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A Cultural Publication for Puerto Ricans
From the editor . . .
“Que bonita bandera, que bonita bandera,
que bonita bandera es la bandera Puertorriqueña.”
Keep your eyes on the Puerto Rico team this month! This is a photo of
the Olympic Village in London.
Puerto Rico made their Olympic debut at the London 1948 Games. A
nine-man team took part in Athletics, Boxing and Shooting. Their first
Olympic medalist was boxer Juan Evangelista Venegas, who took bronze
in the men's bantamweight. All Puerto Rico's medals have come in
boxing. Orlando Maldonado was only 17 when he took bronze in the
light flyweight division at the 1976 Games in Montreal.
The best result achieved by a Puerto Rican was Luis Ortíz Flores’ silver
in the lightweight division at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Fencer
Gloria COLON MUNOZ was their first female Olympian when she
competed at the Rome 1960 Games. Puerto Rico sent a team of 31 in
eight sports to the Beijing 2008 Games.
Puerto Rican Poet
Visit Puerto Rico/Trivia, Refranes
Taínos - Calendar - Don Guillo
Diego el Tavernero/ Poemas Riqueños
Food Blog with Vélez and Jaime
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
Good Luck Team, we’re behind you all the way!
Siempre Boricua,
Ivonne Figueroa
More recipes
Lengua Boricua/Book Review
Music Reviews by: Alberto González
Puerto Rican, José Ferrer,
one of the nation’s foremost and
honored actors, has been
immortalized on a First-Class
Forever Stamp in 2012 as the 14th
luminary celebrated in the U.S.
Postal Service’s Distinguished
Americans series.
Considered one of the most accomplished talents of his generation, Ferrer
(1912-1992) won several Tony Awards for his work on stage and performed in
more than 60 movies, garnering three Academy Award nominations. He
received a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Cyrano de Bergerac.
“The Postal Service is proud to honor José Ferrer on a Forever Stamp,” said
Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services. “A renaissance man who spoke
five languages fluently, Ferrer's accomplishments extended to many areas of
All articles and photos are the property of
of the writer or photographer.
Ivonne Figueroa
Executive Editor & Gen. Mgr.
Javier Figueroa
Anna María Vélez de Blas, Chef
Recipe Tester and Writer
Jaime Garibay Rivera, PhD
Jaime in the Kitchen, Food Blog
Guillermo ‘Don Guillo’ Andares, PhD
Gardening Tips for Puerto Ricans
The portrait featured on the stamp is an oil painting by Daniel Adel of Cold
Spring, NY, based on a photograph of Ferrer. Adel worked under the direction
of art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA.
Alberto González
Music Reviews
Elena Cintrón Colón
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, a district of San Juan, Ferrer’s father, an
attorney, moved the family to New York City when Ferrer was six years old.
Always an excellent student, he passed the Princeton University entrance
exam at age 15, but was considered too young to attend and spent a year in a
boarding school, Le Rosey, in Switzerland. He entered Princeton at age 16 and
graduated with the class of 1933. He conducted postgraduate work
at Columbia University with the intention of becoming a teacher of languages.
However, he had discovered his love of acting while in college, and in 1935,
made his first appearance on Broadway.
Primos Editor
Diego Matos Dupree
Joe Román Santos
Travel Editor
Lisa Santiago Brochu, Chef
Restaurant Reviews
Luisa Yaliz Alaniz Cintrón, MD
Guest Writer
Support Staff
Fernando Alemán Jr - Web Consultant
José Rubén de Castro -Photo Editor
María Yisel Mateo Ortiz -Development
Special Thanks to . . .
Tayna Miranda Zayas of
EL BORICUA is a monthly cultural publication,
established in 1995, that is Puerto Rican owned and
operated. We are NOT sponsored by any club or
organization. Our goal is to present and promote our
"treasure" which is our Cultural Identity - “the Puerto
Rican experience.” EL BORICUA is presented in
English and is dedicated to the descendants of Puerto
Ricans wherever they may be.
