Friday, December 29, 2023

Hatillo’s Festival de las Máscaras

A Vibrant Celebration of Puerto Rican Culture

Nestled on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, the picturesque town of Hatillo comes alive each year with the vibrant and lively Festival de las Máscaras, a celebration deeply rooted in the island's rich cultural heritage. This unique event, marked by colorful masks, traditional music, and a sense of community, has become a cherished tradition for both locals and visitors alike. If you’re in Puerto Rico for the holidays, don’t miss Hatillo’s Festival de las Máscaras (“Festival of Masks”), a celebration based on a tradition that originated in Spain’s Canary Islands. This colorful and lively event is held each year on December 28, which marks el Día de los Santos Inocentes (“Day of the Innocent Saints”). Upwards of 30,000 people attend to see the parade participants — human and equine alike — donning intricate ruffled costumes and beautifully decorated papier-mâché masks that are in themselves exceptional pieces of authentic Puerto Rican art.


The Festival de las Máscaras, which translates to the Festival of Masks, has its roots in a blend of Spanish, African, and indigenous Taino traditions. It is a cultural manifestation that dates back to the 19th century and has evolved into a distinctive celebration of Puerto Rican identity. The festival typically takes place on December 28th and 29th, marking the end of the Christmas season and leading up to the New Year.

The Masks

Central to the festival are the masks, each telling a unique story and embodying various characters. These masks range from whimsical to mystical, representing historical figures, animals, and mythological beings. Artisans and craftsmen from Hatillo and neighboring towns invest months in creating these intricate masks, making each one a work of art that reflects the island's diverse cultural influences.

The Tradition

The Festival de las Máscaras is not just a visual spectacle; it is a sensory experience that engages participants in a dynamic celebration of music, dance, and food. Traditional Puerto Rican music, such as bomba and plena, fills the air as dancers in vibrant costumes move through the streets. The rhythm of drums and lively melodies create an infectious energy, inviting everyone to join the festivities.

Processions and Parades

The festival kicks off with a grand procession through Hatillo's streets, featuring locals donning elaborate costumes and masks. Parade participants pay homage to their heritage, showcasing the diversity of Puerto Rican culture. The procession is a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds, with each participant contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the event.

Current Information

In recent years, the Festival de las Máscaras has gained popularity beyond Hatillo, drawing visitors from around the world who are eager to experience the unique cultural celebration. The event has also embraced modern elements, incorporating social media and online platforms to share the festivities with a global audience.

As the festival has grown, organizers have expanded its scope to include educational initiatives aimed at preserving and promoting Puerto Rican traditions. Workshops on mask-making, traditional dance, and music are organized, ensuring that the younger generation actively participates in and continues these cultural practices.

However, like many events worldwide, the Festival de las Máscaras faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, organizers adapted by organizing virtual events and encouraging online participation, allowing the spirit of the festival to endure despite the limitations. For up to date information and great photos of this year's event, please visit the Festival de Mascaras de Hatillo PR Facebook page


Hatillo's Festival de las Máscaras stands as a testament to the resilience of Puerto Rican culture and its ability to evolve while staying rooted in tradition. This annual celebration not only showcases the artistic talents of the community but also serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage. As the colorful masks continue to dance through the streets of Hatillo, the Festival de las Máscaras remains a symbol of unity, pride, and the enduring spirit of Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe


A Letter from the Executive Director:

Dear Nuyorican Poets Café Community,

As I reflect on 2023, I am in awe of how much was accomplished despite the challenges that come with breaking ground figuratively and poetically speaking. There were so many events to highlight, collaborations only made possible by the absolute devotion to the arts and the support of artists, entities and donors.

In 2024, the café will break ground for our 24 million dollar renovation but this summer, visual artist, Joe Wippler painted ‘NuyoRicanStruction’ and gave the building a facelift, adding to the lower level murals he painted for the Pińero movie in 2001. Special recognition goes to the film’s Director, Leon Ochaso, who passed away this year and whose work captured stories from the Puerto Rican Diaspora with a poetic and humble heart.

Capturing our stories is a huge part of our mission and this year our work was given much attention. Here is our list of Television & Media Coverage in 2023:

  • BronxNet
  • BBC Radio
  • Leguizamo Does America on MSNBCNBCUniversal/Unidos @ Rockefeller Plaza
  • Alma’s Way Puerto Rico Episode on PBS Kids (Won the Imagen Award)
  • WPIX Channel 11 twice - NY Living interview and Hispanic Heritage Month feature
  • The Good Road filming for PBS
  • CUNY TV / L Train - Latinos in Hip Hop
  • NACLA Report on the Americas
  • Tiempo on ABC channel 7
  • NY News 12
  • NBC Channel 4 / Hispanic Heritage Month Feature
  • El Nuevo Dia newspaper in Puerto Rico

We collaborated with Bronx Brewery & Bastard Burger to create a ‘La Bruja Beer’ & the ‘Tastes Like an Emmy Burger’ which helped fundraise over $2k

The Beatnix monthly online poetry series continued as it has since its launch in 2019 and has been awarded a grant from Mid-Atlantic Arts to continue in 2024.

After reopening after a two -year shutdown , in March 2022,  W.O.W. Women Orators Wednesday, our monthly open mic series began. Now the series has found a new home during our renovation period at the Loisaida Center. We held our first show this December and it was an absolute success!  All performances will be professionally filmed, with very high production quality, giving poets access to creating a portfolio and sharing it via livestream as well as our social media pages. Moreover, we received special recognition from the Loisaida Festival and hosted the Festival After Party.

Full Circle Souljahs, DJ Kwikstep and DP One presented Behind the Groove, a monthly Thursday late night dance battle and performance series, bringing some of the best dancers in NYC to grace our dancefloor.

Plenty of dancing was also done during our Sunday Salsa Jams led by Juanra & his ComboRican Ensemble. For many years, there was a Nuyorican Café in Old San Juan. However,  after Hurricane Maria and the financial onslaught of the pandemic,  they had to close their doors. Here, they found a second home to continue the musical traditions that were created on the island. 

We proudly celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Banana Puddin’ Jazz, curated, created and hosted by our Board Chair, Rome Neal. This special event was dedicated to the life of Ron Cephas Jones (R.I.P), whom Rome directed in several theater productions here at the Café.

In continued support of poetic excellence, we presented Aja Monet with a special appearance by Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets.

An undeniable highlight to mention, was our invitation to the Tribeca Film Festival by Alicia Keys! Her personal documentary screening, which was followed by a live performance where she sang a rendition of New York and used the Nuyorican Poets Café as the her backdrop on the big screen. It was a magical moment! If Alicia Keys thinks the Nuyorican Poets Café is doing great things, then we must really be onto something! We represented the café in the Tribeca Film Festival not just once this year, but TWICE this year.

For the MTV Latino Hip Hop De La Calle Docuseries at Tribeca, I spoke on the panel and my piece, ‘The Bronx’ poem is featured in the NYC episode and is available for viewing on Paramount Plus.

In collaboration with we conducted a river ceremony at the Hunts Point Fish Parade, part of our 6th Annual Bronx Indigenous Futurisms Gathering. We also welcomed indigenous artist M’thakathi this Summer, as we held our 10th Annual Block Party, bringing together so many community members and setting the stage right outside of the café while unveiling the NuyoRicanStruction mural by Joe Wippler supported by the NYSCA artist grant.

Though we are known for the performing arts, visual artists were featured within our brick walls in 2023 as well, such as Albert Areizaga, Juanita Lanzo, Oliver Rios, John Bermudez, Shirley Rodriguez, Victor “Slone” Ramos, Espada De La Luz, Nelson “Host” Santiago and Adrian “Viajero” Roman. People were extremely moved by the artwork displayed.

Since first becoming the Executive Director in 2022, a large part of my focus has been on grant writing to sustain our programming without having to completely rely on patrons in an unstable economy. I am proud to share that over 240K has been awarded to us from grants written this year, securing our sustainability to provide the services our poetry community needs and to fill the void of artistic education in the public school system.

