Category: Culture

Basic Salsa Dance Steps

Mas­ter­ing the basic step will be the first key step to devel­op­ing prop­er tech­nique and tim­ing in sal­sa. Your spins and part­ner-work tech­niques will be exe­cut­ed in sync with the rhythm of the music once you have mas­tered your basic. Think of the basic step as the drum­mer in a band. It keeps you and your part­ner on time. I encour­age you to prac­tice these steps at home but it goes with out say­ing that online instruc­tion is no sub­sti­tute for real time stu­dio instruc­tion. There are many fin­er ele­ments of the basic step such as the Cuban hip...

Read More

Jose Campeche — Puerto Rico’s Best Rococo Artist

Jose Campeche is an 18th cen­tu­ry artist from San Juan, Puer­to Rico who earned mer­its for his coun­try and the Puer­to Rico flag for his works in the field of visu­al arts. Born to a for­mer Puer­to Rican slave, Tomas Campeche, and a moth­er native of the Canary Islands, Maria Mar­quez, he was a per­son with mixed roots — a mulat­to. It might be said that his expo­sure to var­i­ous cul­tures cat­a­pult­ed him into suc­cess­ful­ly becom­ing the first “known” visu­al artist of his coun­try. Campeche’s incli­na­tion towards the arts start­ed out ear­ly, and is often cred­it­ed to his father,...

Read More

Wedding Traditions of Puerto Rico

  A wed­ding is a joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion and that is no dif­fer­ent in Puer­to Rico. There are a few tra­di­tions that are asso­ci­at­ed with a con­ven­tion­al Puer­to Rican mar­riage. One of these tra­di­tions is the offer­ing of the bride and groom a bev­er­age called café con leche and is served in coconut cups. The Bride’s Bou­quet Bridal bou­quets in Puer­to Rico are abun­dant with the amap­o­la, which is a tra­di­tion­al flower often used at a Puer­to Rican wed­ding. The bou­quet may also con­tain a fan as it is a part of tra­di­tion­al wed­ding attire in Puer­to Rico. The maids...

Read More

How to Make a Traditional Puerto Rican Thanksgiving Day Dinner

  Even though Thanks­giv­ing was not always a tra­di­tion­al hol­i­day on the island, many Puer­to Rican fam­i­lies call­ing the States home began cel­e­brat­ing it by adding a touch of Sabor Lati­no. A tra­di­tion­al Puer­to Rican Thanks­giv­ing menu will like­ly con­sist of Pav­o­chon, Mofon­go stuff­ing, Arroz con Gan­d­ules (rice with pigeon peas), Tostones, and Tem­bleque or dulce de leche. I serve a green bean casse­role with my meal and for an appe­tiz­er I fry up some Pla­tanos ver­sus the Tostones. I sea­son mine with gar­lic, black pep­per and salt and serve them with Mojo Criol­lo. I’m usu­al­ly cook­ing enough food...

Read More

The Best of Puerto Rican Food

Puer­to Rican food is a mix­ture of African, Taino, and Span­ish influ­ences. They have their own take on cre­ole food, which they call coci­na criol­la. This cook­ing style is not only pop­u­lar with locals; tourists also fre­quent Puer­to Rico to expe­ri­ence authen­tic cre­ole dish­es, as well. The coun­try of Puer­to Rico has dif­fer­ent types of dish­es that have become part of the locals’ dai­ly diet. One is called pastelon de carne, which is a pie made of meat such as ham and/or pork. You can buy these at restau­rants and shops lin­ing the streets, and some cre­ative cooks have even placed a Puer­to Rican flag on top of it as décor. Anoth­er favorite is carne fri­ta con cebol­la, which is made up of beef and onions. Then there’s chick­en with rice, or Arroz con pol­lo, which is quite pop­u­lar, as well as oth­er chick­en dish­es like sour chick­en or broiled chick­en. A Span­ish-inspired omelet with pota­toes and onions is called the Tor­tilla Espanola. Puer­to Rican meals are also known for its exten­sive use of beef tongue, brains, and kid­neys. Inter­est­ing­ly, dai­ly Puer­to Rico din­ing nor­mal­ly includes appe­tiz­ers. Some appe­tiz­ers that are favorites of locals are empanadil­las or turnovers with crab or lob­ster fill­ing, and bacalaitos or crispy frit­ters made with cod. They also serve soup like sopon de pesca­do, which is fish soup, and sopon de pol­lo con arroz,...

Read More