Outside of my home island of St. Croix, there’s no other Caribbean destination that I’ve spent more time in than Puerto Rico. Even before my days working on the island’s PR account back in the mid-90’s, it seemed like I was always rushing off to La Isla del Encanto for swim meets, connecting flights, or just plain fun.
If you think all this familiarity could breed even the slightest ounce of contempt in my mind, think again.
I Simply Can’t Get Enough Puerto Rico!
As I type this, I’m just a few short days from jetting back there again. Of course, I could not be more excited. It’s gonna’ be a short trip (just three days), but I’m still trying to cram a long list of uncommon experiences into my itinerary. Near the top is a performance of bomba dancing like this…
Way back around the start of Uncommon Caribbean, we shared a short post on Puerto Rico’s surprisingly strong African heritage and the key role bomba plays in it. I was inspired to make this one of our earliest posts, in large part, because I’ve enjoyed bomba music all my life. Somehow, though, I’ve never had the chance to see a performance like this in person.
Bomba Dancing Capital of Puerto Rico
Undoubtedly, the best place to experience bomba dancing in Puerto Rico is the town of Loíza. The cozy seaside community lies at the northeast corner of Puerto Rico. Its current biggest claim to fame is as the ancestral home of Daddy Yankee. Long before the King of Reggaeton, though, Loíza was known as La Capital de la Tradicion in Puerto Rico. The moniker references the strong and enduring African and Taino traditions here, bomba tops among them.
Loíza’s earliest origins are as a haven for runaway slaves, so you can be sure that la Tradicion here is very strong.
If I’m lucky enough to experience this, I’ll be sure to post a full account soon after my trip. If not, well, at least we’ll have this video…and another excuse to head back to my other favorite island.
*Photo credit: Flickr user Iván Chaar-López.