Members of Respetable Logia Simbólica Masónica Amor Fraternal No. 1 (Respectable Symbolic Fraternal Love Masonic Lodge No. 1) pay homage to Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán, a 19th-century political figure who fought for independence and the abolition of slavery, in a public square in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
Adriana Santiago Ortíz, an elementary school teacher, frees monarch butterflies from a net during a festival to celebrate the arrival of spring at The W School in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Santiago Ortíz breeds butterflies to teach her students about metamorphosis.
Lydianna Dávila weaves baskets out of palm fronds at the La Goyco Community Workshop in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dávila says she adapts ancestral skills, which she learned from her brother, to weave baskets and flowerpots.
Ángel Alberto Torres Aponte packages watermelon in the Plaza de Festivales Carlos Ruíz in Aguada, Puerto Rico. To strengthen the local economy and reduce dependence on imports, the government has organized a series of family markets and provided residents with funds to purchase local farm products.
Kelvin Mercado carves figures and characters into white plaster at Plaza Cruz de Colón in Aguada, Puerto Rico. Every Saturday, artists exhibit their products in the plaza as part of the town’s effort to attract tourism and boost its economy.
Elizabeth Moya, right, and Debra Pellot organize donations at the Fundación Lazos de Amor, Inc. (Ties of Love Foundation, Inc.) in Isabela, Puerto Rico. The essential items and supplies are part of a campaign to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti on Aug. 14, 2021.
Paola González sells flower bouquets and arrangements at a small stand in the mall in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Vendors like González are taking advantage of foot traffic at the mall since COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
María Judith Olivera prepares sugarcane guarapo, a sweet juice she sells to people visiting Calle Norzagaray in the historic district of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Olivera, who harvests the sugarcane herself, learned how to make guarapo from her family.
Construction worker Eduardo Cabán helps restore Parroquia San Francisco Asís, the Catholic church in downtown Aguada, Puerto Rico. The church has been rebuilt multiple times since it was founded in 1692, and it’s undergoing a new restoration while church services are minimized due to the coronavirus.
Muralist Elvis Arroyo paints the Puerto Rican flag on a gazebo roof in his community of Guaniquilla, Puerto Rico. Community beautification organization Los Guardianes de la Costa de Guaniquilla commissioned the rooftop mural, which will be visible to the airplanes that fly over the coast.
Ismael “Cano” Pérez carves oak wood with a chisel and lathe at his workshop on the coast of Añasco, Puerto Rico. Pérez has been making wooden mortars, a skill he learned from his father, for local restaurants and individuals for 40 years. He says he feels the passing of the years; his hands no longer work like they did before. He plans to leave the space to his grandson who also does woodwork.
Jacqueline Villarubia practices the drum at a small art studio in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. This drum is a key instrument in bomba, a genre of music with roots in Africa and now traditional to Puerto Rico. Villarubia wanted to understand the genre and decided to take private classes to learn the basics. She practiced a rhythm called calindá first, and later one called holandés, which is characteristic of Mayagüez, on the western part of the island.
Ada Hernández works on a piece of mundillo lace in Moca, a town in western Puerto Rico. As she moves the bobbins, cotton threads intertwine to make the lace. The threads are then held in place with pins to maintain the spacing of the pattern. Hernández has been making mundillo lace for more than 50 years.
Sylma Escobar, a senior marine wildlife rehabilitation technician, feeds Taicaraya, a baby manatee. Department of Natural and Environmental Resources personnel rescued Taicaraya in May, when she was found stranded on the beach in Punta La Bandera, Puerto Rico. After the rescue, Taicaraya was transported to the Caribbean Manatee Conservation Center for treatment and rehabilitation. The Caribbean Stranding Network, along with the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, created the Caribbean Manatee Conservation Center to research, rescue and rehabilitate animals and to educate the public about manatees and other marine species. The Conservation Center cares for the animals in order to later release them.
Sharon “Chachi” González Colón one of the original founders of Colectivo Moriviví, a collective of women artists, paints a mural of a girl with soapy hands and bubbles, titled, “El Distanciamiento es Físico No Social” in Santurce, a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The mural intends to be a message of prevention, support and solidarity in the face of the coronavirus.
Pigeons wait for tourists to feed them at Parque de las Palomas, a park and tourist attraction in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ever since the coronavirus arrived in Puerto Rico and the government declared a curfew on March 15, tourism and business have suffered. Now, with a new executive order, most businesses are beginning to open with required precautions, though some remain closed for safety reasons.
Héctor Perdomo Encarnación sells masks on Avenida Juan Ponce de León, a main thoroughfare in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Before the coronavirus hit Puerto Rico and the government declared a curfew on March 15, Perdomo Encarnación worked in the construction industry. His work was halted to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Now he sells masks, which his friend makes, Monday through Friday in the San Juan communities of Santurce and Condado.
From left, Laila Torres, 16, Jezael Torres, 12, and Ilianys Miranda, 8, load soil into a wheelbarrow for planting in Orocovis, a mountainous town in central Puerto Rico. Approximately 14 children have been meeting at the Solidarity House, in the Miraflores sector of Orocovis, since early July for ecology camp. At the camp, known as the Miraflores Children’s Agricultural School, children plant and harvest food and learn about inclusive language, agroecology and sustainability.
Sharellie Vega passes ice cream to Juan Rivera, in black face mask, and Estefanie Figueras at Heladería Georgetti, an ice cream shop in Río Piedras, a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Until recently, customers couldn’t enter the shop due to the coronavirus, but the business stayed open by using a side gate as a service window.
Lemanuel Colón ties a lure to his fishing pole on Playa Bramadero, a beach in Mayagüez county, Puerto Rico. Colón says that because his class and work were canceled as a result of the coronavirus, he’s decided to learn something new with his friend, Josecarlo Rivera. “It’s our first time trying to fish, to learn something different,” Colón says. “We’re helping each other, giving each other a hand.”
Bianca Rodríguez holds a cardboard sign that reads “university students only” at an entrance to the University of Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where students can claim free boxes of food. Employees and volunteers from the Deanery of Graduate Studies and Research, the Rio Piedras Urban, Community and Business Action Center and Mesón de Amor, a community project, have distributed the boxes once a week for six weeks to help students who have been economically affected by the coronavirus.