Grants Won:

  • Howard Gilman Foundation $125k (FY’24 & ‘25)
  • Mid-Atlantic Arts Grant $5k (FY’24)
  • New York State Council on the Arts $50k (for FY’24 & ‘25)
  • New York State Council on the Arts $10k (for NuyoRicanStruction Mural FY’24)

It is important to bring everything I’ve learned and practiced into this leadership role for absolute success. One of those roles is as a teaching artist, something I have done for decades. Every third Thursday I facilitated Free monthly writing workshops at Studio One / and will continue to do so in 2024. I am looking forward to bringing in new Teaching Artists from our Spoken Word community. We collaborated with the New Museum and hosted Nuyorican Altars inspired by Pepón Osório’s exhibit, followed by a Free Writing Workshop / Nuyorican Poets Cafe Open Mic Session.

Other events that took place this year that deserve mention are:

  • Justice for Keith Lamar  - David Amram Jazz collective
  • Indie Theater League - Manifesto of 2023
  • National Puerto Rican Day Parade Float
  • Amnesty International
  • Apollo Theater Performance
  • Centro Puerto Rican Studies - Diasporic Journeys Panel
  • Lincoln Center / David Rubenstein Atrium
  • Loisaida Fall Festival /
  • NPC 50th Anniversary Halloween Ball - Final Event
  • Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Nuyorican Puerto Rico Retreat - Poets Passage / Corredor Afro / Orí Gallery
  • Puerto Rico University in Rio Piedras - Keynote

Lastly, The Bronx Times Reporter (BXTIMES.COM) named me BEST POET of 2023. With a year in review like this, it feels like there is no limit to the great things to come. Thank you for being part of this journey and may your New Year be filled with abundance, love and pristine health.

Best wishes,
Caridad De La Luz  (La Bruja)

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Navigating the Roads: A Guide to Buying a Car in Puerto Rico

 jeep compass

In the enchanting island of Puerto Rico, where vibrant culture meets picturesque landscapes, owning a car is often more than just a means of transportation – it's a key to unlocking the island's hidden gems. However, buying a car in Puerto Rico comes with its unique set of considerations and nuances. In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of purchasing a car in this tropical paradise.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

The first step in your car-buying journey is determining the type of vehicle that suits your needs. Whether you're navigating the bustling streets of San Juan or planning to explore the more remote corners of the island, consider factors such as fuel efficiency, size, and off-road capabilities. Compact cars are popular for city living, while SUVs or trucks may be preferred for those who enjoy weekend getaways to the lush rainforests or pristine beaches.

Navigating Dealerships and Private Sellers

Puerto Rico offers a mix of car dealerships and private sellers. Dealerships are often found in major urban centers, offering a range of new and used cars. It's advisable to visit multiple dealerships to compare prices and negotiate terms. On the other hand, private sellers might have unique deals and can provide a more personalized experience. Utilize online platforms, local classifieds, and social media to explore private sale options.

Paperwork and Legalities

The legalities of buying a car in Puerto Rico are similar to those in the mainland United States, but with some distinctions. Ensure that the seller provides all necessary documentation, including the vehicle's title, registration, and a recent safety inspection certificate. Puerto Rico requires annual vehicle inspections, so confirming that the car has passed this examination is crucial. Additionally, have your driver's license and proof of insurance ready before finalizing any transaction.

Financing and Payment Options

Financing a car purchase in Puerto Rico can be done through banks or credit unions. It's advisable to shop around for the best interest rates and loan terms. Keep in mind that a good credit score can significantly impact the interest rate you receive. Some dealerships may also offer in-house financing options, but be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions. Cash transactions are common in Puerto Rico, so be prepared to negotiate the best deal if you plan on paying in full. For a great deal on your next new Dodge, Jeep or Ram vehicle, view the Inventory at Cabrera Grupo Automotriz in Arecibo.

Understanding Local Driving Dynamics

Driving in Puerto Rico has its own set of dynamics. While traffic rules are similar to those in the United States, road conditions can vary. Potholes and narrow roads are not uncommon, especially in more rural areas. Consider the terrain you'll be traversing regularly and choose a vehicle that suits those conditions. Additionally, traffic congestion can be a challenge in urban centers, so having a reliable and fuel-efficient car is beneficial.


Buying a car in Puerto Rico is a unique and rewarding experience that opens the doors to endless adventures on this Caribbean gem. From exploring the historic streets of Old San Juan to embarking on scenic drives along the coastline, the right car can enhance your Puerto Rican experience. By understanding the local market, navigating the paperwork, and selecting the ideal vehicle for your lifestyle, you'll be well on your way to cruising the picturesque roads of this tropical paradise.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Comite Noviembre


Twenty-seventh Annual Benefit Dinner
Celebrating 37 Years of Puerto Rican Culture & History

Buscando Nuestras Raíces
2023 Puerto Rican Heritage
Nuestro Orgullo Awards

Isabel Abislaimán, Esq., Attorney at Law
Law Office of Isabel Abislaimán, San Juan, PR

Dr. Mildred Garcia, Chancellor, California State University

Ivan Enrique Rodriguez, Composer, Conductor &
Comité Noviembre Ernesto Malave Scholar

Belkis Moya, Pastor, Casa Amor, Fe y Esperanza

The Alma y Corazón Award
Wallace Edgecombe, Arts Activist & Retired Director
Hostos Center for the Performing ArtsFriday, November 17, 2023

The Water Club
500 East 30th Street, New York City
(on the East River on 30th Street)

6PM Cocktail Reception ▪ 7PM Dinner
▪ 6PM–8:30PM Silent Auction


Make reservations by November 8, 2023

The proceeds from this event go towards Comité Noviembre scholarship and youth leadership development programs as well as our continued work in Puerto Rico

For More Information or to Make A Reservation Please Contact:

Teresa A. Santiago
Angel Santini Palos


Established in 1987, Comité Noviembre is a nonprofit organization that commemorates and pays tribute to the contributions Puerto Ricans have made to this nation. Its mission is to create educational opportunities for youth through college scholarships, as well as promote, acknowledge, and create awareness, of the importance of young people knowing their rich culture, language, and history. Comité Noviembre creates open forums to discuss critical issues affecting the Puerto Rican community specifically in the areas of education, youth leadership development, and civic involvement. Comité Noviembre is the only collaboration of its kind in the United States that brings together the collective talents and resources of some the oldest and most prestigious Puerto Rican organizations: ASPIRA of New York, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños Hunter College/CUNY, El Museo del Barrio, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College/CUNY, Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly, (IPR/HE), La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc., La Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular-PR, Justice Committee: NCPRR, National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, (New York Chapter), Puerto Rican Institute for the Development of the Arts, Inc. (PRIDA) and the White Plains Puerto Rican Cultural Committee. This coordinating body plans and promotes Comité Noviembre’s annual programs and events.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

25th Annual National Cuatro Festival


Tres Mujeres, Tres Estrellas

Saturday, November 18, 2025 @ 7pm
Harris Theater at Millennium Park, 205 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL


Welcome to the 25th 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.

Over the years the National Cuatro Festival has presented great cuatristas like Yomo Toro, Pedro Guzman, Alvin Medina, Luis Sanz, Prodijio Claudio, Christina Nieves, Manny Trinidad, Emma Colon Zayas, Madibel Delgado, Juradito, Quique Domenech, Javier Mendez, among others. Additionally, great iconic popular and folk music singers/groups such as Victoria Sanabria, Tavin Pumarejo, Odilo Gonzalez, Felito Felix, Andy Montañez, Yolandita Monge, Charlie Aponte, Ismael Miranda, Jose Nogueras, Los Cantores de Bayamon, Mapeye, La Rondalla de Humacao, Puerto Rico Philharmonic, Angel Cucco Peña, Jose Luis Ortiz, Los Hermanos Olvarria, Andres Jimenez, Modesto Nieves, Angel Luis Torruellas, Los Hermanos Sanz and Danny Rivera have graced our stage.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Pasteles de Masa - Pasteles Recipe

Pasteles de Masa

Pasteles Recipe | Pasteles de Masa
4 lb carne de cerdo

1/4 taza de aceite de achiote
10 hojas de Recao
1 cdta Orégano
1 pimiento verde - picado
1 md Cebolla, picado
10 ají dulce - picados
6 dientes de Ajo
2 tomates - picado
8oz Salsa de Tomate
24 aceitunas esañolas
Sal y pimienta a gusto


7 lb de Yautia blanca
4 lb plátanos verdes
1/4 aceite de achiote
3 1/2 cdta de Sal
Hojas de guineos lavadas.

