San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 2)

To the Rhythm of Reggaeton

The Most Solid Flag
Building with a nationalist facade at the top of the neighborhood of La Perla.
Patio freshness
Bold decoration of one of the bars in Ciudad Vieja de San Juan,
Colors of La Perla
Colorful perched townhouse of La Perla and San Juan's old town
rain patio
Patio of the Museu de las Américas soaked by yet another tropical storm at the end of the day.
La Boulevard del Valle
Coconut trees refresh the colorful street of Bulevar del Valle above La Perla.
Pure Puerto Rico
Visitor in bright costume poses with the flag of Puerto Rico in the background.
late afternoon talk
Friends chat at the top of San Juan's Ciudad Vieja.
Colonial Facades
Outlines and colors of one of San Juan's old streets.
Puerto Rico to Double
Flags of Puerto Rico unfurled on one of the old balconies of Ciudad Vieja.
Colonial Street
Old Town Street that reveals the sea of ​​Bahia de San Juan.
La Puerta Mural
Visitors pass the La Porta de San Juan mural.
Rainbow gantry
Passersby cross a rainbow portico from San Juan de Puerto Rico.
at good pace
Motoreta breaks the gaudy alternation of San Juan's facades.
Eccentric counter
Unusual decor for a bar in San Juan's Old Town.
Jibaro Traditional Costumes
Restaurant employees display traditional Puerto Rican costumes.
The narrowest building
Resident passes in front of the famous narrowest building in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
colonial nightfall
Dusk changes the tones of the centuries-old streets of San Juan.
Restless and inventive Puerto Ricans have made San Juan the reggaeton capital of the world. At the preferred beat of the nation, they filled their “Walled City” with other arts, color and life.

Puerto Rico. Reggaeton, its stars and hits.

There is no way to dissociate them. Especially since the turn of the XNUMXst century, they invaded the world. In such a way that, much due to this emerging style, Hispanic music began to threaten the worldwide supremacy of Anglophone music.

Daddy Yankee and his hits “Gasolina” and “Lo que Pasó Pasó”, from 2004, in the same year, “Baila Morena” the answer of Héctor & Tito that we heard for the first time, in Valle Seco, a fishing village close to Puerto Colombia, Venezuelan Caribbean and which, only several years later, we were able to identify.

When it's not reggaeton, other multifaceted rhythms, musicians and artists stand out.

Only in this way do we remember planetary stars like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Jose Feliciano, Benicio del Toro, Joaquin Phoenix, these are the most famous.

But let's concentrate, for now, on reggaeton.

The Unstoppable Pace Reggaeton Conquered the World

At one point, the new Puerto Rican musical hits conquered the dance floors with an intensity comparable to that of the Latin beats dembow frenetic themes of each theme, all of them popular popularuchos, without great depths, esotericism or aesthetic subtleties.

The lyrics speak of “perrear”, “fuego” and “afuegote” and “flow”. These are expressions that translate, in order, the sexual movement of copulation standing up and wearing clothes, unavoidable, when dancing reggaeton.

The temperature and sexual atmosphere characteristic of discos and clubs that play reggaeton.

Finally, the harmony and flow of the music that explains why so many lyrics include an appeal of “reggaeton lady".

Reggaeton has long reflected the craving for fun and pleasure typical of these semi-Caribbean parts of the world.

Simultaneously, a radical reinvention of musical styles in undisputed Caribbean times, the rumba, the cha-cha-cha, the bolero, the mambo, the guaracha, the Dominican bachata, among many others.

In a cultural sphere strongly influenced by pop, hip-hop, rap and their fusions in the United States, the visual record of artists acquired as much or more importance than that of their hits.

It proved to be still predominant for the swell of its legions of fans and followers.

And for the desired stardom and unbridled wealth that follows.

Today, the even more eccentric and superficial Bad Bunny seems to have replaced Daddy Yankee on the throne of reggaeton. But in January 2017, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee joined forces on a theme from Fonsi's 2018 album, “Life”.

This theme, "Slowly” clashed and much of the strongly drummed, rhythmic and electronic line with which Yankee made his fame. It slowed down Puerto Rico's energy and passionate cadence into a slow, drawn-out, almost cheesy way of celebrating sex and love, incompatible with any longing for “perreo".

For some reason, Fonsi teamed up with Yankee. The first one realized the commercial potential of the theme, and how much his professional colleague could multiply it.

Unsurprisingly, in three times, “Slowly” became the mega hit of the year.

Faced with deciding what to do with the video, the duo agreed to simplify.

The success "Slowly” and the La Perla neighborhood of San Juan

In celebrating his idolized images and, at the same time, the genuineness and humility of the heart and soul of Puerto Rico: his Vieja San Juan, the second oldest Hispanic colonial city and the most fortified colonial city in the Americas.

In 2016, the two musicians and Miss Universe 2006 Zuleika River Mendoza descended on the waterfront of La Perla, one of the poorest, most colorful and, once, most dangerous neighborhoods in San Juan.

During the filming, the Atlantic unfolds, measured, over the rocky reef that, as a rule, protects the houses from the storms.

Fonsi and the model showed off their careful physiques (the Yankee one, not so much) and seductive looks in the dirty streets of the neighborhood, on the rubble accumulated at the base of the first row of houses.

They lived with the well-off residents, sang and danced in patios, in taverns and the like. Only a few additional scenes were filmed at the famous “La Factoria” bar, situated farther up Calle San Sebastian in the old town.

Four years later, we find ourselves at the gates of that same La Perla neighbourhood. First, we glimpse their houses and alleys from the summit via Bulevar del Valle.

