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.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Architecture & Design
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
shadow of success
Ceremonies and Festivities
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.

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.
Lhasa, Tibet

When Buddhism Tires of Meditation

It is not only with silence and spiritual retreat that one seeks Nirvana. At the Sera Monastery, the young monks perfect their Buddhist knowledge with lively dialectical confrontations and crackling clapping of hands.

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.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau, Balafons
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

Tabatô: to the Rhythm of Balafom

During our visit to the tabanca, at a glance, the djidius (poet musicians)  mandingas are organized. Two of the village's prodigious balaphonists take the lead, flanked by children who imitate them. Megaphone singers at the ready, sing, dance and play guitar. There is a chora player and several djambes and drums. Its exhibition generates successive shivers.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Vila Velha Paraná, Paraná Tropeirismo Route
Vila Velha Park a Castro, Paraná

On the Paraná Tropeirismo Route

Between Ponta Grossa and Castro, we travel in Campos Gerais do Paraná and throughout its history. For the past of the settlers and drovers who put the region on the map. Even that of Dutch immigrants who, in more recent times and, among many others, enriched the ethnic assortment of this Brazilian state.
Cargo Cabo Santa Maria, Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Sal, Evoking the Sahara
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zambezi
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwee

Livingstone's Thundering Gift

The explorer was looking for a route to the Indian Ocean when natives led him to a jump of the Zambezi River. The falls he found were so majestic that he decided to name them in honor of his queen
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Natural Parks
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
UNESCO World Heritage
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
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.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Landing
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
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.
Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
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.