San Juan, Aug (SF).- A few decades ago, going to the La Perla neighborhood in Puerto Rico was unthinkable even for the most daring tourists. The bad reputation of the place was not entirely unfounded fear.
The neighborhood, about 600 meters along the Atlantic Ocean, was created at the beginning of the 19th century where there was a slaughterhouse before and has only three access points, one through the “Magdalena Cemetery of María de Santa”, another in the east and another side through an alley in the center of the north wall. All this made La Perla in the 1980s a neighborhood with several drug points and high crime.
However, in recent years, several cultural projects have made the place, located in old San Juan, a mandatory site for everyone going to Puerto Rico.
According to several references, the streets of La Perla are not in most of the city maps in order to dissuade tourists from walking the area. Even so, this place has one of the best views of the North part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Morro and the entire North part of Old San Juan.
Recently a descendant of Puerto Ricans came to La Perla and shares his experience.
Rosmary García shares this video taken in La Perla to a resident singer
La Perla is a very safe place now, a poor neighborhood of very humble people who have the blessing of living in front of the sea, says Rosmary Garcia, born and raised in New York, and now plans to live her retirement in a mountainous area of the Island of Enchantment, Adjuntas.
The same fate of being located in front of the sea charged the inhabitants of La Perla an expensive bill with the passing of the devastating hurricane Maria in September 2017.
In the neighborhood, the locals with their jovial rhythm and indisputable accent help you to reach the places where they share their leisure time, such as this double-function skating rink.
Initially conceived as a skating rink, it ended up becoming a pool that is supplied and maintained by the community itself during the hottest months.
In the words of Rosmary García in Puerto Rico, in addition to La Perla, there are many places to visit: Cabo Rojo, which has “Dirty Beach”, “El Boquerón” and the Salt Mines; The Arecibo Observatory; Culebra, Vieques and Gilligans Island for camping; El Yunque, where she recommends one of his favorite places where they offer “Casa Flamboyan” bed and breakfast, this one is located exactly in Naguabo; in San Juan El Morro, Jibarito and Café Manolo. The Caves of Camuy, although these remain closed after the hurricane; Attached, where you can visit the small museum “Casa Pueblo” and the small waterfalls and springs of Soto Mayor, in which the most daring practice kayaking on top of the mountain.
When asked about the recent political crisis in Puerto Rico, Rosmary García said “My people would be told not to lose hope and always keep their smile because life is one and you know how to enjoy it.”