There are three Puerto Rico's you need to learn
about; the old, the new and the natural. Learn about
our little terruño. Subscribe to EL BORICUA, a
monthly cultural publication for Puerto Ricans.
Founded in 1512, the town of San Germán is
the second oldest settlement outside of San
Juan in Puerto Rico. The town's area is
53sq.mi/ and the population is
34,962. The surrounding areas produce coffee,
fruits, sugar and tobacco. Unlike other West
Coast regions that are primarily beach towns,
San Germán offers a historic district including
cathedrals, plazas, and colonial homes. San
Germán is also home to a university campus
and much of the restaurants and nightlife are
catered to students, college-age travelers and
the young at heart. Consequently the town has
a very lively atmosphere.
Nature and Adventure
Joe Roman Santos, Editor
Every time I swing to the west coast of Puerto Rico I have to stop in San
German. I love the quaintness of this small village and I have to stop and climb
up the front steps of Porta Coeli. When growing up in PR my parents often
took us for a drive after church on Sundays. We ate from street vendors,
stopped at the beach often and very once in a while we ended up here. Everyone
got out of the car and ran up the steps counting - trece, catorce, quince, etc.
After we had our fun, we ended up at one of the plazas eating piraguas.
Dominican friars built the Convento de Porta Coeli in 1609 at the crest of a hill
in what is now San Germán. During the 18th century the Convento was
reconstructed and a church built next to it. The single nave church was
constructed of rubble masonry with stucco-surfaced walls and a dramatic wood
truss roof. Today, only ruins--a gable-end wall and belfry attached to the
church--remain of the old Convento. Restored in 1960, the Convento de Porta
Coeli now houses a Religious Art Museum.
Speaking Puerto Rican . . .
Mi madre me enseño sobre mis raices 'Mal agradecido, cuando yo era chiquita
no tenía nada de eso!'
Refrán . . .
Mañana será otro día.
Sangermeño, PFC Joseph (Jose) R.
Martinez destroyed a German Infantry unit
and tank in Tuniz, during World War II, by
providing heavy artillery fire, saving his
platoon from being attacked in the process.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service
Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor,
by General George S. Patton, thus
becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of
said military decoration.
Joe is a school teacher in Houston and spends most of his holidays and
summers in Puerto Rico.
is a powerful word.
It is our history,
it is our cultural affirmation,
it is a declaration,
it is a term of endearment,
it is poetic . . .
. . . . . . it is us.
August 8,
August 8,
13, 1889
U.S. grants Puerto Ricans the right to elect own
Taínos were experts at basketry, a term that refers to woven textiles
created manually without a frame or loom. Rigid and semi-rigid
containers, matting, bags, fish traps or nets, hats, and cradles
manufactured in this manner are considered forms of basketry.
Fibers for baskets were obtained from different plants: cotton, bihao (palm), maguey (Agave sp.), and maranta that were processed
by splitting the leaf, frond, or stalk down the middle or stripping the
outer surface.
Baskets were made in different shapes and sizes depending on the
intended use. Most were decorated with fancy patterns and paint;
some more highly decorated were used in rituals. Others were
simple for everyday use. Some baskets were tightly woven and
double-walled to rendered the basket waterproof – these used
maranta plant material. All had particular designs in the weave
associated with the region and the basket-maker. A heavy basket
was carried on the head, a very heavy basket was carried hanging
from a pole.
Everything was used and nothing was discarded, torn baskets were
repaired and put to good use.
Ponce de León founds Caparra, Puerto Rico.
b. Lidio Cruz Monclova, lawyer, educator, and
historian is born. His works include La Gran
Historia de Puerto Rico.
b. Roberto Clemente, Major League baseball
15, 1934 player, and humanitarian is born in Carolina. He
died in 1972 while attempting to aid victims of a
b. Herman Badillo, Caguas born
21, 1929 Bronx politician. Became the first native born
Boricua to serve in Congress, 1971-77
b. Mercedes Negrón Muñoz (aka Clara Lair) poet
was born to a family of poets and writers. Niece
of Luis Muños Rivera and José A. Negrón. Her
poetry won awards from the Instituto de
Literatura Puertorriqueña.
