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.

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