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Travel Puerto Rico – Saborea the new boricua culture

Saborea Festival

Photo: Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association

There is nothing stuffy about Puerto Rican culture. Boricuas know how to have a good time, and you never know what to expect.

At the Saborea culinary festival last year, Food Network celebrity chef Robert Irvine heated up more than the sauce with his sexy striptease. And when Saborea returns to San Juan from April 21-22, 2012, visitors will find that the island of enchantment brings that creative spark beyond the food scene. Boricuas are redefining traditional culture and giving travelers new reasons to discover Puerto Rico.

Discovering Food
Nuevo Caribe Cuisine is s culinary fusion of European, Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cultures, deep-fried traditional Puerto Rican favorites – tostones, bacailato, and mofongo – are now as likely to be joined by eclectic seafood entrees – lobster risotto, Passion Guajillo Dorado Ceviche, or Caribbean sushi.

Here are a few places that you can sample the delicious Nuevo Caribe Cuisine:

Discovering Music
Traditional Puerto Rican music and dance can be heard at one of the best deals on the island, the free Le-Lo-Lai Festival. Listen to the power behind the music of island instruments – the cuatro, guiro, bomba, and guitar – and you might begin to see how Boricuas went on to shape the rhythmic beats of salsa, Latin jazz, and reggaeton.

Listen and dance to Latin beats at these venues:

  • Le-Lo-Lai Festival – Free traditional cultural program, multiple locations.
  • Nuyorican Café – Old San Juan, PR – One of the best venues to hear old school salsa, but also merengue, bomba, and a diverse mix of music, theater, and poetry.
  • Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest – March 29-April 1, 2012 in San Juan, PR pays tribute to Latin Jazz roots while presenting all jazz genres.
  • Ventana al Jazz Fest – Condado, PR – Free jazz program every last Sunday of the month.
  • Club Flow – Old San Juan, PR – The best place to hear reggaeton, Club Flow hosts local bands, including some of the biggest acts and the most talented up-and-comers.
Saborea Festival

Photo: Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association

Discovering Art
Touristy Old San Juan has long been home to prestigious art galleries, but now Santurce is beginning to rival it as the epicenter of Puerto Rico’s hot new art scene. Young artists are spearheading a new artistic explosion – that’s neither Latin American, North American, nor Caribbean art, but all three in an innovative force that can only be described as uniquely Puerto Rican.

Explore Puerto Rico’s  hot art scene at these galleries:

  • Santurce es Ley -Santurce, PR – Cultural festival put on by local gallery owners and artists every few months.
  • Galería Botello – Old San Juan, PR – A mix of established Latin American artists, but also a small but impressive collection of locally hand-carved santos.  
  • Galeria Petrus – Santurce, PR – One of the first galleries to open in Santurce, at the forefront of contemporary Puerto Rican art since 2003.
  • La Repuesta – Santurce, PR –  A bar decorated with music posters and stuffed superheroes that holds art exhibitions and shows by local indie bands.

Film Festival brings it all together – Food, Music, and Art
Combining the best of all of Puerto Rico’s cultural traditions, the Rincón International Film Festival returns from April 10-12, 2012 for a fifth season. This year’s program will showcase 91 films and 16 music videos from 19 different countries including 33 world premieres and 43 Puerto Rican films. Running the gamut from comedy to horror, themed dinner events will treat audiences to entertaining films and the freshest island cuisine on moonlit beaches. Shirts, optional.

About Sandra Foyt

Travel writer Sandra Foyt loves unexpected adventures, storybook settings, and sweet endings. A former homeschool educator and enrichment coach, she lived in Buenos Aires, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Southern California. Sandra now shares a home in Northeast NY with a teen and tween, an outdoorsy husband, and a well-indulged Chocolate Lab. Founding editor of Albany Kid Family Travel, Sandra is a freelance journalist whose work can be found at multiple publications.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

Comments

  1. Woo hoo! I’m going there next month!

  2. Viva Puerto Rico!

  3. PUERTO RICO IS BEAUTIFUL N I’D LOVE TO LIVE THERE BUT AFRAID OF THE CHANGE. I LIVE IN NY. WORK I HERE IS HARD BUT BEAUTY IS ALL AROUND.

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