By: Lisa Bonomo, Cultural Advisor for Culture at the Garden – Puerto Rico
The Culture at the Garden – Puerto Rico, took children on a journey to learn about a Commonwealth of the United States. What, a Commonwealth? Puerto Rico is not a country? It’s not a State? No, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States of America, and its residents are citizens of the United States.
The children were taken on a journey of the island and its most valued aspects using crafts, games and dancing of course! They started with El Coqui’, a small tree frog, that is indigenous to the island, they make the music of the island, Koh-kee, singing from dusk ‘til dawn. They learned of the Bioluminescent bay of Vieques and the NASA radio telescope in Arecibo to El Morro fort, that was used to defend the island in the early days of Spanish occupancy and the children went through a life sized El Morro in order to get onto the island and learn about the culture, music and games Puerto Rico is famous for.
Once through El Morro, they learned about Danza, Reggaeton, Bolero, Merengue and Salsa; using maracas they showed off their dance skills on the stage. They learned how to play dominoes, a game that is near and dear to the heart of Puerto Ricans; they learned of the Taino Indian culture that makes Puerto Rico unique, and received a Taino Coqui glitter tattoo. They heard about the culture and saw traditional dress of Puerto Rican men and women. They answered trivia questions to win a prize; and enjoyed refreshing Piragua’s, a shaved ice drink, and plantain chips, 2 delicious treats that every child experiences on the island.
Who knew Puerto Rico had so much more to offer than beautiful beaches! Did you?
Special Thank you to :
- Event Sponsor: Amgen Latin Employees Network (ALEN)
- Planning committee: Lisa Bonomo, Tina Mortillaro, Tanya Nunez, Subha Tholudur
- SCS Volunteers: Archana Timmaraju, Samatha Gummadi, Marivic Marko, Jen Lunney, Sonceriae Armstrong, Namrata Dutta, Puja Kaushik, Alex Lagrave, María Paz Varas, Johanna Duc, Lisa Bonomo, Jen Lunney, Jamie Hammer-Voegler, Subha Tholudur, Tina Mortillaro, Alicia Andrae, Imelda Fuentes, Darshana Bhamre, Andrea Feagan, Marie Turner, Anette Power.
- ALEN Volunteers: Tanya Nunez, Ivy Colon-Perez, Nahira Miscalichi, Edgar Romo.
Photos by: Stacy Gleason and Marivic Marko