Gorgeous Collection of Vintage Photographs from the 1940s-1960s

Friends of Eldo Neufeld (photographer) outside rural home. Taken 1946-48.
Friends of Eldo Neufeld (photographer) outside rural home. Taken 1946-48.

Whilst doing some research one night I stumbled upon this amazing flickr account run by Tom Lehman. Amazing because Mr. Lehman collected thousands of vintage slides, cleaned, scanned, edited, identified and attributed each one to their individual photographer. And after that monumental task was completed, he was kind enough to upload them for everyone to see, enjoy and use free of charge. (As long as it’s not for monetary gain)

Most of the photos are of Puerto Rico but there are some other countries among the collection as well. He also has a blog which explains why and how these photographs came to light.

Another useful site is “Archivo Historico y Fotografico de Puerto Rico” which has many fascinating photographs and ephemera as well. Stop by and check them out, as you can see from the examples here, they are really quite remarkable.

The photos I picked to showcase here are just a small sampling and most have been edited to some degree. I hope you will stop by Tom’s site to view the rest and perhaps give him a hand with the identification process.

burning sugar cane
Burning Sugar Cane Field – !960 Taken by Elmer Weaver
Cayey in Toita - apr 60 Puerto Ricotwo
Iglesia Bautista in Toita, Cayey, PR. 1960 – Taken by Elmer Weaver (Still standing, you can see an image on Google Maps)
Political Party Club - 1960 (City Unknown)
Political Party Club – 1960 (City Unknown) Taken by Elmer Weaver.
DeSoto at Kofresi Line Inc., Ponce-San Juan. Between 1948 -1951.
DeSoto at Kofresi Line Inc., Ponce-San Juan. Between 1948 -1951. Taken by John Brandeberry
Funeral Coach 1948
Funeral Coach 1948 – Taken by Esther Rinner
Fisherman in Arroyo - April 1948
Fisherman in Arroyo – April 1948 – Taken by Esther Rinner
Oxen taking water to steam engine .1947-48 - Taken by Esther Rinner
Oxen taking water to steam engine .1947-48 – Taken by Esther Rinner
Between Comerio and Barranquitas. 1960-61
Between Comerio and Barranquitas. 1960-61 Taken by Patricia Santiago.
"Little girl that brought us oranges" - March 1948. Photo by Dale Roesch
“Little girl that brought us oranges” – March 1948. Photo by Dale Roesch
Fotographia Nunez, booth in Lares plaza. July 10, 1955 Taken by Lee Smith
Fotographia Nunez, booth in Lares plaza. July 10, 1955 – Taken by Lee Smith
Rio Piedras street scene - January 1960 - Taken by Elmer Weaver
Rio Piedras street scene – January 1960 Taken by Elmer Weaver

Coffee in Puerto Rico | The Best Coffee Tours, Museums & Festivals on the Island

 

Good coffee is literally everywhere on the island. That little panadería around the corner, the hole-in-the-wall colmado or in your local placita.

But if you really want to learn more or taste some of the very best coffee on the island, I suggest a tour of one the many coffee farms. We’ve been to a few and have always enjoyed the experience.

Any day trip in PR is an adventure so planning ahead is imperative. Some of the farms I contacted for this post told me many visitors call the day of or before to make a visit. That just isn’t possible in many cases. Some of these farms are run by families who cannot have regularly scheduled visits due to their small size. They are more than happy to show visitors around when they aren’t busy maintaining/running their business though.

The following offer Coffee Tours and/or lodging on working plantations. All of the businesses on this page offer 100% pure Puerto Rico grown coffee. Please see corresponding notes for each.

