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African/Puerto Ricans Honored

Updated on August 27, 2013

The Puerto Rican's culture is a unique mix of cultural ancestors including Taíno (Amerindians), African (from the slaves), Spanish, and North American. This brought up the admirable people of the stunning island of Puerto Rico.

Caguas is geographically the heart of Puerto Rico. It symbolizes the authentic Creole and the representation of all that Puerto Ricans love about our country ... The genuine ... The native ... That which distinguishes us as people undeniably and proudly proclaiming us anywhere in the world that we are Puerto Ricans!

To honor the ethnic groups that give rise to the City Creole of Caguas in Puerto Rico; it has deemed four commemorative sites in each of the cardinal points of the city: North Portal: Indian Heritage Monument, South Portal: European Heritage Monument, East Portal: African Heritage Monument, and West Portal: Memorial Creole.

East Portal: African Heritage Monument


Historical background

Before the discovery of America, the Taino Indians of South American origin inhabited this island. In 1493 Columbus arrived and with him, the Spanish and European settlers.

The Turabo Valley was found very attractive for its fertility and for being surrounded by mountains and rivers, plus it was a junction point between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. There they found the seated chief named Caguax, master of this enclave, who had a very beautiful niece named Mary Boaganamé. With the Spanish began the "encomiendas" a law that forced the Indians to work in mines and haciendas.

Caguax was part of the leadership on the estate of Ferdinand the Catholic, led by the conquistador Juan Ponce de León. On the death of the Cacique, the Spanish recognized as Mary Boaganamé as one of them. She lived with Diego Muriel who obtained permission from the Crown to marry Mary. They gave rise to the first mestizos, criollos first, unique and different. The Taíno were decimated and the Spanish, an eager workforce, began to buy slaves from Africa for the mining operations and plantations. Than emerged a second mestizaje. From there, our claim is that our ancestors left us a mixture of races. So Caguas has "Creole Consciousness."

A markerCaguas, Puerto Rico -
Caguas, Puerto Rico
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Mosaic Black with Wings

The Mosaic Black With Wings pays tribute to some of the outstanding black women and men in the history of Puerto Rico. The design is intended to beautify and protect the environment of Caguas. The work of the public art, mostly glazed tile, offers a set of lights along the mosaic. The mural recreates the faces of:

  1. Miguel Henriquez: A privateer who became the wealthiest man on the island. He i3s considered by many to have been the first Puerto Rican entrepreneur.
  2. José Celso Barbosa Alcalá: Known as the "Father of statehood in Puerto Rico."
  3. Rafael Hernandez Marin: One of the most important composers of Puerto Rican popular music during the 20th century.
  4. Enrique Laguerre: The most prolific of the brightest educators. An advocate of human equal rights.
  5. Jose Castor Ayala: A patriarch who brought his family to highlight and disseminate the values ​​of our culture "afro-borincana".
  6. Felix M. Rodriguez Capó (Bobby Capó): Considered one of our greatest musical legends.
  7. Rafaela Bracero Diaz: A physical education teacher.
  8. José Campeche: Considered the founder of the Puerto Rican national painting.
  9. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg: A historian, writer and activist, known as the "Father of Black History."
  10. Pedro Albizu Campos: A Puerto Rican revolutionary leader who was sentenced on several separate occasions for his unwavering political struggle.
  11. Jose Ferrer Canales: An educator, writer and a pro-independence political activist.
  12. Loida Figueroa: A distinguished professor who created awareness among students academic policies in New York.
  13. Silvia del Villard: An actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and reciter.
  14. Peter "Fabito" Faberllé: One of the best right hand pitchers in baseball.
  15. Rafael Cordero: An educator known as "The servant of God" who could not attend school with other children because they did not accept black students. He was self-educated and provided free schooling to children regardless of their race or social standing. He also was known as "The Father of Public Education in Puerto Rico".
  16. Pedro Flores Cordova: Considered one of the greatest composers of popular music.
  17. Ernesto Ramos Antonini: A public servant whose struggle was to defend the working class.
  18. Julia de Burgos: Poet, playwright and educator.
  19. Roberto Clemente Walker: He recorded the name of Puerto Rico in Major League Baseball history.
  20. Catalino "Tite" Curet: One of the most prolific composers.
  21. Teofilo Cruz Downs: A National Team basketball player center and five-time Olympian.
  22. Ramón Emeterio Betances: A doctor, playwright, abolitionist and politician; the first to accept the status as mulatto.
  23. Miguel Jimenez "El Canario" :A troubadour who helped popularize the "plena" (folkloric music).
  24. Rafael Cepeda Atiles: A brilliant and prolific composer, musician, director and authentic folklorist .
  25. Rafael Cortijo: A character of importance in the history of the traditions of Puerto Rico and Latin music.


I am an "African/Puerto Rican (Afro-Rican, Boricua, Puerto Rican, Afro-boricua, etc.)" proud person. Many people think that just because of physical characteristics they are from some special or unique "race". Jeremiah 32:39 says:and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.

Watch the video below and delight yourself with the music from one of my afro-rican friends. I wonder why: Africa Is My Destination.

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

William Cepeda

© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Simon glad to read your comment. Blessings to Africa!

    • profile image

      simon 5 years ago

      Now i know why your love and interest to visit Africa

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      mary615 it brings a happiness to my heart your love for Puerto Rico. Thanks!

      Froggy213 yes, it is fun and a blessing to get information for all our work together. Thanks!

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 5 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      This was fun traveling to Caguas with you my love to get information for this delightful,interesting hub. Great job!!!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I love reading your Hubs about Puerto Rico! I really learned a lot reading this one, too. This Hub is very informative and interesting. I'm voting it UP, etc. and will share. Goodnight.