Friday, September 24, 2021

Hatillo Puerto Rico

Hatillo Puerto Rico

Located on the northern coastal plains of Puerto Rico, the seaside town of Hatillo is a tranquil community of undulating hills and rambling ranches. The village was founded in 1823 by Canarian immigrant Agustín Ruiz Miranda with the stipulation that part of the land be used for public buildings and wide streets with the rest sold or used for homes. These conditions were met and the resulting town is unlike any other in the world.

Today, the town is a hub of Puerto Rico’s dairy industry, making the region the world’s largest producer of milk per square mile. Nearly one-third of the milk consumed in Puerto Rico is produced here. Visitors can experience part of this industry for themselves at Vaca Negra, a local cheese-making company managed by a microbiologist associated with the region’s dairy industry. Visitors can try different cheese varieties in the facility’s charming café or take a class to learn how to create their own cheese creation.

The town is also well-known for the extravagant festivals held in the downtown area and central square. Its patron saint festival, the Fiestas Patronales de Nuestra Sra. del Carmen, is held each July and features parades, live entertainment, amusement rides, games, and regional food and crafts. The town also holds a Sugarcane Festival each May to celebrate the historical significance of sugarcane cultivation in the region.

The most popular festival each year is the Mask Festival, celebrated annually on December 28. The festival is meant to commemorate the Holy Innocents of the biblical story of King Herod, in which young children were slain as part of a failed attempt to kill the baby Jesus. The day is meant to be a day of fun and celebration, with large crowds participating in the festivities.

Festivals of the Masks

During the Mask Festival, men and women of all ages wear colorful masks and elaborate costumes that cover them from head to toe to parade through the town. As mid-day draws near, the participants converge on the town square for a procession and award ceremony. This celebration continues for the entire day with participants enjoying good food, dancing, and other forms of entertainment for the whole family.

Hatillo is a great place to visit during other times of the year as well. The seaside community has 10 beaches, with one of the most popular being Sardinera Beach in the Carrizales neighborhood. Just off of Highway #2, this beach features crystal clear waters and a natural rock wall along the north shoreline that prevents strong waves from getting close to the beach. The peaceful pool is great for snorkeling and the pleasantly sandy beach hides lots of beautiful rocks and sea glass.

Another popular outdoor recreation area is the Great North Park, located between Hatillo and Camuy on Highway 119. Here, children and adults can enjoy the beauty of the coastal landscape in a variety of recreational spaces, including a beach area, a boardwalk, a camping area, and a boating area. The grounds also hold volleyball courts, a soccer park, children’s play areas, and an observation tower.

The town is also home to the Plaza del Norte Mall, the biggest shopping mall in northwestern Puerto Rico. With more than 130 retailers and restaurants and a new movie theater, it has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Other places of interest include the Hacienda Santa Rosa Ruins, the Old Bayaney Sugar Mill, and the Francisco Deida Méndez Coliseum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

History of the Sugar Industry in Puerto Rico

Sugar Cane

When it comes to Puerto Rico, one of its best industries outside of tourism is sugar. The Caribbean is a hotbed for sugar because of the tropical weather, making it the best climate to grow. The sugar industry has done well for Puerto Rico from desserts, juice, and rum. Here's a brief history of the sugar industry in Puerto Rico.

Trek to the New World in the 1500s

If you're going to a Caribbean island for family vacations, think about taking a trip to Puerto Rico, aka La Isla. Before heading to an island getaway, it's a good idea to learn a bit about the history. Sugar played a sizable role in the economics of the islands with its natural resources.

Who brought sugar cane to the islands? Many say that Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) brought sugar cane on his second voyage to Hispanola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti) from the Canary Islands. From 1515, it spread to Puerto Rico to the banks of the Toa River.

The first grinding mill was created in Añasco, by Tomás de Castellón in 1523 and operated with oxen. By 1548, they set up hundreds of water-powered mills to create muscovado sugar. The sugar industry started with small landowners, and it wasn't initially profitable.

Their successes and failures depended on the price of sugar in the market or how the Spanish crown monopolized things.

Late 1800s Expansion

By the 1800s, many things, such as the end of slavery in 1873, tariff wars between the United States and Spain, plagues, and hurricanes, made it hard to produce sugar.

However, things expanded after building the first sugar factory, the San Vicente Mill in Vega Baja. From 1873 to 1876, they began creating machines called "Centrales." The factories had equipment that used steam to help develop sugar crystals, which separated from molasses.

They purchased the machines from England or France. It had a good way of capturing electricity to speed up the process of getting sugar. Also, the demand for sugar in the United States grew as its started replacing European investors.

