Tag: Puerto Rico

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!

How to Support Local Businesses in Puerto Rico: Shop Online

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It’s been a year and a half since Hurricane María ravaged through the island of Puerto Rico. Despite the limited disaster aid that the island has received from the U.S. government the island is thriving. You know why? Because Puerto Ricans are resilient. That and of course, the tourist who visit our island. Puerto Rico’s lush vegetation has flourished, and our beaches are more beautiful than ever. Tourism is a booming business, and it helps the island’s economy.

However, not everyone is able to travel to Puerto Rico. How can you help Puerto Rico? Easy! By shopping online from local businesses from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the world.

Social media has played a huge factor in getting news to the diaspora during the hurricane, and it’s also been a great resource to find local businesses too.

I’ve compiled a list of local businesses from Puerto Rico some from which I’ve already shopped. I’m pretty excited aboiut the purchases I’ve made thus far, and I hope you would be too.

I love, love this coloring book! Of course, I had to order I ordered two!
I got one for my niece and another one for my son. Get yours it’s only $3. 🙂
Oh my gosh! I love these. I ordered a set for my tween and I can’t wait to play with him.
Save this one for the holidays! These sacks are a hit! I bought one for my son last year.  She also personalizes sacks for other events, too.
All righty! This artisan coffeemaker reminds me of Abuela.
I’m planning to get one muy pronto.
Support locally grown and harvested coffee from Puerto Rico. The most amazing fact about this coffee is that it’s been harvested by seeds that survived Hurricane María.
Aren’t these miniature Taínos awesome? I purchased these during one of my visits to Puerto Rico. However, you can order them online, too.
If it weren’t for Libros 787 I wouldn’t have been able to purchase that book in the middle: “Un Coquí de Boriquén con los Reyes a Belén” for my tween for Día de Reyes. Love their selection and they send out periodic email promotions for free shipping. Score!
Homeschool mamá and entrepreneur
Marielisa makes these beautiful handmade earrings, bookmarks and more. I need to order one of these for myself.
This artist from Puerto Rico is always on high-demand! She does beautiful watercolor portraits. Her most popular piece is Las Reinas Magas.

Children’s Book about Puerto Rico

 Updated on May 9, 2019, to add more books, and new comics! 
When my child was born 8 years ago, I had a goal in mind: to find as many children’s book about Puerto Rico so I can share with him.  Little by little, I started building up my child’s home library. Some of the books listed here we own, others are on my wish list.    On the books that we do own, you’ll see an additional post on how we used it such as an activity or craft or a review on the book.
Since there are so many books on this list,  I broke them down into ten sections with a header so you can learn about Puerto Rico through these books: Notable Figures, Taínos, Flora and Fauna, Popular Culture, Christmas, Folk Tales, Geography, Picture Books, Chapter Books,  and Fiction. 

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