Tag Archives: 4th of July

Happy 4th of July -Puerto Rico Style

Posted by Cassie

In Puerto Rico on the 4th of July you won’t see people strutting around in American flag clothing or even lighting fireworks except at the military bases. Occasionally stateside people will buy a bunch of fireworks and throw a party, but in general, fireworks are not a thing here on the 4th of July. I don’t think Puerto Rico ever really got indoctrinated into the whole Independence Day history of the nation, though it is part of it. The history of this island is so much longer than the 200 some years of the USA that it hasn’t quite fully worked its way into the pride of most islanders as it does with most mainlanders.

Almendros 4th
4th of July at Almendros Beach, Rincón

Still, because it is a federal holiday, Puerto Rico gets the day off. And no one is going to argue with that. This year, for many, that meant an extra long weekend of partying. And partying in the summertime means going to the beach! In Rincón both the balneario and Almendros beaches were packed with people, while other beaches were quite calm. This is a social, loud island, so the parties get more and more packed and more and more crazy! Some people set up camp right at the water’s edge to be right in the milieu melee. It’s fun for extroverts, but people who dislike crowds or noise should avoid these festival type events.

Gasolina stage
It’s a huge party on the beach complete with a hula hoop dance competition and air horns!

Rincon Bienvenidos
We ran into local Rincón celebrity “Bienvenidos” who often helps direct traffic and is always welcoming

Such is life
Such is life….is such a good mantra. Row, row, row your boat

We went on a beer run for some people at a pinchos stand. Everyone piled up in the truck. And then we drove, not to a store, but to someone’s personal house and bought some beer. I talked to an old man there who had lived in the area since it was all sugarcane fields. The layers and webs of life here make everything here just little wilder.

Sheryl pickup
No back seats, no problem!

There were supposed to be two other (calmer) parties in Aguada and Aguadilla, so Britton and I packed up and left. When we got to Aguada, no one was to be found. Perhaps it was too windy to set up. So we headed to Borinquen Beach, one of my favorites in Aguadilla, for another party. When we got there, we didn’t find a soul we knew either! It was spitting rain and windy too, but we swam a bit and enjoyed the peaceful contrast from earlier in the day.

Enjoying Borinquen Beach in Aguadilla -while some guy attempts to ostrich himself? ;-)

Britton Beach
We watched a beautiful sunset

Cassie beach

And rainbows

Unfortunately all we had brought to eat was a huge watermelon and lots of beer because we were anticipating BBQ at one or the other of the parties. So, we were getting pretty hungry. Then it started pouring rain so we headed out. We were wet from swimming so we didn’t want to go to any sit-down restaurants. Wendy’s it is, I guess! When it rains hard, often the power goes out and that happened even at this corporate fast food joint. The worker came out to our truck at the ordering window with an umbrella and told us that if we had cash they could serve us. So we had our American-style meal on the 4th of July after all. You just never know what you’ll run into or where you’ll end up here in Puerto Rico. Such is life, indeed.

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4th of July Rincón Style

Posted by Cassie

The 4th of July, or America’s Independence Day, is not very celebrated in Puerto Rico. In spite of Puerto Rico being part of the U.S., Puerto Rico is very much her own in terms of culture. In all the days leading up to the 4th in Greeley we would hear and see lots of fireworks going off around town (legal or not). We didn’t hear a peep in our neighborhood in Puerto Rico. None-the-less a few people from the states thought it would be fun to celebrate the 4th Rincon style: on the beach! Add in some fireworks, a couple of frisbees, some music, a bonfire, and a potluck BBQ and we were in for a good time!

The Landing

Some friends had a connection that let everyone have access to park at the Landing, an old abandoned restaurant right on the beach. We had never been on this beach though it is just an extension of Sandy Beach, really.  It was a great spot for a party!

Ready for a bonfire

It was large enough that a lot of people could hang out, swim, socialize, play etc but also a little hidden away. Once the sun went down they set the fireworks off. We could also see far off in the distance the firework display at the Coast Guard Base in Aguadilla.

Sun beginning its descent

Fireworks beneath the palms
Watching fireworks beneath palm fronds

It was a great night with a great bunch of people. We love our community. People always have awesome ideas (and parties) here. Hope you all had a nice 4th as well.

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Happy 4th of July and 2 Years Blogging

Posted by Cassie

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and Happy Anniversary to my parents!

Sparklers were the extent of our fire works

Speaking of anniversaries, I was just reviewing some of the old posts from this blog and realized that we just passed another anniversary of blogging! Our very first post was on June 28, 2008! It’s funny reading it now, because I remember that I had no idea what hosting and writing a blog would be like, let alone all the technical aspects of it (thanks to Britton for working most of those out…). The content of the post is basic and used mainly as a test, but it still reflects many of the summer posts here we’ve written about life in Greeley -messing around in the greenhouse, spending time outside, enjoying the hot weather.

However, we had no idea what would happen between then and now. I figured we would be living in PR by now, but a few twists and turns in life and here we still are. And actually we have had some great opportunities pop up that we just couldn’t turn down. The cost benefit analysis of some of the investment and work opportunities here outweighed our immediate and strong desire to move. And while the date has been pushed out and out, we are getting more and more ready to be able to move without too much of a worry once we arrive. These last two years have been creating a great launching pad for us whereby we might not even HAVE to work in the traditional sense of wages for hours of our life.

It looks like my job will be saved and I will continue working past August 1 which is overall definitely good news in the sense that losing a job is always really stressful and it will give us more time to save money and invest. On the other hand, it also keeps us here. Britton says we have to know when to get out. Kind of like in poker -know when to hold them, fold them or walk away.

We are definitely emotionally and mentally ready, but financially I think we want to be prepared for the worst -no job, no income generated there, not understanding fully the system and also dealing with isolation away from our family and friends support network.

We have another investment in the works right now, and when it goes through I’ll blog a little more about it. Another step. That’s all you can do, just keep moving forward. Having goals (like for us moving to Puerto Rico) helps you to know which way to go, but you just have to keep moving forward.

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