The increased price of sugar in the world market made Puerto Rico a sugar powerhouse. Also, it became one of the principal producers of this sweet treat on a global scale.

The 1882 Exposition in Ponce saw two owners received gold and honorary medals for the high-quality sugar obtained with the new process from Vadi and Cabrera Brothers.

The 1900s On

From 1898 to Spring 2000, sugar cane was the most important cash crop in Puerto Rico. Lots of things happened as far as sugar from the market price competition, loss of labor force, and even the cost of transportation.

The sugar quota system and the need to fertilize and irrigate the land were rough. The land resources went out harshly because of the growth of sugar cane, which dries out the soil.From 1942-1977, 34 centrales stopped operating. The farmers didn't receive the best compensation when they planted the crops and sold the sugar to the factories. Also, the 14-month period it took to grow the crop just wasn't worth it to them.

Many colonos (farmers) sought full-time jobs and wages in other places instead of farming for the sugar industry. Even with the decline of the sugar industry, it's still an imperative asset to Puerto Rico. Bacardi rum has been a mainstay in Puerto Rico since 1936.

It continues to thrive to this day. Puerto Rico is a sugar cane island, and it's tough to think how they would've survived without it the last two centuries.

Monday, September 20, 2021

PROFESA Charity Golf Tournament

After a challenging 2020, PROFESA returns to host our Annual Charity Golf Tournament to be hosted at Miami Springs Golf and Country Club, on October 29th 2021.

We want you to join our tournament, for more information visit, or register at
Don't miss the date!

Profesa Golf Tournament 2021

Friday, September 17, 2021

2021 Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarships Fund Gala

 Join Us! The PRBA Gala Returns: October 13, 2021 6:00pm at Giando on the Water: Limited Tickets Available

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Celebrating 24 Years Puerto Rican Cultural Center

happy birthday prccfd


Celebrating 24 Years

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

We are celebrating 24 Years!
On September 10, 1997, we started with *nothing* but dreams. We launched our 1st class in a rented ballet studio with "baby ducks" painted on the back wall. Our first performance featured two homemade costumes, recorded music, and a flag.
Today we are the only Puerto Rican Cultural Center in the Southwest & Texas affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for ongoing programming!
We are a community bonded like family under an umbrella of cultural arts. It takes a village to raise a child. We are that village, for them and for each other.
Photo: Debut Performance, Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance!
Or visit our website to see what we are up to!
Our cultural center's survival is made possible through grants funding, CARES Act, and ARP support by the National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities Texas, National Endowment for the Humanities, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
Appreciate our mission?
Semign cacona guari,
Que Dios te cuide y te guarde siempre.
Dr. Ana Maria Tekina-eiru Maynard
Founding Executive & Artistic Director
"Proud of our Taino Blood! From the roots of this noble tree, the next generation grows!"  ‒Tekina-eiru'

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

23rd Annual National Cuatro Festival

Friday, November 5, 2021 @ 7pm
Harris Theater
205 E. Randolph St. Chicago, IL

Welcome to the 23rd Annual National Cuatro Festival!

The Cuatro is regarded as the national instrument of Puerto Rico and is revered by the Puerto Rican community as an important part of our history. It is recognized and acknowledged as “our guitar” and holds important traditional and historical value. The Emmy Award-winning Annual National Cuatro Festival (NCF) is a unique music event that brings the best Cuatro musicians “Cuatristas” from Puerto Rico and the mainland to Chicago for a one-of-a-kind concert experience. This cultural event highlights the national instrument of Puerto Rico as an important part of our heritage and history.

Each year there is a special dedication and one of the highlights of the concert is an opening performance showcasing students from the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance’s Latin Music Project Ensemble. It is more than a concert, it as a gathering of Chicago’s most long time Latino residents, the Puerto Rican community, and an opportunity to join together with pride to celebrate the beauty of the Chicago’s diversity. Preserving Puerto Rican traditions is at the heart of PRAA’s work and the National Cuatro Festival is a key part of our cultural and educational initiatives.

This year due to the pandemic COVI9 19, the Harris Theater has instituted some audience safety protocols. Please visit here, FAQ for more information.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Puerto Rican Parade of Newark New Jersey

 Puerto Rican Day Parade presents:

Annual Boricua 🎼 Music Festival!
Come and join us to celebrate 🥳 our 60th Anniversary!!

🎈We will kick off our celebration at 1PM with a parade that will begin at the corner of Bloomfield and Broadway, Newark, New Jersey! Everyone are welcome to participate! Display our tri-color flag with pride and don’t forget to say #Wepa!