Sixto Escobar wins World Bantamweight Boxing
31, 1936 Championship.
Baskets were used for storage and for carrying supplies from one
place to another. They were taken in canoas to carry supplies, food,
and the day’s catch. Women used them for in harvest. Some were
used for meal preparation and serving meals. They were used much
like we use them today.
Other baskets were filled with ancestor bones and stored in
dwellings high above bohíos, hanging from the ceiling.
Don Guillo, the gardener . . . .
Maranta, native to the Caribbean, was used by
Taínos to make waterproof baskets using the
plant’s underground rhizomes or tubers. This is an
easy to grow houseplant and is found in most
Hi! My name is Paco Vega. I used to live under a bridge
in Fajardo, now I have live in a dream home. I have two
brothers and two sisters. Mom and Dad love me.
I have other friends in PR that also need to find a home.
Poemas Riqueños
Puerto Rico
patria de mis amores
jardín de flores
sólo pienso en ti
Puerto Rico,
de bellos palmares,
tus dulces cantares
viven en mí.
Puerto Rico,
isla primorosa,
isla preciosa
donde yo nací,
en tu suelo
vi la luz del cielo
y entre tus palmas
quiero morir.
Leopoldo González
Bul del Campo
(bul is punch)
Spend time with your kids,
they are not going to raise
Make their
breakfast and sit with them to
eat it. Eat dinner at the table,
not in front of the TV.
Luisa Yaliz Alaniz Cintrón, MD
Child Psychiatrist & Behavioral
Expert with family roots in Ponce.
Use mealtime for fun or
constructive conversations, not
to correct or accuse. Talk
about future vacations or
something interesting you
heard. Discussing politics is
good – get your kids thinking
about right and wrong, talk
about which candidates you
prefer and why, which policies
are good and why. Talk about
cars, what you like and why,
movies you want to watch, etc.
Talk about the future or talk about the past. Talk about family
history, that gets children interested in their roots. Does your child
look like his great aunt? He or she would be interested in this.
Meal time conversation make good memories and influence our kids
in a better way than any TV show could.
1½ cups rum
1/3 cup banana liqueur
1 dash grenadine syrup
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 (6 ounce) can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
1 orange, sliced into rounds
4 Key limes, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
In a large punch bowl, prepare the orange and pineapple
juice according to package directions. Stir in the rum,
banana liqueur and Grenadine. Float slices of orange, lime
and lemon on top.
* Diego Matos Dupree, born in Bayamón, is a
bartender (tavernero) for a popular cruise line. He
lives on board most of the year and gets to travel the
Our PRIMOS section journeys through Latin America celebrating our cousins.
Elena Cintrón Colón
Primos Editor
* Elena, born and raised in Puerto
Rico to Brazilian and Peruvian
parents, lives in Buenos Aires
most of the year. She works for a
large South American firm and
travels throughout Latin America.
She comes home to San Juan.
Paletas de fruta
Ecuador is a very warm place and people do what they must just to stay
cool. One of my favorite Ecuadorian foods are helados de palo or paletas
(homemade pop sickle sticks). Every corner store has these. They are
usually made of fruit juices, vanilla flavored milk, chocolate, coconut milk,
strawberry gelatin, etc. My favorite is the fruit salad paleta.
Fruit Salad Paletas
10 oranges, juiced, about 4 ½ cups of juice
1 large papaya, peeled, seeded and diced small
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced small
6 bananas, peeled and diced small
Sugar or honey to taste, adjust based on sweetness of fruit
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Fill the tin molds or popsicle molds
with the fruit salad mix and place in the freezer for 3-4 hours or until
This makes about 15 paletas. Add or substitute with any other fruit.
Off the Guamote-Macas road about 90 km (56 mi)
from the city of Riobamba, the beautiful Lagunas
de Atillo are found situated within Sangay
National Park. The park is located in the páramo,
or upper Andean moorlands, of the Cebadas area of
the Guamote region of Ecuador, and it is a site of
extreme natural beauty and ecological and
biological diversity. In fact, around 3000 species of
plants, trees and shrubs have been identified within
the park. Sangay National Park has become more
accessible over time with more transportation
options and new roads, but it still remains a lessfrequented, remote area of Ecuador.
