Category Archives: Caribbean

The Valley of Paradise: Coamo, Puerto Rico

There is a place in Puerto Rico where a panoramic view of Olympus-like mountains, veiled by the shadows of clouds, encircles a town of oft-neglected interest and history. It’s a place where lush greenery grows as far as the eye can see and the golden hands of the sun touch every street corner. This place is called Coamo, just a short drive south of San Juan and northeast of Ponce traveling on route 14. The tranquil valley in which Coamo rests is largely unaffected by the hustle and bustle of the major Puerto Rican tourist centers and appeals to those who prefer “the path less traveled.”

Lessons From Cuba

Imagine a place where the bottom has just dropped out of the economy. The world market is glutted with the region’s main product, and relations with its biggest trading partner have gone south. Local economic planners put their heads together and decide that the bridge to the future lies in tourism, so they start luring visitors to the area, but they haven’t reckoned on the social upheaval that could arrive as a by-product of the tourist economy.

Quest to Discover the Beers of the Windward Islands

When looking for a beer in the Windward Islands, the choices are not as abundant as they are in the beer aisle up north. In the Windwards, the choices are boiled down to two types of beer: lagers/pilsners (like Budweiser or Labatt’s) or Stouts (like Guinness). This may seem strange to someone coming from the land of micro-brews and the marketing great invention “Dry” beer, but this is the land of the Pina Colada and Daiquiri; it is my guess that beer is not as big a concern (neither is wine, but that is for another time) as rum. Being very adventurous in all forms of barley and hop-type beverages, I looked forward to trying every beer available to me.