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.