Las historias que dejó María: Educators and Researchers Bearing Witness to the Coloniality of Displacement


  • Astrid Sambolín Morales
  • Molly Hamm-Rodríguez
  • Bethzaida Morales Rivera
  • Jasmin Nuñez Tejada
  • Manuel Hernandez
  • Myrmarie A. Graw-Gonzalez



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.