Interview with Javier Toro



Interview with Javier Toro


Janine Carambot Santoro


Javier Toro



Location of interview

Residence of Javier Toro


Javier Toro was born and raised in the town of Utuado, Puerto Rico. Javier Toro's passion for history was fostered by Dr. Pedro Hernandez, who was a dentist by profession and a self-taught historian. He describes his former employment in Puerto Rico as a librero and assistant manager of a bookstore as being the most rewarding job he ever had because it granted him the opportunity to meet international writers, including Noble Prize-winning Peruvian author Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, Chilean author José Donoso Yáñez, and prominent Peruvian author Alfredo Bryce Echenique. When he was working in a factory where t-shirts are printed and when he worked in banking his commitment to the community was constrained to lack of spare time. After earning a position at the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center, Javier Toro was able to practice his passion and love for his community in a full-time capacity. Javier Toro also contributed to the Bethlehem Steel Workers Archive, by reaching out to the former Hispanic/Latinx employees of Bethlehem Steel.

The town of Utuado is located in the central part of the island. Javier Toro's hometown is not small in terms of the territory because it is the third-largest in Puerto Rico. The population of Utuado is approximately 35,000 residents. By the end of the nineteenth century, the population was approximately 90,000 because of coffee production in the area. His family came from the Barrio Caguana, sprawled from one of the urbanizaciónes near the town. Javier Toro’s brothers settled in New Jersey and in the Lehigh Valley. Javier Toro studied at Universidad Interamericana, the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean (Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe), and Lehigh University. Javier Toro’s wife studied at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.


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