Puerto Rico Celebrates 500 Years of Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing, and it’s time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures and extensive histories that make up the Latino community. This Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the 500th Anniversary celebration of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The anniversary festivities will span from September 2021 to June 2022 as the city rejoices in this momentous milestone, with concerts, festivals, tours and much more!

Visitors can check a dedicated section of Discover Puerto Rico’s website for updates on the exciting calendar of events. As the oldest city in the United States and its territories, San Juan exemplifies the rich blending of cultures and traditions that have made Hispanic heritage relevant in American culture.

Puerto Rico’s Hispanic heritage is rooted in 500 years of history and the subsequent blending of Spanish, Taino Indian and African influences, which are all represented in the Island’s rich culture and traditions. When traveling to the Island, you’ll experience Spanish colonial architecture and prominent centuries-old buildings, savory dishes and dance moves rooted in Spanish and African heritage.

Below you’ll find the best the Island has to offer in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and San Juan’s 500th Anniversary:

Cuisine:

Puerto Rico’s vibrant culture comes alive in its dishes, a celebration of flavors that visitors have the opportunity to indulge in. Having the opportunity to enjoy authentic Puerto Rican food is a highlight of many visitors’ experiences. The Island is full of bold Caribbean flavors that are savored with every bite. Some Puerto Rican favorite dishes are mofongo, tostones, pasteles, arroz con gandules, tembleque and coquito.

Music/Dance:

Music and dance are the heart of Puerto Rican culture. From the minute you get off the plane, music fills the air. It’s a keystone of Puerto Rican entertainment – whether you’re walking the streets of San Juan, celebrating at a small-town festival or spending a day at the beach.

There are many different styles performed in Puerto Rico such as bomba, plena, salsa, reggaetón and pop music – the Island is filled with the best sounds, beats and rhythm the Caribbean has to offer!

Traditions:

Puerto Rico is rich in history, traditions, festivals, art and much more! The Island takes pride in having the longest holiday season in the world, lasting around 45 days. It starts the day after Thanksgiving, and extends through mid-January, culminating with the San Sebastián Street Festival (Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián).

From early morning church services called “misas de Aguinaldo,” to late-night “parrandas” or vibrant Christmas caroling, Puerto Rican locals love any excuse to celebrate the many traditions on the Island

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