La Gringa is about a young woman's search for her identity. María Elena Garcia goes to visit her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and arrives with plans to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has had an intense love for the island and even majored in Puerto Rican Studies in college. Once María is in Puerto Rico, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American - a gringa -- and María considers this a betrayal.
If she's a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico - María concludes that she is nobody everywhere. Her uncle, Manolo, spiritually teaches her that identity isn't based on superficial and external definitions, but rather is an essence that she has had all along in her heart.
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...Carmen Rivera has captured the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience."
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