Any VENDORS that wish to participate, please contact Antonia Lerdo at 201.284.1221!
Artist interested in participating please contact Josephine Garcia at 973.391.3054!
Media interested in covering the event please contact Jossue Torres at 973.566.0809!

This will be an outdoor event; however, we encourage everyone to wear mask 😷 if you are not vaccinated!

Puerto Rican Day Parade New Jersey

Nuyorican Poets Cafe New Members join Board of Directors

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Nuyorican Poets Cafe Executive Director  accepts offer to lead new non-profit;

Caridad de la Luz, Ishmael Reed, John Howard-Algarín and Amy Sultan to join Nuyorican Poets Cafe Board of Directors

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe will soon welcome four new board members to guide the organization through a time of transition, as our longtime Executive Director announces his departure. After 13 years with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Daniel Gallant has accepted an offer to serve as founding Executive Director of a new organization supporting the arts, environmental sustainability, and social justice, in partnership with the Lozen Foundation and Sarah Johnson.
At this time of transition, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe is bringing on four esteemed new members to our Board of Directors: Caridad de la Luz, Ishmael Reed, John Howard-Algarín and Amy Sultan. They will join the Board later this month.We congratulate Daniel Gallant on his new professional journey, with appreciation for his dedicated leadership of the Cafe. We are also grateful for his efforts in recruiting these outstanding new board members who, with our current board and staff, will expertly guide the Cafe’s future:
  • John Howard-Algarín is a judge for the Bronx 2nd Municipal Court District of the New York City Civil Court, Bronx County. He is the nephew of Miguel Algarín, founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
  • Caridad de la Luz, or “La Bruja,” explores social justice and Nuyorican identity through her poetry and music. She curates and hosts numerous events for the Cafe; her many awards include a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship and the Puerto Rican Women Legacy Award; she is also a finalist for the David Prize.
  • Ishmael Reed is a poet, playwright, novelist, editor and publisher, as well as the founder of the Before Columbus Foundation and PEN Oakland, and the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, among numerous other honors. Many of Reed’s dramatic works have been staged at the Cafe over the years.
  • Amy Sultan is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Power Writers Foundation, and previously served as director of the Early Stages Program, the Nantucket Film Festival, and the Film department of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.

Caridad, Ishmael, John and Amy will work alongside the current board and staff to ensure that the Cafe's programs, and the legacy of Miguel Algarín and the Cafe’s founding artists, will continue to reach new and expanding audiences.

We thank Daniel Gallant for his dedication to the Cafe over the past 13 years, and for the lasting impact of his efforts. He has been instrumental in vastly expanding the reach and impact of our programs, heightening awareness of our work throughout NYC and across the country, raising funds to protect our building and transform our empty upper floors into usable space, and shepherding the organization through the challenges of COVID.

During this time of transition, the Cafe's programs and operations will continue without disruption. The Cafe aims to appoint new senior staff by December 2021; until then, Daniel will continue working with the board and staff of the Cafe to ensure continuity.

We are grateful for the efforts, energy and encouragement of our friends and supporters, without whom the Cafe's programs could not be possible.

We hope to see you on September 11 for "In the Words of Miguel Algarín", an event honoring the Cafe's founder, curated by Rome Neal; at our online open mics and hybrid online-onsite performances; and at many other events in the coming year.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a beautiful country with amazing food, culture and scuba diving. Learn about the best parts of this destination, dive into some helpful tips for traveling here, and find out what to expect when you first arrive. You will want to make sure to check out the many different beaches and restaurants while you're here-you won't be disappointed!

Puerto Rico History and Culture

Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Puerto Rico in 1493, which was then called Boriken by the native Tainos. The capital city San Juan is where you can find Old San Juan and most of the historical sites that are still around today. Many people like to go for a nice walk through the streets and take pictures at the landmarks, such as the San Cristobal castle.

Puerto Rico has a mixed population of Spanish, African, and Indigenous people so you'll find many different influences in the culture; for instance, it's not uncommon to see statues that are half white and half black which represent Taino Indians. People here are also very social; they love to talk to strangers and practice their English. It's a great place to meet locals!

Weather in Puerto Rico

The weather in Puerto Rico is very nice all year round, although the summers are hot and humid while the winters are milder. If you're planning to visit during the summer make sure to bring a big bottle of water with you as it can get pretty hot! Some of the nicest months to visit are from December-March when there is less humidity and the temperatures are mild.