Pica la carne en pedazos pequeños y sazona con sal. Cocina el resto de los ingredientes, -NO LOS DE LA MASA- por 5 minutos. Añada la carne, permite hervir y luego baja a fuego mediano, cocinado por otros 20 minutos o hasta que la carne este tierna.

LA MASA - Monda las yautias y plátanos y guayelos hasta que tengas una masa blanda. hecha un poquito de la carne y un poco del aceite de achiote a la masa y mezcle bien.

Moja la hoja de guineo (12x12) con aceite de achiote.. y en el centro pones de 6 a 8 cucharadas de Masa. En el centro de la masa pones 2 o 3 cucharadas de carne. Ahora doblas la hoja con cuidado, cubriendo la carne de masa, para formar un rectangulo. Amarras el pastel con hilo de cocinar. Repita el procedimiento hasta que se halla usado toda la masa.. como 36 pasteles

En una olla grande hechas 5 litros de agua de sal, entonces hechas como 12 pasteles en el agua hiviendo, y cocinas como 45 minutos. Quítalos del agua enseguida que esten cocinados.


English: Pasteles 

Pasteles Recipe

4 lb pork - very lean
1/4 cup Annatto oil
10 Cilantro leaves (recao)
1 tsp Oregano
1 red bell pepper - chopped in fine strips
1 md Onion, chopped
10 sweet peppers (aji dulce)
6 cloves of Garlic
2 large tomatoes - Chopped
8oz can of Tomato sauce
24 Stuffed spanish olives
Salt and pepper to taste

-----PASTEL DOUGH-----

7 lb White Yautia (spanish root)
4 lb green Plantains
1/4 cup Annatto Oil (recipe follows)
3 1/2 tablespoon Salt
Store bought Banana leaves (washed)

Wash and pat dry the meat. Chop into very small pieces and season with the tablespoon of salt. In a large saucepan add the remaining ingredients (NOT THE DOUGH INGREDIENTS) and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the meat, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 30 more minutes or until meat is tender.

Peel the yautia and green plantains. Grate them until you have a smooth dough type mixture. Slowly add a little of the meat sauce to the dough and mix well. Add 1/4 cup Annatto oil and the salt to the dough, mix well and set aside. (dough should be smooth but not to soft.)

Brush the leaf with a little annatto oil and place 6 or 8 tablespoons of the dough mixture in the center of a 12x12 piece of banana leaf which has been washed. ( these leaves can be purchased at most spanish stores and are pre-cut. But if you can not find them, you can use parchment paper, which is also available at the spanish market.) Spread the mixture in the center of the leaf and form a well in the center of the mixture. In the well; place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Carefully fold the dough so the meat mixture is covered over. Then fold the leaf to form a rectangular shape and tie with string (tight enough where the mixture won't come out of the pastel). Repeat this until all of the dough mixture has been used. There should be about 36 pasteles.

In a very large pot, place 5 liters of water and 3 1/2 tablespoons of salt; allow to boil. Place about 12 pasteles in the boiling water and allow to boil for about 45 minutes. Immediately remove from water once they are cooked.

recipe courtesy of Bobby's Pedacito de Puerto Rico

You can buy the produce locally, but if you need these


shop on line at in Chicago.

Maquina de Pasteles

Pasteles Paper

Hilo String to tie them

If you just want to buy Pasteles pre-made, you can purchase them from these places:
Taino Flavor - Cleveland Ohio
Buen Provecho - Atlanta Georgia
PR Pasteles on Facebook


Related Articles

Puerto Rican Coquito Recipe
Puerto Rican Coffee
Savory Puerto Rican Meat Dishes
Pumpkin: So Poor and Yet So Rich
5 Must-Have Traditional Puerto Rican Dishes
Puerto Rican Recipes - Puerto Rican Food
Preserving our traditional Puerto Rican cuisine
Piragua - Puerto Rico Piragua
Introduction to Arroz con Gandules
Pasteles de Masa - Pasteles Recipe

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Asopao de Camarones Recipe

 Asopao de Camarones

Asopao de camarones is a delicious Puerto Rican dish, often described as a cross between a soup and a stew. It's made with shrimp, rice, and a flavorful broth that is infused with a variety of spices and herbs. Here's a recipe for Puerto Rican asopao de camarones:


For the Sofrito (Aromatic Base):

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green), chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Asopao:

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 cups chicken or seafood broth (preferably homemade)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (red or green)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Yield: This recipe serves 4-6 people.


1. Prepare the Sofrito:

  • In a food processor, combine the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, cilantro, oregano, cumin, and paprika. Pulse until you have a thick paste.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sofrito and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to turn golden and fragrant.

2. Cook the Shrimp:

  • Add the shrimp to the pot with the sofrito and cook for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the pot and set them aside.

3. Prepare the Rice:

  • Add the rice to the pot with the remaining sofrito and stir to coat the rice with the mixture.
  • Pour in the chicken or seafood broth and tomato sauce. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil.

4. Add Vegetables:

  • Add the green peas, diced carrots, bell pepper, celery, and green olives (if using) to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Simmer and Cook:

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has thickened to a porridge-like consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

6. Finish with Shrimp:

  • Return the cooked shrimp to the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until they are heated through.

7. Serve:

  • Ladle the asopao into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

8. Enjoy:

  • Asopao de camarones is often served as a hearty meal on its own, but it can also be accompanied by tostones (fried green plantains) or a simple side salad for a complete Puerto Rican dining experience.

Enjoy your homemade Puerto Rican asopao de camarones with some tostones!


Friday, September 22, 2023

Puerto Rican Mofongo Recipe



For the Mofongo:

  • 4 green plantains
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pork rinds (chicharrón)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Garlic Sauce (optional, but traditional):

  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Yield: Approximately 4 servings


1. Prepare the Plantains:

  • Start by peeling the green plantains. Cut them into 1-inch thick slices.

2. Fry the Plantains:

  • In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil or lard over medium-high heat.
  • Add the plantain slices to the hot oil and fry them until they are golden and crispy, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Remove the fried plantains from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

3. Make Mofongo Base:

  • In a large mortar and pestle or a sturdy bowl, add the fried plantain slices along with the minced garlic, and optional pork rinds or bacon bits.
  • Use the mortar and pestle or a masher to mash the ingredients together until they form a dough-like consistency. You can also add salt and pepper to taste while mashing. Continue mashing until well combined.

4. Shape Mofongo:

  • Traditionally, mofongo is shaped into a ball or mound using a pilón (a wooden mortar and pestle), but you can also use your hands to shape it. Wet your hands with a bit of water to prevent sticking.
  • If you like, you can make individual portions by shaping smaller mofongo balls.

5. Prepare the Garlic Sauce (optional - Okay not really):

  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant and starts to turn golden.
  • Stir in the dried oregano, black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

6. Serve:

  • Place the mofongo on a plate and pour the garlic sauce over the top.
  • Mofongo is often served with a side of broth-based soup, such as chicken soup or seafood soup. It can also be served alongside grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables. It's a versatile dish, and you can choose your favorite accompaniments.

7. Enjoy your homemade Puerto Rican Mofongo!

Mofongo is a beloved Puerto Rican dish that's rich in flavor and history. It's a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine and can be customized to suit your taste by adding different meats or seafood on the side. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Juncos Puerto Rico



Juncos Puerto Rico

Nestled in the verdant hills of Puerto Rico, the town of Juncos boasts a rich and vibrant history that dates back centuries. Founded in 1797, this picturesque town has grown from a small settlement to a thriving community known for its warm hospitality, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. In this essay, we will delve into the early history of Juncos, its founder, town colors, notable sites of interest, its patron saint, and the significance of the Catholic church located in the town square.

