Monday, May 4, 2009

La Ruta del Corazón Criollo

Yesterday, we stumbled upon the very quaint Centro Musical Criollo in Caguas, a city which lies just 20 miles south of San Juan. Caguas is very suburban, it has the typical shopping mall, Wal-Mart and it's filled with all the major fast food chains, such as Popeyes and Krispy Kreme. We stayed away from the strip malls and hung out at the charming plaza, where we enjoyed the sounds of a salsa band and saw a bunch of antique cars. Caguas is not a large city, and it is certainly not considered a tourist destination. However, with the creation of La Ruta del Corazón Criollo, the city of Caguas is trying to change that.

La Ruta del Corazón Criollo literally means the route to the heart of Puerto Rico. In this case, criollo is defined as the evolution of the Puerto Rican culture. This route begins at the visitors center, or the Oficina del Turismo, and is clearly marked by arrows. There are 10 points of interest along the way. Unfortunately, we only had enough time to visit the freshly painted Centro Musical Criollo, built in 1908, which has a small exhibit on some of Puerto Rico's most famous composers, such as José Ignacio Quintón. There were also displays of various musical instruments commonly used in Puerto Rican music, such as plena, like the guitar, tres, cuatro and bordonua. To get to the heart and soul of Puerto Rico, I highly recommend visiting and exploring the smaller cities and towns, and taking a stroll along La Ruta del Corazón Criollo.

1 comment:

RayInPR said...

Nice. We'll have to add this to our list of things to do!