I knew that Puerto Rico would be beautiful. I've seen the beaches. I've observed the Puerto Rican Day parades. I even love Rosie Perez and Ricky Martin.
But my visit to Puerto Rico is more than pop culture stereotypes and cruise ship destinations. I wanted to see the "REAL" Puerto Rico. The one that we won't find in the tourist brochures or in my helpful Lonely Planet Guide book on Puerto Rico.
I started off in San Juan with a little yoga on the beach.
|Yoga Led by Zulma Sanabria|
|Lind and Anacostia Yogi in front of his artwork|
Loiza is vastly different than San Juan offering very little for tourists. I had to search high and low for signs of "Afro" Puerto Rican culture. And then I found Samuel Lind.
|Samuel Lind shares his creations|
Samuel Lind is an international famed Puerto-Rican artist with a focus on capturing elements of Africa in Puerto-Rican culture. He connects femininity, nature, self expression and history through a vivid collection of sculptures, paintings, posters and mixed media.
|Oferensa de Frutas|
|Sameul Lind self portrait|
|"Osain" Commissioned Sculpture in Caguas Botanical Gardens|
My favorite piece of work was his amazing "Osain". The sculpture reflects an African man emerging from a mangrove with leaves as fingers and tree bark embedded into his skin. "Osain" is the visual manifestation of an ancient legend of Africans transforming themselves into mangroves to escape Spanish captivity. Lind's piece is on display at the Caguas Botanical Gardens in Puerto Rico.
|Samuel Lind artwork depicting Traditional Fiesta|
|La Bomba dance instrument made its way from Africa to Loiza.|
|Annual celebration of "La Bomba"|
|Loiza eatery "El Sazon de Sylvia" Ask for Raul|
|Catfish Stew with rice, salad and squash|
|Fresh locally grown avocado (aguacate)|
|Sunbathing in Vieques|
|Cooling off with the sand in my toes|
Anacostia Yogi Puerto Rico Travel Tips
Caribe Hilton, Condada Lagoon in San Juan
El Sazon de Silvia (Loiza) or Los Raices in Old San Juan
Off the Beaten Path:
Away from the beach:
Paradise Wellness in Luqillo (near Fajardo)
Tego Calderon (Rap & Reggae)
Books and Essays:
Black Puerto Rican Art, Oro Taino by Dr. Louis Roure (Spanish)
History of Loiza