Founding and Early History

Juncos, a town situated in the eastern region of Puerto Rico, was officially founded on August 2, 1797. Its origins can be traced back to a Spanish settlement that was established in the early 18th century, during the colonial period. However, it wasn't until 1797 that Juncos was officially recognized as a municipality by the Spanish Crown. The town's name, "Juncos," is believed to have been derived from the Spanish word "juncos," which means reeds. This name likely pays homage to the lush vegetation and natural beauty that characterize the area.


The town of Juncos owes its establishment to Don Marcos Xiorro, a prominent figure in Puerto Rican history. Don Marcos Xiorro, whose full name was Marcos Rivera Pérez, was a freed African slave who played a pivotal role in advocating for the town's independence from neighboring municipalities. His tireless efforts and leadership in the fight for Juncos's autonomy earned him a revered place in the town's history. Today, a statue of Don Marcos Xiorro stands proudly in the town square as a symbol of the town's resilience and the legacy of its founder.

Town Colors

Juncos, like many towns in Puerto Rico, has its own distinctive town colors. The official colors of Juncos are blue and white. These colors not only represent the town's identity but also evoke a sense of serenity and tranquility, reflecting the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Sites of Interest

Juncos is a town with a wealth of cultural and natural attractions that captivate both residents and visitors alike. One notable site of interest is the Juncos Historical Museum, which provides a fascinating glimpse into the town's history, including its colonial past and the struggle for autonomy led by Don Marcos Xiorro.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the lush and serene surroundings of the Carite Forest Reserve, which is located nearby. This protected area offers hiking trails, picnic spots, and breathtaking views of the lush tropical rainforest. The Carite Lake, within the reserve, is a popular destination for fishing and water sports.

Patron Saint and Catholic Church

The patron saint of Juncos is Saint Michael the Archangel, or "San Miguel Arcángel" in Spanish. The town celebrates its patron saint with great fervor each year during the San Miguel Festival, which typically takes place in late September. The festivities include religious processions, traditional music and dance, and delicious Puerto Rican cuisine, all of which showcase the deep religious and cultural roots of the town.

At the heart of Juncos, in the town square, stands the Immaculate Conception of Mary Catholic Church, or "Iglesia Inmaculada Concepción de María" in Spanish. This historic church, built in the 19th century, is not only a place of worship but also an architectural gem that reflects the town's rich heritage. The church's imposing façade, adorned with intricate details and a bell tower, is a testament to the town's strong Catholic tradition. Inside, visitors are greeted by a serene and reverent atmosphere, with ornate altars and religious artworks that inspire reflection and devotion.


Juncos, Puerto Rico, is a town steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. Founded by Don Marcos Xiorro in 1797, it has grown into a vibrant community that cherishes its identity, celebrates its patron saint, and welcomes visitors with open arms. With its captivating historical museum, lush forests, and the iconic Immaculate Conception of Mary Catholic Church in the town square, Juncos is a testament to the enduring spirit of Puerto Rico and its people. As one explores the charming streets and rich traditions of Juncos, it becomes clear that this town is not just a place on the map but a living, breathing testament to the resilience and heritage of Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Arroyo Puerto Rico A Glimpse into its Rich History and Culture



Arroyo, a picturesque town nestled along the southern coast of Puerto Rico, is a place where history, tradition, and natural beauty converge. Founded in 1855, this charming town has a fascinating past, a vibrant present, and a promising future. In this essay, we will delve into the founding date, early history, founder, town colors, sites of interest, patron saint, and the central Catholic church in the town square that have all contributed to the unique identity of Arroyo.

Founding Date and Early History

Arroyo was officially founded on December 20, 1855, by Don Jose Maria Marcano, with the approval of the Puerto Rican government. However, its history dates back much further, as it was originally settled by Taíno Indians long before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers. The town's name, "Arroyo," translates to "brook" or "stream" in English, a nod to the numerous waterways that flow through the area. This abundant water supply played a crucial role in the early agricultural development of the region.

Founder and Town Colors

Don Jose Maria Marcano, a prominent landowner and visionary leader, is credited with the establishment of Arroyo. His dedication to the town's growth and prosperity has left an indelible mark on its history. To honor his legacy, the town's colors are blue and gold, representing the sky and the wealth of natural resources that have sustained Arroyo throughout the years.

Sites of Interest

Arroyo boasts an array of captivating sites and attractions that showcase its cultural heritage and natural beauty. One such gem is the Punta Guilarte Lighthouse, which stands proudly on the town's coastline. The lighthouse offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike.

Another noteworthy attraction is the Arroyo Sugar Cane Train, a historic narrow-gauge railway that once transported sugar cane from the fields to the mills. Today, visitors can take a ride on this vintage train and learn about the crucial role sugar cane played in the town's economic history.

The Arroyo Sugar Mill Ruins, dating back to the 19th century, are a testament to the town's sugar-producing past. These ruins provide a glimpse into the once-thriving sugar industry that shaped the local economy and culture.

Patron Saint and Catholic Church

Arroyo's patron saint is Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nuestra Señora del Carmen). This revered figure is celebrated annually with the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a vibrant and colorful festival that draws pilgrims from all over Puerto Rico. The festivities include processions, religious ceremonies, traditional music, and delicious local cuisine.

The central Catholic church in the town square is the Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish). This beautifully designed church is an architectural marvel, featuring intricate stained glass windows and a stunning altar. Its serene ambiance provides a place for worship, reflection, and community gatherings.

The town square, where the church is located, serves as the heart of Arroyo's social and cultural life. It's a gathering place for residents and visitors alike, where festivals, concerts, and other community events are held throughout the year. The square's lush greenery, well-maintained gardens, and charming gazebo add to its enchanting atmosphere.


Arroyo, Puerto Rico, is a town with a rich history and a vibrant culture. Founded by Don Jose Maria Marcano in 1855, it has evolved into a place that beautifully blends its historical roots with modern charm. The town's blue and gold colors pay homage to its natural resources and the vision of its founder.

Visitors to Arroyo can explore a variety of sites, from the Punta Guilarte Lighthouse to the Sugar Cane Train and Sugar Mill Ruins, all of which offer a glimpse into the town's fascinating past. The annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen in the town square showcase the deep religious and cultural ties that bind the community together.

Arroyo, with its captivating history and vibrant present, continues to be a destination that welcomes all to experience its unique blend of tradition, beauty, and community spirit. As time marches forward, Arroyo stands as a testament to the enduring power of culture and heritage in shaping the identity of a place and its people.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Boricua Named President Of Academy Of American Poets


The Academy of American Poets, a leading publisher of contemporary poetry and funder of poets in the United States, selected Boricua Ricardo Alberto Maldonado to lead the Academy of American Poets as its new Executive Director and President in a history-making appointment.

“We searched for a leader who was not merely seeking a job in poetry, but who was already fully invested in living out the vocation of poetry. As a poet, translator, and arts administrator, Ricardo Maldonado brings to the Academy of American Poets an intense passion for our mission, stellar nonprofit leadership experience, strong project management skills, a commitment to education and community-building, and a depth of knowledge about American poetry from the nineteenth century poets to the cutting-edge voices of today,” said Board Chair Tess O’Dwyer.

Ricardo Maldonado is the first Latino to lead this national academy

Prior, he was the co-director of 92NY’s Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City, where he produced one of the nation’s most prestigious reading series. Among his many contributions, he founded Young Writers Workshop for high school students, Teacher’s Workshops, and residencies for Spanish-speaking poets.

“I believe, to quote the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton, ‘that poetry, like bread, is for everyone,’” said Maldonado about his appointment.  "I am honored to carry forward the organization’s mission of serving readers and supporting poets at all stages of their careers.”

Over the decades, the Academy of American Poets has published a number of famous Puerto Rican poems, including:

Soy Boricua by Giannina Braschi

Puerto Rico by Victor Hernández Cruz

Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri

Visit to read these and thousands of other poems for free.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Orocovis the Heart of Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico Central Mountain Region

Orocovis is a charming town located in the heart of the Central Mountains region of Puerto Rico. It was founded on April 8, 1825, by Juan de Rivera, a Spanish immigrant who settled in the area. Orocovis is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality.