Jaime in the Kitchen
A Food Blog
Cocina Criolla – Cooking Hints
By: Anna María Vélez de Blas
Lerenes grown in the Caribbean and are also known as Sweet Cornroot
and Guinea Arrowroot. A native food since the days of the Taínos,
these small egg shaped potato looking vegetables are eaten cooked
and their texture remains crisp even after long cooking.
Strangely enough this vegetable (although it is easy to grow and has
few pests) is not used regularly in modern Puerto Rican cooking and is
actually in danger of becoming extinct due to the lack of commercial
exploitation which in turn has resulted in a decrease in cultivation by
traditional farmers.
Traditionally these plants would be found growing in the shade of Puerto
Rico's coffee plantations. So if you can get your hands on some try the
favorite island way of eating them, simply boiled in salted water. Yum!
Ya me conocen ustedes, you know me already. So you know I
like to cook delicious and easy to prepare Puerto Rican food.
You also know Mami in Mayagüez helps me out with recipes,
but this one I came up with all by myself. I had to call her to
tell her all about it. There’s really no recipe, just the choice
was good.
For great Tapas, grill morcillas and sausages with small
onions and peppers. After grilling, let the sausages cook for a
few minutes then slice into bite size servings. The aroma of
the grilling sausages and morcillas will bring even the not so
hungry guests to the grill. ‘What ya cooking there?’
These Tapas are easy, affordable and impressive!
Morcilla in English is known as Black Sausage or Blood
Sausage. Black sausage is eaten in Europe, not really eaten
much in the USA.
1 lb lerenes
6 cups water
2 tbs salt
Boil lerenes in salted water for about 1 hour. Drain and serve, as is, to
be peeled before eating.
*Anna is a Recipe Tester for EL BORICUA and is also a
professional Chef, she lives in California with her husband, Joe
and their three children.
Hasta la proxima. Jaime Garibay Rivera
* Jaime Garibay Rivera, Ph.D. is a retired college professor
(Aerophysics), now living in Miami. He has three children
and his family roots are in Mayagüez.
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
Cremita de Farina
Breakfast cereal served in Puerto Rico
2 cups whole milk
½ cup Farina
2 tbs sugar
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp butter or margarine
In a medium sized saucepan combine all
ingredients and cook over medium heat stirring
constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Lower
heat and continue cooking until it thickens to
your liking.
You can add cinnamon and stir and add more
butter and some maple syrup if you like. Some
people add sweetened crema de coco. If you will
be adding other liquids, then cook the Farina
longer until it gets thicker and then add additional
ingredients and stir.
Ensalada Caribeña de Mariscos
Caribbean Seafood Salad
1½ tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. elbow macaroni, cooked
½ c. shrimp (cooked)
½ c. diced crab meat (cooked)
½ c. diced lobster meat (cooked)
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 tbsp. green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. roasted red peppers, chopped
2 tbsp. onion, chopped
½ c. celery, chopped
½ c. tomato, chopped
¼ c. stuffed olives, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
½ c. salad dressing or Mayo
Mix lemon juice, olive oil and combine with
pasta. Chill several hours, stirring
occasionally. Fold in Mayo or dressing and
the rest of the ingredients. At this time you
can serve or chill for later. Arrange on crisp
salad greens.
Serves 4 to 6.
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
2 pounds honeycomb tripe
4 cups lemon juice
8 cups cold water
3 quarts cold water add 1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon achiote oil
¼ pound smoked ham, diced
½ cup basic Recaito
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup alcaparrado
½ pound yautia
½ pound yuca
3 carrots
½ pound West Indian pumpkin
1 green plantain
4 bay leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
Mondongo Criollo
First prepare the tripe by washing it and removing excess fat (the store will say it has already been cleaned, but please wash it again), then soak in
the 8 cups water with lemon for 30 minutes and rinse. At this point you may precook the tripe in pressure cooker for about 20 minutes or overnight
in crockpot (low temperature) using 3 quarts cold salted water. Slice with kitchen scissors or chop.
