San Juan, Puerto Rico

See, geography has never been my strongest suit – if anything it’s my weakest. It’s no wonder then that I had no idea prior to my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico that the country is an unincorporated territory of the United States – meaning that Puerto Ricans have common citizenship, currency and defense of that owned by Americans, thou they cannot vote in presidential election and don’t have to pay federal income tax. That being said, there is no need for a visa to enter should you have a U.S’ visa already. Hooray for easy access!

Puerto Rico (PR) enjoys year-round summer temperatures.For any Indonesians reading this, it’s similar to ours as it’s also a tropical country. Semarang’s weather reminds me so much of when I was in San Juan in fact. So, do make sure to pack a bathing suit and sunscreen because of the weather and because of the beautiful, clean beaches scattered all over the city. A much needed warm as I was coming from the winter storm in NYC.

One thing that you’ll – well I quickly noticed anyway – people are genuinely friendly and helpful. They are proud of their heritage that most people I met were excited to tell me stories of their country, where to go and what to eat – and they’d narrate it with lots of hand and facial gestures. Oh, and all of them speak English, but with different fluency.

You’ll also immediately see the race and ethnic groups variety. They’re culturally and racially mix because of their history. The Spanish forced the indigenous people into slavery, which caused almost the entire population to diminish, except for a few ones that escaped to remote mountains and ended up marrying poor Spanish farmers. Later on, as labor was needed for crops and build roads, the invader brought slaves from Africa (Sudan, Kongo, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra, Leona, and the Gold, Ivory, and Grain coasts), and followed by Chinese immigrants, then continued with the arrival of Italians, French, German, and even some Lebanese people. There was also a time around 1960 when thousand of Cubans fled to the island from Fidel Castro’s Communist state. [1]

San Juan’s architectural heritage is understandably Spanish as seen in Old San Juan where the buildings are located “in the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and the pastel-colored, tile-roofed buildings with ornate balconies and heavy wooden doors that open onto inner courtyards in the style of Andalusia in southern Spain.” [2]

 

[1] Site, A. (2017). Puerto Rican People. Topuertorico.org. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://www.topuertorico.org/people.shtml

[2] Site, A. (2017). Puerto Rico’s Culture: Architecture. [online] Topuertorico.org. Available at: http://www.topuertorico.org/culture/architec.shtml [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].

 

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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan
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Miramar, San Juan

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Busy street at Old San Juan
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A church in Old San Juan 

 

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San Jose Church

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El morro
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El morro
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El morro
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Bikers in El morro
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El morro
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El morro
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San Juan national historic site
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San Juan national historic site
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San Juan national historic site
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Cementerio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis
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Cementerio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis
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Cementerio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis
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Cementerio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis
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El morro
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Old San Juan
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Old San Juan
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Capilla del santo Cristo de la Salud
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Puerto Ricans
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Street musician
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parque las palomas
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Isla Verde Beach
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Isla Verde Beach
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Isla Verde Beach
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Puerto de tierra
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Puerto de tierra
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El Capitolio de Puerto Rico
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Condado
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Inside Castillo de san cristobal
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Inside Castillo de san cristobal
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El morro
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Castillo de san cristobal
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Castillo de san cristobal
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Castillo de san cristobal
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Old San Juan
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