Best Time Dive In Puerto Rico

The best time to scuba diving in Puerto Rico is in December-April, which are the coolest months. During these months you will also have less rain and wind so it's a great time of year for beginners.

If this is your first time scuba diving, it's important to take get your scuba certification beforehand. There are many dive company offers beginners course. It is easy and gives yourself some time to adjust. You have to learn how to use your equipment and make sure it's safe before you can get in the water, so plan on spending a few hours at each site that you dive.

Top 5 Dive Sites in Puerto Rico

Mona Island

It takes a 50-mile boat ride to get to this remote location where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea come together.

However, it's well worth the trip. It's comparable to diving in Galapagos Islands since there are so many unique and rare creatures; Mona shows the underwater world as it was millions of years ago. You can find sharks, rays, turtles, and all kinds of tropical fish like yellowtail snapper and mahi-mahi.

Mona is known for its macro life (small stuff), so bring your camera if you want to get those detailed pictures of tiny animals.

Candyland, Desecheo Island

One of the best dive sites in Puerto Rico, Candyland is a deep wall dive that starts from 90-100' and drops down to 300'. There are caves and small openings that you can swim into. If you're lucky, you might get to see a few sharks swimming by!

The name Candyland comes from all of the soft corals and sponges in the area. You can find lobsters, eels, crabs, sea turtles, and nurse sharks here. There is such a diversity of marine life here that you could dive into it every day for a week and see something new each time.

Do you remember playing a classic board game from your youth? Colorful coral mounds go down to 80 feet below the surface. They look like those from Candyland. The reef's kaleidoscopic beauty is captured in enormous sea fans, lettuce corals, and sponges.

Las Cuevas, Desecheo

This is for the people who can't get enough of swimming. This is your haven for those addicted to diving or snorkeling. Welcome to a place that has a lot of water. In this place, up to 20 people might explore at once. The reason is that there are canyons and arches.Take notice of the Darth Vader-like triangular windows. Las

Cuevas features caves and arches that you can swim through while swarms of colorful fish surround you.

Scuba diving Las Cuevas is probably the most educational experience I ever had in my life. Las Cueva is actually a submerged cave with an entrance to the open sea. The visibility inside Las Cueva is not great, but there is a large number of fish that inhabit Las Cuevas. Since Las Cuevas is a natural cave you will be able to see native tarpon, groupers, grunts, and many other Caribbean fishes. Also if you look closely inside Las Cuevas you might be lucky to find some lobster or maybe even octopus hiding in their caves.

Fallen Rock, La Parguera

Although it's about a 45-minute drive from La Parguera, it's one of the area's most popular dive sites. There is a little mountain in the rock. The top of the mountain is 65 feet high and the bottom of it is 130 feet down.

You'll find an abundance of colorful fish and sea turtles on the shallow end; it's a good spot for snorkelers, too.

Efra's Wall, La Parguera

This narrow valley is full of life. There are lots of different types of animals, like Gorgonians, whip corals, huge golden zoanthids and green finger sponges. Look for slipper lobsters, crabs, schooling black triggerfish (known locally as dungeons), creole wrasses and hawksbill turtles.

The wall begins from 90 feet to a maximum of 130 feet on the right side, with an average depth of 110 feet. Look for nurse sharks resting under overhangs as you glide along Efra's Wall. You can expect large schools of bigeye jacks and horse-eye jacks.

Getting Around Puerto Rico

If you're traveling to other parts of the island like San Juan, it's best to take a taxi or rent a car. You can also use public transportation, but there aren't many options if you plan on exploring the whole island so your easiest option is to get an Uber or taxi.

Beaches in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches that you will want to see! Whether you're looking for a relaxing day at the beach or something more active like surfing, you can find it here. The waves are strong and a lot of people have gotten injured due to them so it's always best to ask

Water temperature in Puerto Rico

The water temperature in Puerto Rico is great for scuba diving. You can expect the temperature to be from 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit (21-26 degrees Celsius) between December and April, while summer months have a range of 82-88 degrees Fahrenheit (28-31 degrees Celsius).

Currency and foods in Puerto Rico

The currency of Puerto Rico is the US dollar, so be sure to carry cash with you. There are plenty of delicious things to eat here-for example, you'll find a lot of restaurants serving traditional Caribbean dishes like mofongo or arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). Other local favorites include picadillo (ground beef), sancocho (meat and vegetable soup with plantains), and alcapurrias (beef-filled yucca fritters). It's also not uncommon to have rice and beans as a side dish.