Or the tripe can be added to a large pot with the 3 quarts of salted water and brought to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 2½
hours until the tripe is tender, drain and rinse the tripe.
All the vegetables need to be prepped by cleaning, peeling, seeding, dicing or slicing, etc.
In a clean pot, heat the oil, add ham, recaito, tomato sauce, and alcaparrado; sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the tripe, root vegetables, plantain, bay leaves, and enough cold water to cover. Add pepper and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and
simmer for about 40 minutes or until the root vegetables are cooked. Add drained garbanzos and continue to cook the stew for another 5 minutes.
This delicious stew is very often served with plain white rice and slices of avocado.
This is a truly a Puerto Rican dish. Gaspacho as we know it in the
states is a Spanish soup. In Puerto Rico we made it into a delicious salad
(ensalada de aguacate con bacalao).
½ lbs bacalao filet, desalted and shredded by hand
2 avocados, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ onion, sliced (or more to your liking)
2 tbs olive oil
½ tp salt
black pepper to taste
Mix these ingredients together to form a salad. Our Gazpacho is usually
served as a side dish next to rice and a meat dish. I like to serve it over
spinach leaves for lunch.
Gazpacho Salad
Process the bacalao to desalt it. We are all familiar with this, soak, boil,
change the water, boil again. It must be shredded by hand, never use an
electric appliance for this or the bacalao becomes a matty-mess that
needs to be discarded.
Nuestra Música
Andy Montañez
“De Andy Montañez al Combo”
Animal Jamboree
Latino Folktales
By: Judith Ortiz Cofer
This book is a collection of four delightfully entertaining
short stories for children. The book in written in English
on one side, turn it over and it’s in Spanish! The English
side includes words in the Puerto Rican vernacular.
The lively characters in the stories are lifelike and sharp
as nails.
Y colorín, colorado, este cuento se ha acabado.
Absolutely recommended reading.
Judith Ortíz Cofer in an accomplished novelist and poet who
incorporates her Puerto Rican experience into her many works.
Arte Público Press/Piñata Books is the Nation’s largest and
most established publisher of contemporary and recovered
literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. It is based at the University
of Houston in Texas.
Pub Date: April 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55885-743-8
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público
This singer from the community of Tras Talleres, in
Santurce, P.R., just celebrated his 50 years in music with a
tribute concert last month (July) in the “Coliseo de Puerto
Rico – José Miguel Agrelot”. Unfortunately, the concert had
to be postponed due to a serious car accident in which Andy
Montañez was involved a couple of months earlier in
Colombia, where he had some artistic commitments. After a
successful recovery, the also known as “El Ñiño de Tras
Talleres” had the chance to perform for his beloved Puerto
Rican fans in a presentation that counted with special and
well experienced guests like Puerto Rico’s first voice Danny
Rivera and the Dominican legend Johnny Ventura, among
Andy found his musical cradle in the notorious “El Gran
Combo de P.R.”, in which participated for around 15 years
as a lead singer along with Pellín Rodríguez, basically from
the beginning of this group in the early 1960s, recording
countless hits from bolero and “jala-jala” to “guaguancó” and
Christmas songs. In the late 1970s joined the Venezuelan
group “Dimensión Latina” for a few years, before continuing
his career by his own. Due to his participation with this
Venezuelan band and the international impact of “El Gran
Combo”, especially in Panama, Venezuela and Colombia,
Andy has always been acclaimed in that region.
Here is his tribute to the group that exposed and promoted
him as a popular singer, “El Gran Combo”. “De Andy
Montañez al Combo” starts with a new song, “Tributo al
Gran Combo”, and follows with new versions of EGC hits
originally recorded by Andy’s successor singers Charlie
Aponte and Jerry Rivas, like “El menú”, “Timbalero”,
“Brujería”, and ends with Andy’s own big hit during his era
with EGC, “Julia”, also a new version.
-Alberto González lives in South Florida, works in Spanish &
ESL education and provides translation services. Graduated
from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico and
attended the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico-