By Anna Sundy

Daniela Crandall, right

Mrs. Daniela Nascimento Crandall described the United States as “a country where you get such a different perspective from different places within it, there is such a vast difference from state to state and region to region, that you truly get a melting pot effect where everyone can find their niche.” Mrs. Crandall was born in the United States, but moved to Puerto Rico when she was five and a half years old. At nine, she moved back to the United States and she truly was able to find her ‘niche’. Currently, she works for SouthTech Orthopedics. Mrs. Crandall does not have any relatives in Puerto Rico at this time, and has not found the time to go back to visit. Growing up in Puerto Rico, Spanish was her first language, but she knows a lot of English and even a little bit of French.

Mrs. Crandall’s school experience in Puerto Rico was similar to that of an American child. While living in Puerto Rico she went to a public school for two weeks, but her parents pulled her and her sister out to go to a private American school. It was a very structured school; each third grade class had five different teachers, similar to an American junior high or middle

school. Her daily routine in Puerto Rico was similar to her routine in the United States. She would get up, go to school, come home and do homework, and then she would do her extra curricular activities, such as ballet. As she was walking home from school she was able to feel the density of the population of Puerto Rico because there were so many people, and they were so close together. Mrs. Crandall commented on how you would be able to get everything you needed on the way home. "There were street vendors selling things, literally, at red lights you can buy all your fruits on the way home.
I remember liking that, they were fresh," she said with a smile as she recalled just how good the fruit tasted.

Mrs. Crandall immigrated to Puerto Rico from the United States because her father was teaching biochemistry to medical and graduate students at a university there. She said that the process of immigrating was not hard for her because she was already a citizen of the United States and Puerto Rico was a United States territory. For her parents, though, it was hard. They had to get green cards before they came to the United States and this process took over a year.

When Mrs. Crandall returned, after four years in Puerto Rico, to the United States, she had two main expectations; one of them being that she would not see as much bullying as in Puerto Rico, and the other being that she would feel a sense of relief from not being surrounded by so many people. Both of these expectations were fulfilled when she found her ‘niche’ at her new home in California. One less challenge to face was her ability to speak English. Mrs. Crandall said that there was not much difference in her daily life when she moved back to the United States, but she believes that people around you are much more aware of daily life, unlike the people in Puerto Rico.