Friday, October 25, 2013

Show Me Your Neighborhood {Florida, Puerto Rico}





When Annabelle from The Piri-Piri Lexicon shared her project with a multicultural group that I belong to I was excited! We were going to Puerto Rico for vacation, and this was the perfect opportunity to showcase the little town I grew up in Puerto Rico called Florida. Yes, Florida, like the state in the U.S.A. 

This has been such a great opportunity to actually "look" at my town through the lens of my camera. I lived there most of my life, and visit quite often; but never really seen it with other "eyes." Thanks to Annabelle, I can show my neighborhood to our son, and to the world!


The requirements for participation were very simple.  Take six pictures that include the following: 
  • a playground / play area
  • a local mode of transport
  • a typical house/building
  • a street nearby
  • a school, nursery or other education facility
  • a market, supermarket or other shopping outlet
Plus, six more pictures that were local and typical. :)  So off I set to take pictures of everything and anything! 

I present to you my home town of Florida, Puerto Rico!  Also known as "La Tierra del Río Encantado" (the land of the enchanted river).  The town gets that name because it has an underground river that runs through the center of the town.  Florida is a very small town, and it was founded in 1971. 


Picture taken at night welcoming everyone to our town. 

Little man had fun playing at the playground. This park actually had a couple of more slides, see-saws, and play areas. 
In our town we don't have buses, or trains,  and we probably have one taxi (but it's expensive)!  The local mode of transportation are cars that we call "carros públicos" (public cars).  You will find them in this terminal (each town has one); and you can get a ride to another town for two dollars if the driver has a "full" car. The catch is that you would have to wait for the car to be full of passengers for it to leave the terminal. Sometimes that would take hours. Also, the "carros públicos" would drive up and down the main roads stopping to pick up passengers along the way. 
Houses are typically made of cement and concrete. The windows are aluminum blinds, and have a screen mesh to keep the mosquitoes, and gnats out.  We also have different structure houses, and buildings in bigger cities, and you may come across wooden houses in the poorer communities.
Neighborhood street. As you can see the houses look the same because this neighborhood is called "una urbanización" (pre-fabricated neighborhood or subdivision of homes).   Contractors, and builders build them to look all the same inside, and out. Home owners may add something to the exterior structure to make it look different, but interior layout is the same.  
This is the local high school, and of course it's the high school I graduated from Juan Ponce de León II.  You can read more about the schools from Puerto Rico here
In our town we don't have big malls, or lots of stores.  Just a supermarket that serves the whole town.  If you want to shop elsewhere it would be like a 30-40 minute drive to the next town over. 
Now if you want "verduras" (vegetables) you can always count on "la guaguita de las verduras" (veggie truck) that drives up and down our street with a microphone announcing that he's coming through our streets. If you need peppers, sweet potato, garlic, mango, or pumpkin he has it! He even has a scale to weigh your produce. :) 
When we're out and about Mami will probably say "Si vas por esos lares y ves guineo cómprame." Typically that means that if you see a veggie stand while you're out buy your Mom some green bananas or whatever else she fancies. :) You will certainly find one or two of "la parada de las verduras" (veggie stand) on the main roads.  You can find clusters of green bananas, plantains, yautía, or any fruit that's in season.  
Although Mami's home is not out in the "country" she has chickens, roosters, and birds in her back yard.  So any time she needs some fresh eggs she has them right there in her backyard. 
You will also find coffee trees that she grows, and harvest.  As well as mango, avocado, and papaya. Amongst other vegetables like yautía, green bananas, plantains, tomatoes, and peppers.

You will also come across the occasional critter just staring at you. :) 

I'm really excited that the Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academy is part of my neighborhood in Florida, PR! Needless, to say it's the first and one of a kind bilingual high school (with a college setting in its kind in all of Puerto Rico).  This academy is Carlos Beltrán's dream come true; and it thrives for academic & athletic excellence. 
Our local police department at night. 
This last picture I'm including just for fun! Not everyone has a dryer, and I forgot what it's like to put clothes up on the clothesline with the scorching Puerto Rico sun is blinding you and drops of sweat streaming down your forehead! LOL
I hope you've enjoyed touring our neighborhood, and if you want to take a tour around other neighborhoods around the world click here.

Please like,comment, pin or share! 

17 comments :

  1. Everything is so colourful! I love it. Many thanks for taking part.

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    1. Thank you Annabelle for coming up with this wonderful project.

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  2. Wow this is so awesome! Puerto Rico is different than I imagined...it seems so relaxing and vibrant and "homey"! It is neat to see the Carlos Beltran academy! He played here for the Kansas City Royals. :) I love how you can get fresh produce in so many places...is it like that year-round? What a beautiful town to have grown up in. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Kali! Puerto Rico also has it's big city, with hotels, buildings, & night life! I'm just showing my small home town. ;)

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  3. I love it! Annabelle's right, it is so colorful! I love the lizard ;) Looks like a beautiful place to grow up!

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    1. Yes it is! Though my 5 yr. old wasn't too thrilled with the lizard. LOL Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  4. What a beautiful neighborhood - I especially love the veggie truck!!

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  5. It sounds like such a lovely place to grow up in. I love that local produce are available everywhere. This is less so in bigger towns. I know, truism, but it is somethign I have come to appreciate. :-)
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Mina! Thank you for stopping by! True, fresh, and local produce is harder to find in bigger towns; when I was there visiting I was fascinated "all over again" by something that I grew up with.

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  6. Wonderful photos. It really is very colourful! This series is so much fun :-)

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  7. Love the colours here! And the saying about buying your mom some bananas! I love the idea of buying everything fresh, so I would totally buy my things at these veggie trucks! Thank you for sharing your beautiful neighbourhood!

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    1. Thank you Olga for stopping by! Yes, I love how we could go out, and just buy fresh produce or veggies anywhere. :)

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  8. Great pictures! Everything looks so alive and vibrant in these photos.

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  9. Wow, thanks for this share! I have a good friend that is from Puerto Rico just don't ask me where she tells me and I always forget! I've been to P.R. once on a cruise but of course only hit the tourist spots. :P

    I was kind of confused when you did the post, I was like is it about Florida, USA and Puerto Rico but that's so neat that it's a city and a state. Haha thanks!

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    1. Hello Dina! Sorry for the late response (your comment was lost in the spam folder). I'm glad I recovered it, and that you enjoyed this article. Yes, my hometown's name is also the name of a state. Lots of people get confused. ;) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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