During its early history, Orocovis was primarily an agricultural community, with coffee and sugarcane being the main crops. The town's fertile land and favorable climate provided an ideal environment for these crops to thrive. Over time, Orocovis expanded its agricultural activities to include fruits, vegetables, and livestock farming. The town colors of Orocovis are green and gold. Green symbolizes the lush and vibrant landscapes that surround the town, while gold represents the resilience, strength, and determination of its people.


Local Sites of Interest

Orocovis boasts several sites of interest that showcase its unique cultural and natural attractions. One such site is the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, which offers thrilling outdoor activities like ziplining, canopy tours, and hiking. It is renowned for having the second-longest zipline in the world, known as "The Monster," providing visitors with an adrenaline-pumping experience and breathtaking views of the lush mountains. Another notable attraction is the Caja de Muertos Eco Reserve, located on the outskirts of Orocovis. This protected natural area encompasses an island known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and diverse marine life. Visitors can explore the island, swim, snorkel, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of this ecological gem.

Orocovis is also home to the Nuestra Señora de la Merced Catholic Church, which is located in the town square. This historic church, built in the early 20th century, features stunning Spanish colonial architecture and is a prominent place of worship for the residents of Orocovis. It serves as a cultural and spiritual centerpiece, hosting religious celebrations and events throughout the year. The town celebrates her feast day on September 24th with a series of religious processions, music, dance, and traditional food. This vibrant celebration brings the community together to honor their patron saint and showcase their deep-rooted faith and traditions.

In Conclusion

Orocovis is a town with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and a deep sense of community. Founded in 1825 by Juan de Rivera, it has developed into a place that captivates visitors with its natural wonders, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. The town's green and gold colors reflect its lush landscapes and resilient spirit. With attractions like Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, Caja de Muertos Eco Reserve, and the Nuestra Señora de la Merced Catholic Church, Orocovis offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking to explore the beauty and charm of Puerto Rico's Central Mountains regio

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Must-See Examples of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico

 The Capitol building in Puerto Rico

Welcome to a captivating journey through the timeless allure of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico. With its rich history and remarkable blend of influences, the architecture of this Caribbean island is a testament to the lasting legacy of Spanish colonization. From majestic fortresses to charming residences, the island's architectural gems showcase the fusion of Spanish and indigenous elements, creating a unique aesthetic that has stood the test of time. This article will explore must-see examples of Spanish Colonial Architecture. We'll dive into their historical significance, architectural features, and the cultural tapestry they weave. Join us as we uncover the architectural treasures that make this place a captivating destination for history and design enthusiasts alike.

Exploring the Rich Heritage of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico

Explore the rich heritage of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico, where architectural style and characteristics blend seamlessly. Influenced by Spanish colonization and indigenous traditions, Puerto Rican architecture boasts a unique fusion of European elegance and local craftsmanship. Intricate balconies, vibrant facades, and ornate details grace the buildings, telling stories of the past. Preserving these architectural gems is of utmost importance. They serve as tangible reminders of Puerto Rico's history. They also contribute to the cultural identity and sense of place. Each structure stands as a testament to the resilience and creativity of the people, inviting visitors to appreciate the harmonious marriage of cultures that defines Puerto Rican architecture.

El Morro fortress in Puerto Rico Visit the beautiful El Morro Fortress, a must-see example of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico.

El Morro Fortress

Perched majestically atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, El Morro Fortress is an enduring symbol of the island's rich history. Built by the Spanish in the 16th century, this formidable citadel was a strategic defense against invaders for centuries. The fortress showcases architectural features like its iconic sentry boxes, thick walls, and intricate bastions, blending medieval and Renaissance design elements. As you explore its labyrinthine corridors and ramparts, imagine the battles fought, and the stories lived within these historic walls. If you decide to permanently or temporarily move to Puerto Rico after the visit, professionals at can give you advice on moving and storage. Fun fact: El Morro withstood multiple attacks, including a failed assault by Sir Francis Drake in 1595.

Architecture in San Juan, Puerto Rico The cathedral in San Juan is the symbol of the Puerto Rican heritage.

San Juan Cathedral: A Heavenly Blend of Spanish Colonial Styles

Nestled in the heart of Old San Juan, the San Juan Cathedral stands as a testament to the island's enduring faith and architectural grandeur. The cathedral's architectural details enchant visitors with a fusion of Gothic and Neoclassical influences. Delicate stained glass windows, towering arches, and intricately carved stone adornments transport visitors to a bygone era of spiritual devotion and artistic mastery. Beyond its architectural splendor, the San Juan Cathedral holds deep cultural and religious significance for the residents. It is a cherished symbol of their heritage, providing a sacred space for worship, reflection, and community gatherings. The cathedral's magnificence is a reminder of the enduring power of faith and the beauty within the realm of human creation.

Casa Blanca

Casa Blanca, a charming example of Spanish Colonial residential architecture, has a fascinating history and origins. Originally built in the 1520s, it served as the residence of Ponce de León's family. The architectural elements of Casa Blanca showcase its colonial style, with features like a central courtyard, decorative ironwork, and terracotta roof tiles. Over the centuries, the house witnessed significant events, including a visit from George Washington in 1797. Today, Casa Blanca is a museum inviting visitors to revisit and experience the allure of the colonial past. You’ll maybe have to pack your items quickly when traveling. Packing on short notice can be difficult, so we suggest renting storage for that occasion.

La Fortaleza: The Oldest Executive Mansion in the Americas

La Fortaleza, a historic mansion in Puerto Rico, holds immense historical significance. It is the oldest executive mansion in the Americas. The architectural features of La Fortaleza showcase a captivating blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, with its striking blue color adding to its charm. The mansion's layout encompasses beautiful courtyards, lush gardens, and elegant interior spaces. Serving as the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico since the 16th century, La Fortaleza is a remarkable architectural gem and a symbol of political power and leadership. It is a testament to the island's rich history and continues to play a vital role in Puerto Rican governance.

Ponce de León's Tomb

Ponce de León's Tomb is a captivating monument that pays homage to the renowned Spanish explorer and conquistador. The tomb in San Juan showcases intricate architectural details, featuring a marble statue of Ponce de León resting peacefully upon a stone base. Beyond its aesthetic beauty, the tomb holds deep symbolism and significance. It serves as a reminder of Ponce de León's ambitious quest for the mythical Fountain of Youth and his role in exploring the New World. Legends and stories surround the tomb, with some tales suggesting that Ponce de León's remains were secretly relocated to Puerto Rico to rest eternally in his beloved homeland. Such legends only add to the allure and mystique surrounding this historical monument.

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery: Beauty amid Mourning

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery stands as a breathtaking testament to the intersection of beauty and sorrow. This cemetery is located in San Juan and has a rich historical background and great significance. It was established in 1863 and designated the final resting place for the island's most prominent citizens. The cemetery's architectural features include graceful marble mausoleums, ornate ironwork, and meticulously maintained gardens. Its design elements blend Gothic and Neoclassical styles, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery holds immense cultural and architectural value serving as a poignant reminder of the island's history, traditions, and the enduring bond between the living and the departed.


The must-see examples of Spanish Colonial Architecture in Puerto Rico have showcased these architectural marvels' rich heritage and cultural significance. Preserving and appreciating these treasures is vital, which weaves together the island's history and unique aesthetic. Plan your visit to Puerto Rico today and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of its architectural heritage.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Exploring the Enchanting Town of Cayey in the Heart of Puerto Rico


Central Mountains Region

Nestled in the picturesque hills of Puerto Rico lies the charming town of Cayey. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Cayey has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. In this essay, we will delve into the founding date, early history, founder, town colors, sites of interest, patron saint, and the Catholic church in the town square.

Cayey, established on August 17, 1773, holds a significant place in Puerto Rico's history. The town's name is derived from the Taino word "Jayey," meaning "a place of waters." This name is fitting for a town known for its numerous rivers and streams that flow through its lush landscapes. Founded by Juan Mata Vázquez, Cayey was initially settled by a small group of families who worked in agriculture, cultivating crops such as coffee and tobacco.

Town Colors

The town's colors, blue and white, represent the purity of the sky and the tranquility of the surrounding natural environment. These colors are prominently displayed throughout Cayey, adorning the facades of buildings and adorning the town's flag. The town's vibrant and colorful atmosphere reflects the warm and welcoming nature of its inhabitants.

