¿Que Pasa? in Puerto Rico

In early summer I had gone to Guanica to admire the beautiful mangroves and happened to catch this beautiful Great White Egret (Casnerodius albus).

by Jenny Barnes

Puerto Rico should be voted one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with the most glorious beaches. The heritage, culture, and history alone are magnificent, and when you add the agriculture it truly takes your breath away.

I moved to Puerto Rico a little over a year ago with my family. The minute the plane landed I fell in love. From the crystal clear blue water, palm trees, and perfect weather it felt like heaven here on earth. Immediately upon moving here my adventures began. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the island, as well as finding all of the hidden treasures and secrets contained within.
We decided to stay away from the city coming from the hustle and bustle and fast pace of New Jersey. So the south western part of the island was perfect. It was secluded enough to enjoy the peace and quiet yet still close enough to smaller cities as well as some of the tourist areas.
The fact that you can get to just about any area of the island in about two and a half hours was also a good thing.

Guanica has some of the most beautiful secluded places with the most beautiful mangroves and crystal clear waters.

One stipulation that I must correct is that many people here on the island speak English, so our fears of having a difficult language barrier were soon relieved.
My amazing adventures soon began by taking “off the grid” day trips. I hopped in the car and just started to drive, with a map in hand of course. It didn’t matter if I made a wrong turn or ended up at the wrong location because at every turn there was something fascinating to look at. There is so much for the eyes to see that in a way it’s almost an overwhelming sense of beauty.
Puerto Rico is very rich in its agriculture. There are beautiful fields of banana trees, wild cotton blowing in the wind that grows right at the water’s edge of the beaches, miles and miles of farmland containing just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine: from oranges, papaya, pineapples, and grapes to coconut trees, peppers, tomatoes, and avocado trees that yield some of the largest avocados my eyes have ever seen.

Upon wandering in the woods near San German I was lucky to snap a beautiful shot of this male Peacock.
Foldgers coffee is the preferred Café where I come from, and when we arrived one of my new discoveries was that Puerto Rico had some of the most wonderful coffee I had the pleasure to smell and taste. It is grown and harvested right here on the island, with Puerto Rico’s soil containing such rich minerals and nutrients it gives the coffee the most wonderful robust rich flavor, and here in Puerto Rico they take their coffee very serious so the coffee bean famers take a lot of pride in their work. I haven’t yet had the pleasure to visit all of the beautiful beaches here but I must say some of my favorites are located here on the south, south west area. No beach is the same, not even the sand. I have had the privilege to see beaches with a rich carrot color sand in San Juan, A burnt coffee color in Mayaguez, a soft eggshell color in Guanica, as well as sand that if you look closely it is made up of thousands and thousands of tiny seashells and the sand in Crashboat is so soft it
feels as if your walking on air. If you are in the area and decide to take a day trip to Gilligan’s island, the seafloor is made up of beautiful coral surrounded by mangroves that have Iguanas, birds, and other tropical animals hidden within their shrubbery.
One thing that was quite comforting to me is that here on the island things are pretty simple. It’s a bit like taking a decade or so back in time travel but in a good way. Over in the states people are so worried about the hustle and bustle of things that they don’t get the chance to stop and take a minute to enjoy their surroundings, here everything moves at a much slower pace. So you get the chance to stop and take a good look all around you.
The atmosphere is about culture, where the natives come from and where they are going, taking time to actually stop and relax as well as enjoying life and my most favorite attribute is the strong family bonds here.
Every week people get together to play dominos, cook the most amazing food, and laugh and to enjoy each other’s company. Here family means something and it’s important. It’s about spending quality time with those you love and care about in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Playa Santa is a great place to go jet skiing as well as taking fun banana boat rides and the views are fantastic.
Life here on the island by far exceeded my expectations.
There are issues here just as there are in any other place. You can’t help but be at peace in this lovely quaint little stretch of Caribbean. The people here are kind, charismatic, caring, and best of all they are accepting and friendly.
I don’t think my family and I could have picked a better place to live, I wish we had made the decision to move here sooner. As for now, we will continue our adventures discovering the beauty of the island while learning to appreciate our surroundings as well as each other.

The markets here in Puerto Rico offer the most fresh hand picked fruits in wide varieties.
This pint sized Coqui frog is a National symbol here in Puerto Rico, they live in the trees and at night time you can hear them chirping.
This is a photo of a small sharp-mouthed lizard. (Anolis Polchellus) They are the most common lizard found on the island, careful not to touch their tails otherwise they will fall off.