Spanish is the official language of Puerto Rico so it's best to learn some before you go. Many people here also know English, especially older generations-but learning a few key phrases in Spanish will help you make friends with locals and might even get you better service at restaurants!


Puerto Rico is a beautiful island full of diverse cultures and history, which makes it an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore something new. Whether you’re interested in diving or exploring the beaches, we hope this blog post has inspired you to visit!

Though there are many sites that offer tours all around the Island, here are our top five dive spots as well as where some great beach time can be had. We also included information about currency and foods typically eaten on the Island so make sure to take note before your trip.

If you speak Spanish fluently (or at least have been studying), then communicating with locals should not be too difficult. However if English is more up your alley!

Ocean BuddyAt Ocean Buddy we love all things water. In fact, our passions are so strong we have made it our mission to personally help as many people as possible to get the right gear in order to have the best day out in the water as possible.

Friday, September 10, 2021

2021 Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarships Fund Gala

 Join Us! The PRBA Gala Returns: October 13, 2021 6:00pm at Giando on the Water: Limited Tickets Available

Thursday, September 9, 2021

8th Annual Raices Gala


8th Annual Raices Gala tickets available now!

Thursday September 16, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

Galleria Marchetti
825 West Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60642


Luis A. Miranda, Jr. has four decades of experience as a leader in the public, private, political, and advocacy sectors. He is the founding partner of the MirRam Group, founding president of the Hispanic Federation, and board chair of the Latino Victory Fund.

Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda is a psychologist/psychoanalyst, whose career has focused on providing services to the underserved in mental health clinics, training physicians in Family Practice Residency Programs, and foster care.

For over 40 years, Luis, Luz, and the Miranda family have championed community activism and Latino/a-led organizations and we honor them for their commitment and dedication to Puerto Ricans across the country.

Dr. Carmen Febo-San Miguel is Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño, Pennsylvania’s largest Puerto Rican and Latinx arts organization, and was the force behind El Corazón Cultural Center, a $11.5 million cultural center in the heart of Philadelphia’s Latinx community.

After 22 years at the helm of El Taller, Carmen will be retiring in November 2021 and we are taking this opportunity to honor her contributions to Puerto Rican arts and culture.

Click here for details about sponsoring the Raices Gala, and for information contact Billy Ocasio at

The Raices Gala will be a vaccination required event. All staff, volunteers, and guests must be vaccinated.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Loiza Puerto Rico

Bienvenidos a Loiza

Located 20 minutes east of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on the northeastern coast, the town of Loiza is unlike any other part of the country. Known as “The Capital of Traditions,” the town is one of the most culturally rich areas of Puerto Rico. Here, you can see how African-influenced traditions have shaped the music, food, and art of the region over the years.

Loiza’s rich African heritage can be traced to the Nigerian slaves of the Yoruba tribe that were brought to the region in the 16th century. The Spanish government declared it an official town in 1719. Since then, it has retained a high percentage of its African descendants, with over 60 percent of the town’s residents identifying as Black.

In Loiza, that African heritage can be seen everywhere. Afro-Caribbean cuisine and African-Taino infused foods are prevalent, while local artisans produce art deeply rooted in African tradition. As a center for Afro-Puerto Rican music, the town helped launch the musical form known as plena and has a number of places to dance bomba, an expressive dance form, recreationally.

loiza vejigantes

The town has become well-known for its traditional vejigante masks, colorful painted masks made from coconuts that are worn during festivals. They are most often seen at the yearly Festival of Saint James, which honors St. James the Apostle’s victory over the Moors and is celebrated throughout a week in July. During multiple processions and parades, the locals become characters wearing the emblematic masks to reflect their heritage and traditions as African and Spanish. The festival also features live bomba and plena music, masquerades, amusement rides, and kiosks selling crafts and regional foods.

Many people come to Loiza to lounge on its luxurious beaches of golden sand. Road 187, which follows the coastline, takes travelers to several beaches, including the popular family beach La Posita, which has waters sheltered by natural rock barrier creating a giant tide pool. Aviones beach further down the road is known as an ideal surfing spot. The most popular beach in the area is Vacia Talega, a gorgeous crescent-shaped beach with tranquil waters.

The area is also home to the Maria de la Cruz Cave Historic Park. This archeological site has been dated to around 4000 BC and contains many artifacts from some of the first inhabitants of the island. The complex around the cave includes an education center, an artisan market, and an art gallery. There is also a playground for children and a campsite located on site.