Cayey boasts a multitude of sites of interest, each showcasing a different aspect of its cultural heritage. One must-visit attraction is the Carite State Forest, a lush nature reserve that offers hiking trails, mesmerizing waterfalls, and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. For history enthusiasts, the Museum of Cayey provides an intriguing glimpse into the town's past, housing artifacts and exhibits that chronicle its early settlement and development.

Ruta de Lechon

Learning about Cayey would not be complete with mentioning the neighborhood of Guavate, with it's renowned for its mouthwatering culinary tradition and the famous "Ruta de Lechón" or Roast Pork Route. Nestled in the lush mountains, Guavate is a vibrant hub of local gastronomy, drawing food enthusiasts from far and wide. As you venture along the Ruta de Lechón, you'll be greeted by a tantalizing aroma of succulent roast pork, slow-cooked to perfection on open-air spits. The route is lined with numerous lechoneras, traditional roadside eateries, where you can indulge in this beloved Puerto Rican delicacy, accompanied by traditional side dishes and lively music. The festive atmosphere, delicious flavors, and warm hospitality make Guavate and its Ruta de Lechón an unforgettable experience for all food lovers.

The patron saint of Cayey is Our Lady of the Assumption (Nuestra Señora de la Asunción). The devotion to the Virgin Mary has deep roots in Puerto Rico, and Cayey celebrates this patron saint with great fervor. Every year, the town holds a religious festival in her honor, known as the Fiestas Patronales. During this lively event, the streets come alive with colorful processions, traditional music, dance, and delicious local cuisine, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere that unites the community.

Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

At the heart of Cayey's town square stands the Catholic Church, a symbol of faith and a testament to the town's religious heritage. The church, known as the Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, is an architectural marvel, featuring intricate stonework and beautiful stained glass windows. It serves as a gathering place for the community, hosting religious ceremonies, weddings, and other significant events.

The church's presence in the town square adds to the charm of Cayey, as the square itself serves as a central meeting point for residents and visitors alike. Surrounded by quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants, the square bustles with activity, creating a vibrant atmosphere that embodies the spirit of the town. It is not uncommon to see locals enjoying a leisurely afternoon stroll, engaging in lively conversations, or simply taking in the beauty of their surroundings.

Cayey is a town that captivates the senses and embraces its rich history and cultural heritage. From its founding in 1773 by Juan Mata Vázquez to the vibrant Fiestas Patronales celebrating the patron saint Our Lady of the Assumption, Cayey weaves a tapestry of tradition, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Whether exploring its lush landscapes, visiting its museums, or immersing oneself in the lively atmosphere of the town square, Cayey offers an enchanting experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Exploring the Caves of Puerto Rico: An Adventure Worth Taking

 ueva Ventana, one of the caves in Puerto Rico

Are you ready for an extraordinary adventure? Puerto Rico, known for its sun-soaked beaches and vibrant culture, also harbors a secret underworld to explore. In this enchanting Caribbean island, hidden beneath its lush landscapes, lie remarkable caves brimming with geological marvels and historical treasures. Embark on an unforgettable journey as we delve into the captivating realm of exploring the caves of Puerto Rico, where natural beauty and cultural significance converge. Lace up your boots, grab your flashlight and prepare to witness the awe-inspiring wonders awaiting those who dare to venture into the depths. Get ready for an exploration like no other – we're about to dive into the caves of Puerto Rico!

The Mystical Beauty of Cueva Ventana

Step into Cueva Ventana, or "Window Cave," and prepare to be captivated. This hidden gem among Puerto Rico's caves is a true marvel. As you enter, an ethereal beauty unfolds. And there it is—the highlight—the natural window. A unique geological formation frames a mesmerizing panoramic view. Look out and behold the lush green valleys below.

To fully immerse yourself in the Cueva Ventana experience, you need the guidance of local experts. These invaluable companions enhance your adventure. They know every nook and cranny, every secret. With their knowledge, you won't miss a single detail. The geological formations, the diverse flora, and the fauna—they reveal it all. Together, you'll uncover the hidden wonders within this mystical cave.

Cueva Ventana is a natural marvel and a place of cultural significance. It holds a sacred past for the indigenous Taino people. Those who called this island home long before others arrived. In this cave, you connect with their ancient culture. Feel the spiritual ties that bind the Taino people to the natural world.

Don't forget your camera. Capture those breathtaking moments as you stand before the window. Let the beauty of nature take center stage. With enchanting vistas and historical importance, Cueva Ventana offers an adventure that will leave you in awe. It's a testament to Puerto Rico's natural wonders.

Uncovering the Secrets of Cueva del Indio

Prepare for a journey back in time as you step into Cueva del Indio, an extraordinary cave in Puerto Rico that holds the secrets of the past. The highlight of this cave lies in its ancient petroglyphs, remarkable rock carvings that tell tales of the indigenous people who once inhabited this land. As you explore the cave, be amazed by its coastal setting, nestled near the ocean, adding a touch of mystique to its intriguing allure. The sound of crashing waves and the sea breeze create an enchanting atmosphere, enhancing the entire experience. To fully appreciate the cultural significance of the petroglyphs, understand their historical context, providing a glimpse into the indigenous people's beliefs, rituals, and daily lives.

However, if you are just about to move to Puerto Rico, before moving day and visiting Cueva del Indio, plan out all the tasks for the move, research accessibility, permits, and guided tours for the cave, and pack essential items like sturdy footwear, a flashlight, and water. Furthermore, always respect the cave and its surroundings, leaving no trace behind. Let the ancient petroglyphs guide you through the pages of history, immersing yourself in the stories of those who came before and gaining a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Puerto Rico.

[caption id="attachment_16697" align="alignnone" width="640"]Aerial view of one of the caves in Puerto Rico When exploring the caves of Puerto Rico, you just have to see Cueva del Indio.[/caption]

Diving into the Darkness of Cueva del Viento

Prepare for an exhilarating adventure as you dive into the darkness of Cueva del Viento, an underground marvel in Puerto Rico. This cave beckons thrill-seekers and spelunking enthusiasts with its vast underground chambers and intricate rock formations. Brace yourself as you embark on a journey like no other, where the mysteries of the underground world unfold before your very eyes.

As you navigate through the depths of Cueva del Viento, be prepared to encounter fascinating species that have adapted to thrive in the cave's dark recesses. The lack of natural light has shaped a unique ecosystem, harboring creatures rarely seen outside. From tiny insects to delicate formations of fungi, each element contributes to the cave's enchanting allure.

Diving into Cueva del Viento requires careful planning and the right equipment. Ensure you have a sturdy helmet, a reliable headlamp, and appropriate clothing to navigate the rugged terrain. Safety should always be a priority when exploring caves. It is highly recommended to seek guidance from experienced spelunkers or local guides who can provide valuable insights and ensure a memorable and secure adventure.

Navigating the Subterranean Wonders of Cueva Clara

Embark on a captivating journey through Cueva Clara, an extraordinary cave that showcases the natural splendor of exploring the caves of Puerto Rico. Step into a world adorned with translucent pools and glistening crystal formations, leaving you in awe. Cueva Clara is visually stunning and home to a unique ecosystem. Encounter rare species that thrive in this cave's environment. From delicate cave-dwelling creatures to remarkable plant life, the cave holds secrets to be discovered.

However, remember that responsible exploration is essential to appreciate the fragile beauty of Cueva Clara. Follow sustainable practices, leaving no trace behind while admiring the wonders of this cave. Immerse yourself in the captivating realm of Cueva Clara, where nature's artistry takes center stage. For instance, mesmerizing reflections in crystal-clear pools and delicate formations adorn the walls. It's an underground world that ignites wonder and showcases the unparalleled beauty of the caves in Puerto Rico.

Experiencing Adventure in Cueva La Catedral

Prepare for an exhilarating journey into the depths of Puerto Rico's Cueva La Catedral. This magnificent cave offers rugged beauty and awe-inspiring formations. To ensure a successful adventure, heed the advice of moving experts at National Moving Services and plan your exploration carefully. Equip yourself with sturdy gear, and embrace the spirit of adventure.

