My First Trip to San Juan: An Essay

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Every year, my family takes a trip to Puerto Rico to visit family and friends. In 2017, Hurricane Maria came to the Island and devastated Puerto Rico, ‘La Isla del Encanto’. The next time we visited our home in Las Marias was in the summer of 2018. We were able to see our family and bring some things that were still needed. However, the highlight of the trip, that separated it from all the other times we have gone, was that it was my first time visiting the capital, San Juan. It was a three-hour long, cramped drive in a small car from Las Marias to San Juan because we brought our cousin with us as well. The scorching hot summer sun was also no help to our conditions, but it was all worth it in the end.

As soon as we got there, I could immediately see the differences between our hometown and San Juan. Las Marias is full of mountains and narrow, bumpy, and twisty roads. San Juan has lots of old, historic buildings, people, and a person can find more advanced technology. Our hotel was in the middle of the town, ‘Mi Viejo San Juan’, which translates to ‘Old San Juan’. There was no need for transportation because everything was simply a walking distance away. We visited many unique, historic places such as El Morro, El Fuerte San Cristóbal, La Fortaleza, and El Paseo de la Princesa.

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For breakfast, we went to this small diner where savored delicious sweet bread made in Puerto Rico called ‘mazorca’, but nothing compares to the amazing food my grandma makes for me. First, we went to El Morro, where we saw many children flying colorful kites, people walking their dogs, and enjoying the breeze which comes from the Caribbean Sea. I certainly enjoyed this breeze and the ocean because we don’t get this in Las Marias where there is barely a community pool to swim in the hot summers. Then, in El Fuerte San Cristóbal, I heard the loud noise that a cannon makes when it fires. I learned that this fort was used by the Spaniards to defend themselves from pirate attacks. Later at La Fortaleza, I was able to walk inside the Governor's mansion. During the tour we were taken to a small chapel inside the mansion where the sons and daughters of the important governmental officers are baptized. Finally, in El Paseo de la Princesa, we sat to watch people play and we could smell the salt coming from the ocean. And to finish off a wonderful day, we ate delicious ice cream made from fruits grown in the island called ‘paletas’.

I felt very happy to have visited this part of the island that I had never seen before. I learned so many new things about the history of Puerto Rico and enjoyed several new foods. But out of the whole trip, what made me most proud was how in the midst of a tragedy, Puerto Ricans stood united and strong.

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My First Trip to San Juan: An Essay. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
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