Crucial to La Hija’s identity was her connection to her homeland of Puerto Rico. She unwaveringly supported liberation for the island nation and frequently called upon her compatriots to preserve Puerto Rico's customs and language. While Puerto Rico's history is intertwined with foreign influence and intervention, its culture and traditions have persevered. La Hija was a loud voice in this movement, proudly defending “La Patria”, or the homeland, for the duration of her life. The following articles written by La Hija reflect her lifelong and passionate defense of Puerto Rico.
"Idiomas, Tradiciones, y Volantines"
"Los pueblos que se dejan absorber por otros más fuertes y se someten dócilmente a sus imposiciones...no pueden subsistir."
“The nations that let themselves be absorbed by others much stronger and meekly submit to their impositions…cannot survive.”
La Hija used this article as a platform to argue the importance of maintaining Puerto Rico's language and unique culture when faced with powerful, outside influences. She asserted that Puerto Rico would cease to exist if it let itself be swallowed up by the imposing force of the United States. She understood the importance of a language for one's identity and that once lost, would open the door to further submission. While recognizing that English should be learned as the global language, Padilla argued that for Puerto Ricans, Spanish should always come first. She called upon her compatriots to never stop defending their native langauge.
"La Patria Se Va"
“Cuatro sacerdotes norteamericanos se han hecho cargo de la parroquia de la ciudad de Arecibo. Cuatro sacerdotes QUE NO SABEN ESPAÑOL…”
“Four North American priests have been put in charge of the parish of the town of Arecibo. Four priests THAT DO NOT KNOW SPANISH…”
This article shows how La Hija's activism extended to even local affairs. In this piece La Hija lamented the arrival of American priests who displaced Puerto Rican priests in the local parish. She furiously noted that these priests did not speak Spanish and wondered how they could serve their community without this vital means of communication. Although this incident took place at a very local level, for Padilla, it symbolized the larger effort of North American intrusion in Puerto Rican affairs. La Hija did not shy away from addressing actual problems facing her community.
"La Pretendida Superioridad de la raza sajona sobre la raza latina"
“No hay tal superioridad: Existe solamente un abuso de fuerza…”
“There is no such superiority: There exists only an abuse of power..."
La Hija discussed how the Anglo-Saxon race was commonly seen as superior to other races. She immediately dispelled this notion and unequivocally proclaimed that there was no innate superiority, simply an abuse of power that created drastic imbalances between nations. Writing in 1934, La Hija was aware of the dangers of this mindset. The remainder of the twentieth century would bear witness to countless interventions by the United States in Latin American affairs often with disastrous and long-lasting consequences and under the guise of superiority. La Hija was well aware of the strength of Puerto Rico's influential neighbor and was willing to speak out.
"El Caso de Puerto Rico"
“…Cuando en el mundo se advierte un enorme soplo de libertad...en nuestra desdichada patria hay, por el contrario, un ambiente enrarecido que no da paso a la serenidad de las ideas.”
“…When an enormous breath of liberty is observed throughout the world…in our unhappy homeland there is, on the contrary, a charged atmosphere that does not give way to the serenity of ideas.”
In this article, Padilla turned her critical eye towards Puerto Rico, asserting that conflict within the country was a large obstacle to obtaining independence. She argued that Puerto Rico would never be able to achieve liberation if there was disunity within the independence movement. This article illustrates how despite her ardent admiration for Puerto Rico, Padilla did not view her homeland through rose-colored glasses. Instead, she was able to recognize that Puerto Rico had to play its part in the liberation movement.