Inside Cueva La Catedral, be prepared to be amazed. Towering stalactites and stalagmites create a surreal landscape, showcasing the power of water and time. Each step reveals hidden chambers and infinite wonders, immersing you in the grandeur of this ancient cavern. As you venture deeper, feel the tranquility and awe from the cave's immense size. The echoes of your footsteps serve as a reminder of the rich history encompassed within these walls. Take a moment to appreciate the silence, connect with nature, and gain a newfound respect for Puerto Rico's cave systems.

Emerging from Cueva La Catedral, you'll carry unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the captivating allure of cave exploration.

Concluding the Caves of Puerto Rico Adventure

From the breathtaking views to the ancient petroglyphs exploring the caves of Puerto Rico is nothing short of awe-inspiring. These hidden wonders offer adrenaline-pumping adventures and a deep connection to the island's geological history and cultural heritage. So, fellow adventurers, lace up your boots, embrace the unknown, and let the captivating allure of Puerto Rico's caves unleash your inner explorer, revealing the magic beneath the surface. However, plan your exploring adventure keeping hurricane season in mind to ensure your safety and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the captivating allure of these underground wonders.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Influence of African Heritage on Puerto Rican Culture

 The Influence of African Heritage on Puerto Rican Culture

Puerto Rican culture is a vibrant tapestry woven from a rich blend of influences, with African heritage playing a significant role. Throughout history, the African diaspora has left an indelible mark on the island's cultural fabric. From language and music to religion and cuisine, the African heritage on Puerto Rican culture has profoundly shaped and enriched it. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of this influence and also delve into the experience of moving to Puerto Rico and embracing its African heritage.

History of Purto Rican Culture

To understand the influence of African heritage on Puerto Rican culture and learn more about this country, it is essential to consider the historical context. During the era of the African slave trade, Puerto Rico became home to many Africans forcibly brought to the island. This mass migration of enslaved Africans had a lasting impact on Puerto Rican society. As enslaved Africans were integrated into the local communities, a cultural exchange occurred between them and the indigenous Taíno people, further enriching the cultural tapestry.

African Influences in Puerto Rican Culture


One of the most evident influences of African heritage on Puerto Rican culture is found in language and linguistics. The enslaved Africans introduced many words and phrases from various African languages into Puerto Rican Spanish. These loanwords have become ingrained in everyday conversations and are a testament to the linguistic influence of African heritage. Additionally, African-based Creole languages, such as Palenquero and Bozal Spanish, emerged as a means of communication among the enslaved population.

Music and dance

Music and dance are also arenas where African heritage is palpable in Puerto Rican history and culture. African rhythms and instruments, such as drums and maracas, found their way into the island's music scene, leaving a lasting imprint. Traditional Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres, like bomba and plena, showcase the fusion of African and indigenous elements. These genres provide a platform for celebrating African heritage through vibrant performances and rhythmic expressions. Similarly, dance styles like salsa and reggaeton draw inspiration from African movements and contribute to the dynamic Puerto Rican cultural landscape.


Religion and spirituality in Puerto Rico also bear the hallmarks of African influence. African spiritual practices, such as Santería and Vodou, were brought to the island by enslaved Africans. Over time, these practices blended with Catholicism, resulting in a unique syncretism. You can witness African and Catholic traditions intertwining in rituals, ceremonies, and festivals, where devotees pay homage to African deities and Christian saints.

Puerto Rican cuisine

The cuisine is another domain where African heritage is deeply ingrained in Puerto Rican culture. African culinary contributions are ubiquitous in Puerto Rican cuisine, with dishes like sofrito and mofongo prominently featuring African flavors and cooking techniques. These culinary delights serve as a delectable reminder of the enduring African influence in Puerto Rican culture.

If you decide to move to Puerto Rico, be sure to try out the best dishes influenced by African culture, including:

  • This is a beloved Puerto Rican staple made from mashed plantains seasoned with garlic and pork cracklings, with roots in West African cuisine.
  • Arroz con gandules. If you crave a flavorful rice dish, try this one. It is cooked with pigeon peas and sofrito and is often accompanied by succulent pork or chicken, showcasing the African influence on Puerto Rican cooking.
  • It consists of crispy fried plantain slices, a popular snack that reflects the African culinary tradition of using plantains in creative and delectable ways.

If you decide to move to this country, taste these dishes. The fusion of African flavors and techniques contributes to the unique and mouthwatering Puerto Rican cuisine. As the experts from suggest, you should let professionals handle all the hard work during your move. This way, you will have more time to relax and start exploring the new culture. Once you move into a new home, contacting local communities and support networks can provide valuable guidance and a sense of belonging.

Moving to Puerto Rico

Moving to Puerto Rico offers a remarkable opportunity to experience and embrace the island's African heritage. Immersing oneself in Afro-Puerto Rican culture allows a deeper appreciation of the vibrant traditions that have shaped the island's identity. Numerous festivals and cultural events celebrate African heritage, providing an avenue to witness firsthand the captivating music, dance, and art that embody Puerto Rican culture.

Moving to Puerto Rico from Canada can be an exciting and life-changing experience. However, it is not without its challenges and moving stress. Adjusting to a new country, culture, and environment can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize stress and make the transition smoother. First, it is essential to plan and organize your move meticulously. Creating a checklist, researching housing options, and arranging necessary documents in advance can alleviate some of the stress associated with relocation.

Get ready to embrace the Puerto Rican culture

If you decide to move to Puerto Rico, take time to explore the island and familiarize yourself with its culture. You can engage in self-care activities like exercise, meditation, and pursuing hobbies. It will contribute to your overall well-being during this period of adjustment.

One can join cultural organizations and groups that promote and preserve African traditions to connect with the Afro-Puerto Rican community. Engaging in community initiatives and projects fosters a sense of belonging and enables individuals to contribute to the preservation of Afro-Puerto Rican culture actively. Whether you want to Puerto Rico for a job or retire here, visiting Afro-Puerto Rican communities and landmarks will give you insight into the rich history and daily lives of those who have embraced their African heritage.

Learning and preserving African traditions is essential in fully appreciating Puerto Rican culture. Studying Afro-Puerto Rican history and folklore provides valuable context and deepens one's understanding of African influence. Participating in traditional music, dance, and art classes allows for a personal exploration of the diverse expressions of Afro-Puerto Rican culture.


The African heritage on Puerto Rican culture has left an indelible mark. From language and music to religion and cuisine, you can see and experience the influence of African traditions throughout the island. Moving to Puerto Rico offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant Afro-Puerto Rican culture, with its dynamic music, dance, and culinary traditions.

Acknowledging and celebrating the African heritage enriches our understanding of Puerto Rican culture. Furthermore, it also helps us pay tribute to the resilience and creativity of the Afro-Puerto Rican community. So, let us embrace and explore the rich tapestry of Afro-Puerto Rican culture. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of African heritage in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Tips for Planning Your Puerto Rico Golf Trip: What to Pack, Where to Play, and More

 welcome to puerto rico

Puerto Rico is a vibrant, exciting city with a fascinating culture. Between the stunning natural features, delectable cuisine, and rich history, almost everyone will find something to delight in here! And if you’re already planning your Puerto Rico golf trip, you already know that it’s also a lovely golfing destination. 

Between the wonderful weather and the scenery, golf can be an attractive activity here, even for those who don’t usually play! If you’re thinking of booking a vacation that includes golf, here are our top tips for planning the golfing trip of a lifetime in the Golf Capital of the Caribbean. 


Planning your trip needs to start quite a bit in advance if you want things to flow smoothly! Here’s what you should be considering at least a few months in advance. 


Summer weather is hot in Puerto Rico! To avoid getting sunburnt and dehydrated on the course, you may want to opt for early spring or later fall instead, although winter still works really nicely. 

If you don’t mind the heat and you’re prepared to take precautions outdoors, it’s good to know that summer usually comes with lower prices and fewer tourists. But you will definitely need to be vigilant with your sunscreen, wear a hat, and make sure you’re well-hydrated at all times. 

Whenever you choose to go, you’ll get better flight rates by booking about two months in advance. If you’re going as a group, you may be able to get a bulk discount as well. 