Ayala shop

No visit to Loiza is complete without a visit to the beachside community of Pinones. This community is known for kiosks and local eateries that specialize in tasty finger foods, including fritters and fried turnovers, fresh seafood, and chicken and pork skewers. There are also businesses selling fruit frappes and coco frio, chilled coconut water served in a coconut husk with the top chopped off.

Just outside of Pinones is the Pinones State Forest, another natural gem. This mangrove forest spans most of the coast from the Loiza city limit to Vacia Talega beach. Many visitors make use of its 11 kilometers of trail and boardwalk and the COPI cultural and ecotourism center in Pinones rents bikes to anyone that wants to use them on the trails.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Puerto Rico: Year-Round Destination

Puerto Rico is one of those places that has it all - a climate that is pleasant, sunny and mild year round, fabulous beaches, clear blue waters and world-class luxury accommodations. Puerto Rico also has beautiful rain forests, mountains, perfect waves for surfing, top-ranked golf courses, casinos, fine dining and outdoor activities of every sort. Tennis, hiking, biking, shopping or just sunbathing - there is something in Puerto Rico for everyone and any time of year is perfect, though there are peak seasons when things cost a bit more and reservations at hotels and restaurants may be a little more difficult to book.

The peak tourist season in Puerto Rico are the winter months, when Americans flock to the island to warm their bones and try to regain a semblance of a tan. That’s when prices to hotels are highest so many tourists try to avoid the peak and book rooms in the off-season. The hurricane season has become a popular time for the savvy off-season traveler to visit Puerto Rico. Even though there is a slight chance of booking when bad weather happens to hit, most of the hurricane season is perfect weather and that’s when the hotels and resorts offer the very best prices, making luxury accommodations within reach of the budget-minded traveler. Some 4 star hotels offer rates at around half their normal peak season prices, and even if it does rain, you can spend the day in a nice restaurant, at the casinos or just lounging around your luxurious room.

The winter is a great time to visit as well, but there can be crowds, the prices are higher and it may be difficult to book a room or a restaurant in some of the more popular destinations, like the island of Vieques. However, there are hotels and resorts offering special discounted rates even in the winter months. Hilton Puerto Rico resorts and hotels are offering special rates this winter. The “Puerto Sparkles” promotion features discounts at a number of Puerto Rico Hilton resorts and hotels, including the famous San Juan Hilton, in the capital city.

Monday, September 6, 2021

28th Fiesta Boricua de Bandera a Bandera


Fiesta Boricua is one of the largest and most important branded festivals of the Latino community in the Midwest where the best musical, culinary, and artisan proponents of Puerto Rican culture is displayed. Now in its 28th year it continues to attract crowds of over 100,000 every year onto Division Street between Western Avenue and Mozart Street (Paseo Boricua). A summer event for the entire family and friends of all ages; people from the Chicagoland area and as far away as New York, Orlando and Philadelphia, including Puerto Rico make it an annual pastime. On Friday, September 3th, 2020, dignitaries from all sectors officially kick-off the festivities at the (Noche Jibara / Guayabera Gala) and welcome guests and sponsors. More information at www.

Event Dates: Sep. 3, 4 & 5, 2021

Time: 12- 8 PM

Location: Division St. between Western and California

Friday, September 3, 2021

Utuado Puerto Rico

Utuado Puerto Rico

Nickname: Otoao, Ciudad del Viví", "Los Montañeses" Gentilic: "Utuadeños"

Utuado is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the central/western mountainous region of the island known as La Cordillera Central. It is located north of Adjuntas and Ponce; south of Hatillo and Arecibo; east of Lares; and west of Ciales and Jayuya. In land area it is the third largest municipality in Puerto Rico (after Arecibo and Ponce). According to the 2000 US Census the city has a population of 35,336 spread over 24 wards and Utuado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The name Utuado derives from the Taíno word “otoao", meaning "between mountains."


On January 5, 1987, the Municipal Assembly of Utuado adopted the official flag of Utuado. The superior green stripe symbolizes the green mountains; the brown stripe (in the middle) symbolizes the rich land of Utuado, and the bottom clear blue stripe is symbol of the rivers and lakes of our land. The Sun of Otoao in the center is a copy of one of most important of our indigenous culture because it is a symbol of the Taíno culture. Designed by Luis A. Lafontaine.

Coat of Arms

The design of the Coat of Arms of Utuado was made by Dr. J.J. Santa Pinter de Arga and adopted in 1981 approved by the Decree Number 24 of the 1980-1981 series. Its heraldic description is the following one: In a blue field the figure of the Cemí in its original color with a silver sword, gold grip. In the head to right the figure of the Woman of Caguana, of gold, and to left a stick with a pick in gold with a silver lamp with red flame. In the base, an undulated stripe in silver. At the top a five point crown in gold, surrounded with a brown stripe and covered in silver. The banner's inscription "City Of The VIVI".