A little later, we can see it in panoramic format from the walls and walkways of Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

Puerto Rico, San Juan, walled city, panoramic

Perspective of San Juan with the La Perla neighborhood between the Magdalena Pazzi Cemetery and the Castillo San Cristobal

At that distance, everything seems normal to us. We see its multicolored houses, stacked one on top of the other on the north slope, still somewhat green on the island of San Juan, between the Magdalena de Pazzi Cemetery and the great Castillo de San Cristóbal.

Even if their chromatic assortment prevailed, La Perla was not the same.

Hurricane Maria: the Catastrophe that Devastated La Perla and Puerto Rico

Tropical storms and hurricanes were lashing the Caribbean long before Christopher Columbus landed. Two of them nearly shortened the admiral's life.

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. One of the places most exposed to storms and, as such, the most destroyed was the neighborhood of La Perla, facing north and with its houses a few meters above the level of the Atlantic.

Inflated by the storm, the ocean projected massive waves that razed many homes.

When we passed through, most of them were still destroyed and abandoned, now under the pressure of intense real estate speculation.

Despite the effects of the hurricane, La Perla remained an unusual street art gallery, with its facades, roofs, bridges and many other structures painted with different works.

The Flag of Puerto Rico and So Many Other Expressions of Street Art

As an image of what happens all over the territory, some entire fronts display paintings of the flag of Puerto Rico that we saw, by the way, also illustrated in the dry roots of a tree.

Other works tell the history, traditions and socio-political hardships of the island.

A few meters above the neighborhood La Perla, the Bulevar del Valle street has a long section filled with street works.

They are almost all abrasive claims against the corruption that the governors of Puerto Rico found themselves accused of or allusive to the abandonment in which Donald Trump's United States voted the island after the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria.

who arrives from Santo Domingo and from other neighboring islands in the Caribbean, he soon realizes that, in Puerto Rico, the love and commitment placed in art are superior.

Whatever the bar, restaurant or inn in San Juan, it insists on having a decoration, a brand image and a unique atmosphere.

If entrepreneurs lack funds or property, they express themselves at more down-to-earth scales.

We see it in a natural agricultural market, where products are displayed with great elegance, juices and liqueurs have names and flavors out of the box, such as inventive and personalized crafts.

A Long Cultivated Artistic Vocation

A few hundred meters away, one of the monumental motifs and furniture of the nation's creativity stands out from the vast El Morro lawn. School of Plastic Arts and Design, crisp yellow and, at least at first glance, larger than the Capitol of Puerto Rico itself.

The city's emblematic statues adorn the surroundings, such as that of Don Ricardo Alegria, anthropologist, historian and former mayor from San Juan, whose pro-activity left its mark throughout the city, including the foundation of the art school from which Luz Badillo, the author of the statue, graduated.

We explored the near-marine confines of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro when, as happened afternoon after afternoon, from one moment to the next, the sky turned black and discharged a fulminating blast.

We ran up Calle el Morro, looking for shelter in the colonial grid of the Old Town. We took refuge inside the Museo de Las Américas building.

Beneath its arches, on the edge of protection, we come across one of San Juan's unexpected worlds of light and color. The museum is arranged around an open courtyard.

From the three floors filled with ogival, rectangular and round doors, windows and windows, emanates a mystical pink light that invades the patio.

It is reflected in the floor beaten by rain and covered with puddles.

And it is distorted into its own ephemeral Pop Art prodigy. Young people also out there, safe from the rain, feel the enchantment. They leave the arcades for the picture in the courtyard. They indulge in drenched photos and selfies.

In the good fashion of the tropics, as quickly as it appeared, the storm took its course. With night setting in, we wandered around Cidade Vieja.

We appreciated how, little by little, she adjusted to the “fuegote” about to take over her. The bars are smothering and passing the reggaeton themes essential to the “flow".

The first rehearsals still shy of “perreo”, preambles of new dawn in fire in the clubs of the Puerto Rican capital.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Highly Walled Puerto Rico of San Juan Bautista

San Juan is the second oldest colonial city in the Americas, after the Dominican neighbor of Santo Domingo. A pioneering emporium and stop over on the route that took gold and silver from the New World to Spain, it was attacked again and again. Its incredible fortifications still protect one of the most lively and prodigious capitals in the Caribbean.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Longest Colonial Elder in the Americas

Santo Domingo is the longest-inhabited colony in the New World. Founded in 1498 by Bartholomew Colombo, the capital of the Dominican Republic preserves intact a true treasure of historical resilience.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

Many treasures passed through Cartagena before being handed over to the Spanish Crown - more so than the pirates who tried to plunder them. Today, the walls protect a majestic city always ready to "rumbear".
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Cathedral of Santa Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Christmas in Australia, Platipus = Platypus
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Graciosa, Azores, Monte da Ajuda
Natural Parks
Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

Finally, we will disembark in Graciosa, our ninth island in the Azores. Even if less dramatic and verdant than its neighbors, Graciosa preserves an Atlantic charm that is its own. Those who have the privilege of living it, take from this island of the central group an esteem that remains forever.
Vesikko submarine, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
UNESCO World Heritage
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Mangrove between Ibo and Quirimba Island-Mozambique
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

For centuries, the natives have traveled in and out of the mangrove between the island of Ibo and Quirimba, in the time that the overwhelming return trip from the Indian Ocean grants them. Discovering the region, intrigued by the eccentricity of the route, we follow its amphibious steps.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Riders cross the Ponte do Carmo, Pirenópolis, Goiás, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
São João Farm, Pantanal, Miranda, Mato Grosso do Sul, sunset
Fazenda São João, Miranda, Brazil

Pantanal with Paraguay in Sight

When the Fazenda Passo do Lontra decided to expand its ecotourism, it recruited the other family farm, the São João. Further away from the Miranda River, this second property reveals a remote Pantanal, on the verge of Paraguay. The country and the homonymous river.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.