Sandra Farms | Adjuntas | Offers tours by appointment and sells coffee, chocolate and cigars. Call 787 409 8083 for reservations. Tours are any day of the week at 11am and  2pm, lasting approximately 2 hrs. Coffee & chocolate tasting at the end of the tour. $15 per person, children are free. Inquire for Senior Citizens discount. You can also email them to reserve a visit. A pdf map is available at request for clear directions.
Hacienda Tres Ángeles  | Adjuntas | Tours & Coffee Shop, visit their website or call 787 360 0019 for reservations. Tours are on Saturdays at 10 am, last 2 and a half hours and cost $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Adults enjoy a cup of hot coffee while children are served hot chocolate, both also enjoy a baked good.
Café de Puta Madre | Adjuntas | Offering free tours. This is small family operation, please call in advance at 787 436 2026 for reservations or message them on Facebook.
Hacienda Palma Escrita  Call Maria @ 787 210 8252 for reservations. $7 per person. Tour takes approximately an hour.
Hacienda San Pedro | Jayuya | Tours, Coffee Museum, Restaurant and Gift shop. Tours are available on Sat & Sun 12:30, 2pm and 4pm. $10 per person, children under 5 are free.  Tours last approximately 45 minutes. If your group is 12 persons or larger, please call ahead at 787 828 2083.
Hacienda Tres Picachos | Jayuya | Tours & Museum. Call 787 828 2121 for reservations, by appointment only. Tours are usually given on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and last 1 hour 15 min.  $10 per person, children under 12 are $7. On weekends they are open for breakfast at 9am if you would like to dine before your tour.
Café Nativo | Jayuya | Call 787 315 7881 for reservations. Open Saturdays 8:30-1:30, $10 per person and lasts approximately an hour and twenty minutes.
Hacienda Gripiñas | Jayuya | Hotel & Restaurant on working plantation, tours were not offered at the time of this post, visit their website for details. 787 828 1717
Gran Batey  | Utuado | Call 787 636 5442 for reservations.
Hacienda Buena Vista  | Ponce | Restored Historical Site that is part of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, call 787 722 5882 for reservations. Tours are $13.38 per person, Wed-Sundays, English speaking tours are at 12pm. Tours last an hour and a half.
Hacienda Pomarrosa | Ponce | Lodging, Tour and tastings offered, call 787 844 3541 for reservations. Tue-Sat 11am daily, $20 pp. To skip a call, email the day you would like to visit, number of persons and where you are driving from for clear directions. GPS is not accurate according to the company. Tour lasts two hours.
Café Lucero | Ponce | Tours available by appointment, call 787 848 8387 for reservations. 6 person minimum, $18.95 per person, $15.95 for children 10 and under, tour lasts 2 hours. Leaves between 10-10:30am on a day determined by reservation. At the end of the tour, patrons enjoy a cup of coffee, a bottle of water and a muffin or cookie.
Hacienda Muñoz  | San Lorenzo | Tour, Restaurant and Coffee Bar, call 787 736 8427 for directions if needed, no reservations necessary. Wed-Sun 10am and 2pm $15 per person, $10 for Adults 62+ up. Tour lasts approximately an hour.
Café Lareño | Lares | Tours and coffee shop, call 787 897 7762 for reservations. Tours are on the following days and last approximately an hour: Tue-Thur 10am & 1pm. Sat & Sun 11am, 12:30, 2pm, & 4pm. $8 per person, children under 5 are free, children 6+ up are $6.
Hacienda Mis Abuelos | Mayaguez | Tours are free and available Mon-Friday, call 787 265 2521 to confirm your group.
Café el Mañanero | Maricao | Offers tours, message them on Facebook for details. Pricing depends on group size but usually around $10 pp. Tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours and are usually on Sat/Sun. If you prefer to call, their number is 787 312 7045.
Hacienda El Jibarito | San Sebastian | Historic Plantation operating solely as a Parador . Call 787 244 3399 for reservations at their inn.