Festivals and Events

Barrio Angeles Fiesta - April The Agricultural Technology department of the University of Puerto Rico at Utuado hosts an annual festival, Festival Tierra Adentro, featuring arts and crafts by local artisans, music, food and plant and animal exhibitions. This festival is held in early April. Guarionex Fiestas - April 'Feria Artesanal de Angeles is an annual arts & crafts fair held in early May in barrio Angeles featuring local artisans, music and food. Cross Rosary - May

Festival Cultural del Otoao is an annual event held in the beginning of December celebrating Utuado's Taino heritage.

Fiestas Patronales de San Miguel Arcangel - September

Patron Saint: San Miguel Arcangel


Websites of Interest for Utuado, Puerto Rico
The Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts - The Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located on Rte. 111, Km. 12.3, west of Utuado, Puerto Rico. The park is open 9:00am to 4:00pm, Wednesday-Sunday. There is a small museum at the site. Call 787-894-7325 or 787-724-5477 for further information.
Lagos y Plantas Hidroelectricas de Puerto Rico - Historia del desarrollo de la energia eléctrica en PR. Datos acerca de las unidades generatrices y de los lagos que la alimentan.
Las Páginas de Utuado, Puerto Rico - Las Páginas de Utuado, Puerto Rico, La Ciudad del Viví, con información de Utuado, Puerto Rico, fotos, midis, cámara web, además enlaces muy útiles
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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Unknown Facts of the United States War of Independence of 1775 - The Role of Puerto Rico

The battle of Mayaguez bay between the British frigate Glasgow and the North American schooners endowack and the Henry April 1777 where Puerto Rico helped the American vessels thus becoming the first nation to recognize the sovereignty and flag of the United States

Little known crucial intervention of Puerto Rico

In the 1775 independence war of the United States

This is a true fact that has never been recognized

Rafin R. Mena

Yes it is generally unknown; but Puerto Rico in fact, had for sure, a significant role in the United States´ war of independence from Britain in 1777. Intervention for which, it has never been recognized and much less thanked.

It all happened back in the fourteen of April, 1777 at the old port of San German in Mayaguez Bay, located in the West coast of the island. And it occurred at a moment which cannot have been more urgent and critical, for George Washington's war efforts. Britain had, almost all North Atlantic sea routes, sealed and blocked with a fleet of heavily armed war ships. The Continental Army, fighting a desperate war against this most powerful nation of the time, was in dire and desperate need for the weapons and war stores, necessary to face it. Reason for which, the great commander, had commissioned a number of the only available small and medium size schooners and sloops, to make the run to South America-specifically: Curacao-- breaking the blockade and retrieve and bring back the stores and weapons acquired there. It was really a matter of life and death for the incipient revolution, and it had to be carried out no matter what, regardless of its cost.

One of these American small vessels: the sloop barge Henry, was able to do just that. Fooling the blockade, had been able to sail to Curacao, load the weapons and was sailing back to Virginia to deliver its cargo when near Mona Passage, between Hispaniola and the West coast of Puerto Rico, was intercepted by the British war frigate the Glasgow. The Henry, being a gaffed sails rigged sloop, even when heavy loaded, was able to out maneuver the Glasgow, which with square rigged sails, was much slower to do likewise. On they went all the way, with the Henry close beating windward and tacking all the time, and in close pursue, the Glasgow until they reached the protected waters of Mayaguez bay, wherein, the Henry was beached and its cargo unloaded. Her master, one Amos Weeks, then asked the local military Puerto Rican port authorities for protection. The Glasgow. had by then too, put out one of its tender skiffs, and, was approaching said anchorage, with an armed detachment of seamen and their officer, to request the surrender of the Henry's men and cargo.

It was the morning of April fourteen, 1777. A stand still then ensued, because aside the unusual occurrence, the harbor master: Captain Faustino Martinez de Matos, was somewhere else out of town, and only his lieutenant Bernardo Zeno was available. It was a moment of tremendous tension and expectations as anyone can imagine, with the Glasgow's men adamantly pressing their request with weapons loaded, ready and pointing, and the Henry's people with cargo littering the beach, desperate for a solution. Luckily, the Harbor master finally arrived and decided to grant military protection to the Henry's men and cargo; requesting besides, to the Glasgow detachment, to go back to their ship. He then proceeded to notify the Governor of Puerto Rico in San Juan: don Juan Duffresne, who not only instructed him to officially grant the military protection but also to request the Glasgow to abandon the bay and to return anything taken from the Henry. The Henry remained in Puerto Rico for a while, repaired their tackle, and when they were ascertained that the Glasgow had abandoned the area´s waters, sailed out and delivered the desperately needed weapons.

