Las historias que dejó María: Educators and Researchers Bearing Witness to the Coloniality of Displacement
This article centers the experiences of two university researchers in Colorado and four public school educators from Florida as they engaged in a dialogic process of counter-storytelling to reject one-dimensional narratives and embrace contradictions and vulnerabilities throughout the process. The authors speak against the deficit stories and colonizing practices that have affected Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans pre- and post-Hurricane María. This collaborative project humanizes the ongoing experiences of multiple displacements resulting from U.S. colonialism, racism, white supremacy ideologies, and unnatural disasters. Using a series of letters as the basis for reflection, we trace three major themes across our collaborative sense-making: (1) a desire to resist systems of white supremacy and coloniality by positioning teachers, displaced students, and their families as agents rather than victims; (2) a sense of (un)belonging that transcends or exists beyond the storm’s landfall; and (3) the power of counter-storytelling as a humanizing, liberating act.