Pack for the weather. Don’t forget that there’s still a dress code at most golf clubs though, so you’ll need to take your golf shoes and appropriate golfing attire. 

It’s up to you whether you take your own golf clubs with you or rent a set, but if you want to take yours, you’ll need to find out about airline policies and the best way to ship them. Golf balls and other accessories and gadgets shouldn’t be a problem! 


If you’re a US citizen, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need a passport or visa. If you’re from another country, you’ll need to start making visa preparations in advance. Whether or not you need a visa, it’s a good idea to take a copy of your ID with you in case it’s needed. 

It’s also worth knowing that if you’re planning on going between June and November, you should double-check with your airline about their natural disaster policies. While Puerto Rico isn’t often battered by hurricanes, you don’t want to be caught out and not know what to do if it does happen. 


It’s a great idea to learn some basic Spanish before you go, especially if you want to play golf at courses outside the typical tourist areas. People will appreciate your efforts, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect! 

You might want to think about renting a car if you plan on visiting a few different golf courses, although you can probably grab a taxi if the courses are all nearby. Also, remember that tipping 15 to 20 percent is customary in Puerto Rico for taxi drivers and waitstaff. 

Where to Golf In Puerto Rico 

Puerto Rico has a wide range of absolutely stunning golf courses. You won’t be able to play them all while you’re there—the island is about 100 miles long and contains roughly 30 courses—so it’s a good idea to check them out beforehand and decide which ones you really want to play. 

Some are located at resorts, and some are private, so you may need to find a member to join for a round. You may be able to find willing members online beforehand to arrange rounds at private clubs. Be careful and discerning, though! 

It’s worth deciding on an area you want to stay and choosing a few courses nearby. Or, if you want to play a specific course, you can select accommodation nearby and see if there are other courses around. 

Other Things to Do 

Golf is definitely not the only thing to do in Puerto Rico! Get your money’s worth while you’re there and indulge in some of the other activities the country has to offer. 

Go to the Beach 

Most of the big cities run along the coastline, and most feature stunning beaches. With more than 300 beaches along the 270 miles of coastline, you can find something that suits your needs to a T. Some are crowded and bustling, but if you want something more private, you shouldn’t need to go far! 

Keep in mind that most beaches here don’t have lifeguards, so you’ll need to exercise caution in the waters. They can be a little rougher than other Caribbean seas, so be careful and stick to tanning if the waters are looking particularly choppy. 

Visit a National Forest 

Even those who aren’t dedicated nature lovers will be in awe of the national forests throughout Puerto Rico. With 36 nature reserves across the island, including 19 national forests, there’s bound to be one close to you that you can explore. 

El Yunque National Forest is the most popular, not only for its beauty but also because it’s the U.S. forest system’s only tropical rainforest! Tick that one off your bucket list if you get the chance. 

Try the Cuisine 

Puerto Rico is known for its cuisine, known as cocina criolla (Creole cooking). It blends elements of Spanish, American, and even African cooking techniques and dishes, offering interesting and tasty options. Of course, seafood is also fresh and delicious. 

For the rum fans, you’ll be in the country known as the top producer of liquor in the Caribbean! Coffee is also a treat, so make sure to try out a few different options of the finest drinks on the island. 


Ready to pack and go? Planning your Puerto Rico golf trip in advance is the best way to help things run smoothly. Plus, you get to be excited about it for a much longer time! Whether you’re going for a beach holiday with some golf on the side or a golf vacation with sun and sand as a nice extra, you won’t be disappointed. 

About the Author
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence

Friday, May 5, 2023

Puerto Rico's Hurricane Season: What to Expect

 Puerto Rico is one of the most interesting travel destinations and one of the most popular. The number of tourists visiting Puerto Rico grows every year, along with the number of people who decide to move there permanently. It has so many things to do, see, and experience. The cuisine is incredible, there is so much history and culture to learn about, and the community is warm and welcoming. Nature is also fascinating. Puerto Rico has a tropcial climate. This means it is warm all year round and, at times, extremely hot. Temperature averages 85F in the south, just a few degrees lower in the north. But our main point of discussion today will be a specific topic: Puerto Rico's hurricane season. We will teach you all the essential things you should know and tell you what to expect.

Here are the things you will learn in this article:

  • When does hurricane season start, end and When is the peak
  • Safety during hurricane season
  • How to prepare for a trip during the hurricane season
  • What to do when a hurricane hits
Puerto Rico's hurricane season reaches its peak in August, which is also the wettest month Puerto Rico's hurricane season reaches its peak in August, which is also the wettest month

Puerto Rico's Hurricane Season- How long does it last?

First, let us start by explaining when Puerto Rico's hurricane season officially starts and when it officially ends. It's important to know this if you plan on visiting or moving there soon. According to experts at, it's always a good idea to check the weather report before scheduling the moving day to avoid disasters. That's one of the reasons why knowing the beginning and end of hurricane seasons is very necessary. The day hurricane season in Puerto Ricco officially starts is June 1st, and the day it ends is November 30th. It is estimated that hurricane season reaches its peak in August and September. August is also the wettest month, so you should avoid visiting Puerto Rico if you don't want to deal with all that rain.

Is it safe during the hurricane season?

Naturally, the second most important question is, „ Will I be safe in Puerto Rico during hurricane season ?" The answer to this question is a little complicated, but mostly yes. This is because hurricanes can be predicted at least a few days in advance thanks to climate experts and modern technology. However, this requires you to stay informed and follow the news so you know what to expect. Also, hurricanes don't occur as often as you might think, and the chances you will experience a hurricane in Puerto Rico are low.  But as we all know, weather can not always be 100% predicted, so there is always a possibility, no matter how small. It's important to stay vigilant and monitor the news, and it's ultimately up to you to decide if the trip during hurricane season is worth it.

Plan your trip accordingly to prepare for any last-minute changes. Plan your trip accordingly to prepare for any last-minute changes.

Prepare accordingly for your trip

If your trip to Puerto Rico coincides with hurricane season, there are some tips you should follow to help it all go smoothly in case something you didn't expect happens. Because you might book a 20-day stay in Puerto Rico, and after a week, there is a sudden warning about a hurricane that will hit in a few days, and then you are in trouble. If you want to avoid significant financial losses, then you might want to consider getting travel insurance. This will be your safety net if you suddenly have to delay or interrupt your trip to Puerto Rico.

Another good tip is to look for free cancellation accommodation.  You would lose a lot of money if you had to cancel your hotel at the last minute and had to pay a fee. So you should put a little effort in and look for hotels that allow free cancellation. This is a helpful tip when you are going to any area with unpredictable weather.

You should keep a first aid kit, batteries, a flashlight, water and some food in your emergency backpack You should keep a first aid kit, batteries, a flashlight, water and some food in your emergency backpack

What to do if a hurricane hits?

This part is essential because you might find yourself in Puerto Rico during a hurricane and need to know how to protect yourself. This is a must for all planning to move permanently to Puerto Rico. So if you plan on moving from Tampa, FL, to Puerto Rico, you must prepare yourself. Before you find a team that can help you move and pack, you should first learn all the steps you need to take in case a hurricane hits.

The first step is getting you and your family away from windows and doors to avoid getting hit by glass shards. Hide in a room with no windows and keep your radio and emergency backpack with you ( this is something you should prepare as soon as you move to Puerto Rico). You should have water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and batteries in the backpack. Stay there, listen to the radio for updates, and follow instructions.

In conclusion

Puerto Rico is a place everyone should visit but not before learning all the necessary information about Puerto Rico's hurricane season. You don't want your trip to go sour just because you didn't educate yourself about this significant topic, right? You need to learn when the hurricane season starts and when it ends. Knowing that August is the wettest month can help you avoid a rainy trip to Puerto Rico.

But most of all, you must know about safety during the hurricane season. Nothing is more important than ensuring you have taken every step to keep you and your family safe during hurricane season. You must always be vigilant and keep an eye on the news. When travelling, always look for cancellation-free accommodation and consider getting travel insurance. And in case you move to Puerto Rico permanently, make an emergency backpack and get a radio so you don't get caught unprepared.