Four months later, the first of August, again two American Colonial ships arrived at the Mayaguez harbor chased by the Glasgow, which had obviously laid in wait somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. This time, in addition to the Henry, the Schooner Endowack had made the run to Curacao and loaded with war stores and guns, where in the process to deliver them in Virginia. Knowing the local authorities´ predisposition towards them, they dock in said port with the Glasgow who decided this time to capture them no matter what, maneuvering broadside, very close to the shore, to be with their guns within range of the American vessels. In view of this, and expecting the worse, the Puerto Rican authorities, raised Spanish flags on both American vessels to avert their destruction; believing that the British, cognizant of Spain´s neutrality in that war, would not dare attack neutral vessels. The gambit worked and the Glasgow apparently confused and not knowing what to do, simply abandoning the chase, left the bay.

The town´s folks welcomed the men and officers of both vessels, of which they were familiar with captain Amos Weeks and sailors of the Henry. They were fed and taken care of, until they decided to go back again to Virginia with the armament.

How many people know this? Where or when, has it been mentioned? And more curiously, why has it been kept out of the history of the United States Independence war? Regardless of this, there is an indisputable fact: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS A BIG DEBT OF GRATITUDE WITH THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Queen of Salsa’s Estate Plan … Complicated By Mr. Knight

 celia cruz

by Estate Planning Attorney Nydia Menendez

Celia Cruz was a Cuban American salsa singer who became a legendary icon of the Latin Music world. She was known as The Queen of Salsa – a title well deserved, because her style and music definitely reigned supreme. She was famous for her vibrant voice, flamboyant costumes, brightly colored wigs, and her signature line, Azúcar!

The Queen of Salsa was born in Santos Suárez, a working-class neighborhood in Havana, Cuba. She started her musical career at a very early age. Although her father wanted her to become a teacher, Celia decided to follow her dreams and passion for singing. When she was a young girl, her aunt and cousin would take her clandestinely to sing in cabarets and compete in radio talent contests. At age 25, Celia joined “La Sonora Matancera,” Cuba’s most popular orchestra. She became the first black woman to be the lead singer in a band, making history across the island.

In 1961, Celia moved to the U.S. and married Pedro Knight, a longtime friend and trumpet player. She referred to him as “mi cabezita de algodón,” which means “my cotton head.” Totally adorable! Over the course of an amazing career, Celia recorded more than 80 albums and songs, earned 23 Gold Records, and won five Grammy Awards. She performed with a wide range of celebrities, including Gloria Estefan and Dionne Warwick. Celia Cruz earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by former President Bill Clinton.

Pedro Knight, Celia’s husband, also became her manager. Together they built a multi-million-dollar fortune, which he inherited when she passed in New Jersey in 2003. She was only 77 years old.

However, shortly after Celia’s death, Pedro began suffering from dementia, which meant that the designated executors would manage Celia’s estate. In this case there were at least two co-executors.

By 2006 accusations were levied against one of the co-executors. He was accused of draining funds in excess of a million dollars to make extravagant expenditures, and of exercising improper influence over Pedro. This executor was eventually removed by a court.

Although Celia Cruz did everything right with respect to her music, she failed to carefully select the people she appointed as executors of her estate. So, the moral of the story is this – make sure the people you appoint to serve in your Estate Plan have these three criteria:

1 – They are trustworthy.

2 – They know what they are doing, either having the necessary skills themselves, or being wise enough to hire the right people.

3 – They will do whatever needs to be done per your instructions.

No one can replace you! This is why you need to make sure you appoint the right person or persons to handle your affairs exactly the way you would want.

How Can You Get Started with Your Estate Plan?

If you want to learn more about how to plan for your future to make sure you remain in control of your decisions while leaving a lasting legacy for your family, we invite you to call our office at (954) 963-7220 to speak with a member of the Menéndez Law Firm. You may also want to watch the video series on our YouTube channel where we talk about Estate Planning in detail. Or if you would like to join us for the next live Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning webinar on Zoom you can register at no charge on our website

Nydia MenedezNydia Menéndez
Estate Planning Attorney
Menéndez Law Firm
2699 Stirling Road, Suite B200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Tel.: (954) 963-7220
Fax:  (954) 963-7232
menedez law firm