chapter  9
16 Pages

Brincando el Charco/Jumping the Puddle: A Case Study of Pentecostalism’s Journey from Puerto Rico to New York to Allentown, Pennsylvania

WithAnna Adams

In 1960, Sidney Mintz noted the importance of the Pentecostal churches in Puerto Rico in his classic study Worker in Cane. This chapter examines the Latino Pentecostal churches in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the growing Latino community is poor and marginalized. Allentown makes an important case study because it is typical of small dying industrial cities in the Northeast that are rapidly becoming populated with Latinos from New York seeking safer neighborhoods and cheaper housing. To trace the migrations of Puerto Ricans from their island in the 1940s and 1950s to New York City and more recently to smaller cities such as Allentown is to trace the migration of Pentecostalism. It is likely that the continued Latinization of Allentown will mean the continued Pentecostalization of Allentown. It is predictable that an increased hostility toward Latinos will send more Latinos into the Pentecostal churches.