Some of the best Cafés on the island. If you have one you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments.
Cuatros Sombras  | Viejo San Juan
Hacienda Isabel | Viejo San Juan
Café Finca Cialitos  | Viejo San Juan
Café Poético | Viejo San Juan
Don Ruiz Cafe & Museum  | Viejo San Juan
Puerto Rico’s Café Cola’o  | Viejo San Juan
Café Cibales  | San Juan
Gustos Coffee Company  | San Juan x2
Caficultura | San Juan
Hacienda San Pedro | Santurce & Hato Rey
Café con Cé | Santurce
Museo del Café Cafe & Museum | Ciales
Café Nativo | Jayuya
El Loveshack | Mayaguez
Friends Cafe | Mayaguez

Coffee Festivals | Festival del Café

Fiesta Del Café | Jayuya, PR | February
Fiesta del Acabe del Cafe | Maricao, PR | February
Festival Nacional Del Café | Yauco, PR | March
Coffee & Chocolate Expo | Centro de Convenciones de Puerto Rico San Juan, PR | September 23/24, 2017

Must Read (and share!) Article by Nelson Denis

After a Century of American Citizenship, Puerto Ricans Have Little to Show for It

puertoricoflag

Insightful article by Ilyana Maisonet

An Exodus and a Return: A Cook’s Journey with Puerto Rico’s Comida Criolla

A cook visits a special pre-colonial restaurant in Puerto Rico and finds herself coming home to her grandmother’s tradition of comida criolla.

Click here to read her story:  An Exodus and a Return: A Cook’s Journey with Puerto Rico’s Comida Criolla :: Food :: Features :: Paste

Towns of Puerto Rico, An Adult Coloring Book

Beautiful coloring book featuring 26 municipalities in Puerto Rico. The title says “Adult” but I think some kids might have a hard time letting you have all the fun. Very talented group of PR illustrators here, well done!

From the publisher:

In terms of the book, this is part of Puerto Rico Presenta’s publishing company where we try to create books and media related to the Puerto Rican culture. This project started when I began participating in adult coloring at a library in the states and decided it would be a great idea to have one representing the towns.

It consist of 30 illustrations, every artist created 5 different towns and one of San Juan. The art was commissioned and they were allowed to choose what they thought the best representations were. I worked with each artist independently until we thought each piece was a good fit for the book.

If you are a bookstore or interested in reselling it you can email us here and we can provide reseller codes for the book. -Alfredo

Illustrators: Rafael Pagan, Victoria Cano, Xavier Ocasio, Alexander Damiani, Carlos Fernandez

coloring book

Parador Guánica 1929, Guánica

While visiting the South East part of the island we decided to stay at Parador Guánica 1929 which is situated on Ensenada Bay. The exterior is beautifully restored and seems to melt into the sunset during golden hour. We loved everything about the exterior and the staff were so welcoming. There could be some modern upgrades (wifi that works for discombobulated travelers :) ) to the actual rooms but the views alone are worth every penny and we came away with a very memorable time.

 

 

Casa Morales on Plazuela de Santo Domingo, San Germán, Puerto Rico

At the end of Plazuela de Santo Domingo sits a beautiful 1913 Victorian-style house designed by architect Pedro Vivoni for his brother, Tomás. Not open to the public but gawking is free. RIght across the street is the Porta Coeli Church from my previous post.

Porta Coeli Church – San Germán, PR

One of our stops on our trip to the Southwest corner of Puerto Rico. We were kind of surprised to find such a well kept historical site (all of San German’s historic district actually) empty of locals and tourists. Very ghost-townish. It’s about 10 miles from Cabo Rojo, a quick detour for most people in the area. This and many more architectural interests are scattered through the town.

A little info: Porta Coeli (Gateway to Heaven) is one of the oldest churches (I believe third, but googling has been inconclusive)  in the western hemisphere, built in 1609. It now serves as the Museo de Arte Religioso which includes a collection of 18/19th century religious paintings and wooden carvings.

Ferrocarriles de Puerto Rico

Click below for a very cool map that Redescubriendo a Puerto Rico put together showing the old tracks and stations around Puerto Rico. I think it would be amazing to have this infrastructure again, (modernized of course) the benefits would be endless.

Ferrocarriles de Puerto Rico

Serendipitous color combination @ El Morro

It rained like mad during National Parks Week, good thing it was free!