ETHNIC AND CULTURAL GROUPS
Today we highlight Afro-Puerto Ricans, the beautiful people that make up the city of Loíza, a city just east of San Juan. Loiza is considered the center of African derived culture. During colonial times, Loíza began to house escaped slaves from Puerto Rico and all over the Caribbean. Because of this population, bomba, la Plena, and other activities such as the the Festival of St. James, form their identity.
One of Loíza’s most amazing contributions to Puerto Rico’s identity is the fiesta de Santiago (Saint James). This festival is celebrated in July in the streets of Loíza with parades telling the story of the battle between the Spaniards and the Moors.
On March 22, 1873, slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico.
The Africans (Afro-Puerto Ricans) overcame many obstacles and particularly after the Spanish American War, and their descendants helped shape the political institutions of Loíza. Their contributions to the music, art, language, and heritage became the foundation of Puerto Rican culture.
We celebrate the Afro-Puerto Rican people of Loíza!