Category: Puerto Rico Travel

Festival de máscaras de Hatillo (Hatillo’s Mask Festival)

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The traditional “Festival de las máscaras”  Hatillo Mask Festival is celebrated on December 28th in the town of Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Both my son and I were there to see the “caravana” of floats with giant speakers, decorated jeeps, and cars blasting their music. The participants wear very elaborate and colorful costumes and meshed masks.  The streets and main roads are closed to general traffic.  They walk down the streets all in good fun they start squirting you with water, shaving cream or whatever else they may have.  

Guess who got wet?  Both my son and I! I was running away attempting to cover my DSLR camera so it wouldn’t get wet. It was fun!  (Check out the YouTube video below). 

The festival continues throughout the day. Food vendors, artisans, and music can be enjoyed by all with a procession finalizing at the town’s plaza. 

How did this tradition get started?   It dates back to 1823 when the settlers from the Canary Islands founded the town of Hatillo. 

The festival remembers the first Christian martyrs or Holy Innocents (Santos Inocentes). Based on the Bible book of Matthew where it is recorded that many baby boys under the age of three years were murdered as commanded by King Herod in his quest to kill baby Jesus.

Other festivals and carnivals in Puerto Rico are: 

Ponce Carnival or Carnaval Ponceño

The Ponce Carnival is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday.   Is a week-long celebration with lots of loud and colorful parades.  Masked “vejigantes” taunt the crowd.   Similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this carnival is derived from the old world tradition with a final celebration mark the beginning of Lent.

You can also make your very own “vejigante” masks from Kid World Citizen Puerto Rican Mask Art 

Festival de Santiago Apóstol 

Festival de Santiago Apóstol in the town of Loíza is a celebration rooted in Spanish and African culture.  It celebrates the apparition of Saint James patron saint of Christian Spanish military in both Loíza and Spain. This is said to have helped them conquer the pagan Moors.  It’s also a lively parade with “Bomba” music a traditional and African folk music. During the carnival, you will see  “vejigantes” and the Spanish knights battle representing the forces of good and evil.

Children’s book about carnivals in Puerto Rico

Looking for books to read on carnivals in Puerto Rico? We own these two books and just like my son enjoyed so will your kids.
These are affiliate links if you make a purchase I’ll receive a small monetary compensation. Thank you!

Puerto Rico: Proyecto 78 pueblos 1 bandera

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Move over Pókemon Go and geocaching there’s a new family-friendly activity going on in Puerto Rico right now.  What is it? It’s “Proyecto 78 pueblos 1 bandera” (78 flags 1 town).  It’s basically looking for flags that are strategically painted across the island.

Proyecto: 78 pueblos y 1 bandera Ubicación: Manatí, Playa Mar Chiquita Carr. 648

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Categories: Puerto Rico Travel

Mission of Love: Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Effort Trip

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On September 20th Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria.  On October 27th, exactly one month and a week later I traveled to Puerto Rico to bring provisions to family and friends on a Mission of Love: Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Effort Trip. 

Puerto Ricans in the diaspora with a mission of love.

At the airport, I realized I wasn’t the only one lugging boxes and suitcases of provisions.  I spoke to a few people who were on the same mission that I was on!  To bring to their loved ones some relief.  We joked about how heavy our bags were, and how batteries are a hot commodity in Puerto Rico.  We weren’t strangers talking.  We were Puerto Ricans in the diaspora sharing one thing in common: to help our families. Read More…

Categories: Puerto Rico Travel

40 Things to do with Kids in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is a beautiful destination to go on vacation or during the holidays. All year-long you will enjoy tropical weather! Even during the “winter” months with it being a little bit cooler (low 70’s in the evenings and high 80’s during the day) it is still the perfect destination to go with kids!

The best part is that you don’t need a passport to visit the beautiful island of Puerto Rico! Here are 40 things you can do with kids:

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Categories: Puerto Rico Travel, Travel

Puerto Rico Art Murals

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One of the highlights of our past trip to Puerto Rico was actually taking the time to enjoy our surroundings. Normally, when we are on vacation we’re on such a time constraint, and rushing through everything.
In one of our outings, and while looking for a playground for little one in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico we came across these beautiful murals.
Barceloneta is located in the north region, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Florida, east of Arecibo, and west of Manatí.
The murals are located on Carretera 681 in Barceloneta, right across the Teatro Ernesto Ramos Antonini.

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Categories: Puerto Rico Travel, Travel

Libros Libres (Free Books) Puerto Rico

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I first heard of Libros Libres (Free Books) in Puerto Rico via a friend’s Facebook feed.  The concept is similar to Little Free Library but it wasn’t just a small looking type mail box. It was a wall with milk crates fixated onto them full of books, tons of them!
Libros Libres  started in June of 2015.  Their main goal was to revive communities that were abandoned, so  neighbors can walk freely, trusting the streets that were once abandoned to be able to exchange conversations, and share one thing in common a love for literacy and books.

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Categories: Puerto Rico Travel, Travel

Kid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is a small island in the Caribbean rich with history, culture, and tropical weather all-year long.  While vacationing in Puerto Rico there was so much to do, and very little time. So we squeezed as much as we could in a two weeks time frame.

From enjoying the beautiful beach of Flamenco, and learning about the history, and culture of Culebra, to checking out my Mom’s hometown in Florida, and  taking a look at the schools in Puerto Rico.  I was also on a quest to learn more about our Taíno ancestry and we visited the famous Cara del Indio.

Now, please sit back, and enjoy this two  part series of our kid-friendly vacation in Puerto Rico.  With a 5 yr. old in tow, and with a strict budget we focused on kid-friendly, and frugal outings to do with our child.

Categories: Puerto Rico Travel, Travel