Spanish-American War

The Old Ruins of Coamo, a Historical Tribute

I took off on a Saturday with a friend and we drove around Coamo, shooting a few ruins.  I’ve been wanting to do this since I got here.  Alex is featured in a couple shots.SPRChimneyRuins

As anyone who has read many of my posts knows, I love shooting the old ruins of Puerto Rico.

Coamo boasts being the 3rd oldest town in PR, dating to 1579 (after San Juan and San German)  so there are remnants of that past, still standing.  It’s hard to drive anywhere on the island and not see the sun bleached, red brick chimneys dotting the countryside.  SPRChimneyRuinsDetailThey all stand several stories tall.  Most are square, a few are round.

Coamo has two and we see them every time we go check the mail.

These are typical of the period, square with walls about 2 feet thick.  They actually have very SPRChimneyRuinsPortraitsmall fireboxes considering how big they are.  It’s also amazing that they show so little evidence of cracks and fissures considering the number of earthquakes they have endured.

I don’t have an exact date for the chimneys, but sugar, along with cattle, dairy farming, coffee and tobacco were started sometime after 1824.  Coffee eventually replaced cattle ranching until the handoff of PR to the US. Continue reading

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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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The Guánica Dry Forest Reserve

Milk Weed Flowers and Seed Pod in Guanica, Puerto Rico

Bosque Seco De Guánica,
An International Biosphere.

This destination was on my original hit-list…

The 10,000 acre Reserve is home to over 600 species of plants and animals including 48 endangered species of which 16 are endemic to Puerto Rico (per Wikipedia).

Trivia/History- Guánica’s large enclosed bay on the Southwest coast is where the US first invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War of 1898. This landing gave them a foothold to proceed overland to Ponce, then onto Coamo where the fighting ended. Continue reading

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Wippy Woppy Webdesign is proud to announce our new site- the Isle of Bamboo.

It's dedicated to the myriad of ways bamboo enriches our lives and our planet.  If there ever was a 'Super Plant', bamboo is it!

The Site is optimized to run on desktops and laptops as well as tablets like the iPad or Android 4.0 models.

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