immediate family.
Today, Mr. Jiménez has no plans except to enjoy the tropical breeze from the same chair he sits on daily
in their patio/garage entrance. Here he is calm and can think as he enjoys the car and truck traffic
blaring as it passes the house.
Jiménez, José, 1948-
Grand Valley State University. University Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives