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2020 Wish List Ideas to Honor Puerto Rico’s Culture and History

Regarding Puerto Rican Footprints
Publication of Discovery: Dec. 31, 2019
Issue: December, 2019

Whether you live in Puerto Rico or are visiting this destination, you have the opportunity to indulge in experiences which are part of Puerto Ricans’ culture or let you get in touch with this Caribbean island’s history. You might be interested in the following ideas for your 2020 Wish List in order to honor Puerto Rico’s culture or appreciate its history.

2020 Wish List Ideas to Pay Tribute to Puerto Rico’s Culture and History:

1) Connecting with Puerto Rico’s countryside nature and local culinary flavors

Eating food cooked with Puerto Rican seasoning while being surrounded by tropical hill landscape scenery is a great way to relax in Puerto Rico. Besides traditional local food offer, such as rice and beans, beef steak with grilled onions, fried breaded chicken fillet (empanada de pollo), pork chops, sliced fried plantains (tostones), mofongo (a delicacy mainly made of mashed fried green plantain, garlic and pork cracklings), and corn fritters known as surullitos, some restaurants on Puerto Rico’s countryside serve all year round typical Christmas food. Rice with pigeon peas, roasted pork, blood sausage (morcilla), pasteles (normally made of plantain, green banana and yautia mix filled with pork), and coconut flavored custard-like dessert known as tembleque, and candied coconut rice (arroz con dulce) are part of Puerto Rican Christmas cuisine. Among the rural municipalities where you may eat local food are: Cayey, Aibonito, Aguas Buenas, Caguas, San Lorenzo, Orocovis, Morovis, Adjuntas and Ciales. Food establishments in Municipality of Cayey are widely known for their Christmas dishes, especially the roasted pork, while some restaurants in Municipality of Orocovis are famous for their rice with seasoned pork sausage (arroz con longaniza) or smoked ribs.

2) Savoring typical Puerto Rican food served at small establishments on the coastal zone

A visit to kiosks, also known as chinchorros, in municipalities nearby the Atllantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea, that specialize in fried local food, such as: (a) alcapurria, a fried dough usually made from cassava and yautia, and filled with crabmeat, trunkfish or ground beef, (b) bacalaíto, a huge fried codfish dough, (c) fried fish (i.e.: snappers and wahoo), and (d) arepa made of fried and fluffy white flour dough with a crispy outer surface, and that may be filled with crab or conch stew or local fish, is an interesting way to come in contact with diverse Puerto Rican cuisine on the same day. You can also delight yourself by drinking fresh coconut water when you find a kiosk that sells coconuts. Examples of Puerto Rico municipalities where you may engage in the above-mentioned gastronomic experience are: Loíza, Luquillo, Fajardo, Vega Alta, Arecibo, Naguabo, Humacao, Salinas, Ponce, Guánica, Lajas, Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez, Rincón, Isabela and Aguadilla. Some chinchorros in Luquillo and Fajardo are well known for their Puerto Rican arepas, including those made of coconut flavored dough.

3) Dancing to the rhythm of salsa

Enjoy the lively melody of salsa, a Puerto Rican music genre, on the dance floors, whether at home or a nightclub or other salsa spot in Puerto Rico. If you are a Puerto Rican who doesn’t know how to dance salsa, the New Year is a perfect time to learn—find a loved one who can teach you the basics. If you are a traveler, you may mingle with locals at a nightclub and kindly ask one of them to teach fundamental salsa steps. Professional salsa lessons are also available in the island.

4) Appreciating Puerto Rico art and history

Visiting Puerto Rican arts and crafts museums, gallery exhibitions about Puerto Rico’s history, sites honoring the island’s cultural heritage, or historical landmarks allow you to connect with Puerto Rico’s art and history. Among the places you may consider exploring to be reminded of, learn or value Puerto Rico’s artistic creations and history are the following: (a) Museo de las Américas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in the Municipality of San Juan, (b) Tienda-Museo Artesanías Castor-Ayala, and small gallery at Cueva María de la Cruz Park in Municipality of Loíza, (c) Museo de Arte de Ponce and Museo Castillo Serrallés in Municipality of Ponce, (d) Hacienda La Esperanza in Municipality of Manatí, and (e) Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal in Old San Juan.

5) Promote Puerto Rico’s principal language: Spanish

If you are a Puerto Rican, do your best efforts to use only Spanish vocabulary when speaking your native language. So prevent saying English words while speaking Spanish.

Also, you may teach tourists basic Spanish words. Whether you are hosting guests in Puerto Rico or meeting travelers in a public place, you may help visitors learn the destination’s main language.

If you are non-speaking Spanish tourist, you may ask a Puerto Rican to informally teach you Spanish words that you may find useful during your stay. Even though online English-Spanish dictionaries or applications are helpful, learning directly from a Puerto Rican can be a memorable and fun experience. Also, you may discover slangs and words only spoken in Puerto Rico.

Don’t take for granted Puerto Rico’s interesting culture and history—embrace and cherish it. Make the best of your journey in 2020 !

tour provider: Yourself onto Culture
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where the crew ate: La Sombra Bar Restaurant
photograph by: N. Michelle Rodríguez

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details with the pertinent businesses before planning your trip. Please be cautious. The company behind this publication assumes no responsibility for your safety when participating in the activities mentioned in this article. You are responsible for confirming whether you are capable of participating in any of these activities or tours, regardless of the effort level or any other information provided in this website.

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