Paso Fino horse

Guayama, PR… ‘The City of Witches’

The Old Sugar Mills & Plantations of PR, Part 2

As mentioned in my last post, the area in South East PR was home to the last Sugarcane haciendas (plantations) and sugar mills. This is evident by the numerous red brick structures still standing from its distant past.

Guayama was the epicenter of this climatic chapter in Puerto Rico’s history.

Abandoned Sugar Mill Along Highway in Guayama, Puerto RicoGuayama as a settlement dates to before its founding in 1736 and boasted no less than 200 houses, a church and plaza by 1776. Guayama was also involved in the Spanish American War of 1898. Two battles were fought here, one in Guayama (August 5, 1898) and one North of town (August 9, 1898) as part of a campaign to move on Cayey, then on to San Juan. The war ended before that happened.

View of Second Chimney from Abandoned Sugar Mill Along Highway in Guayama, Puerto RicoThe nickname comes from the fact that African folklore is still celebrated today. This must not be confused with ‘black magic’ or Haitian rituals. There is a week long festival in March, the colorful Brujo Carnival.

There are several other fairs to see in Guayama, but the Dulce Sueño Fair is high on the local’s list. A celebration to honor the esteemed Paso Fino horse. I’ve seen a couple of these smaller horses out where I live. They are of Spanish origin and brought to Puerto Rico hundreds of years ago, however the Paso Fino is unique to Puerto Rico as its a mix of 3 specific breeds.  A subject I will explore in the future. Continue reading

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