At 3,540 feet above sea level, Pico El Yunque is one of the highest points on the island of Puerto Rico. Located within the Sierra de Luquillo mountains, El Yunque Peak sits in the center of El Yunque National Forest. This is the only tropical rainforest of the United States National Forest System.
View of a common home in the barrio of Cayures. Wind Farms make up much of the barrio Cayures, in Santa Isabel. These wind farms are the largest on the island, containing 44 turbines that help produce over 100 megawatts of clean energy for the island.
A young man sits and grooms his rooster before his first fight a few days away in Villalba, Puerto Rico. A lot of grooming is done to the gamecocks because many trainers believe the removal of excess feathers, the wattles, and the comb help give mobility to the gamecocks during the fight.
Gamecocks are normally kept in their own separate pens, to protect them from attacking each other. Due to being aggressive to the same sex of the species by nature, if left to roam free amongst each other the roosters could be injured.
Fresh plantains are placed in the shade to ripen in my Grandparents home in the barrio Dajao, Villalba.
Built in 1895 by my Great-Great Grand Father José Balbino Negron. The home is made entirely of wood with a roof made of aluminum panels, and raised 3 feet from the ground. Many of the walls are unable to bare weight and are supported by the many beams that are visible throughout the interior. The doors and windows are kept open throughout the day to help bring cool air from the forest into the rooms. The toilet is kept in an outhouse a good distance away from the home.
My Great-Grandaunt Toñi Camacho and Great-Granduncle Braulio Rivera stand outside their home during the late evening hours in the barrio of Jagüeyes, Villalba.
View of the reservoir Lago Toa Vaca and the municipalty Villalba from Route 5514.
Local children of the barrio Jagüeyes in the municipality of Villalba, stop play to show their bikes.
Locals relax in the high noon heat, outside a market at the end of Ponce's historical Calle 25 De Enero. The street is known for its 39 red and black painted homes that house the descendents of the firefighters that battled the El Polvorín or Powder - a great fire which took place in the city in 1899.
View of the sidewalk on Calle 4 in La Cantera. La Cantera is one of the major urban barrios of the city Ponce.
An old entrance way to the homes of El Semil, in Villalba Puerto Rico.
The landscape of my grandparents home is where I spent many hours of my youth chasing my grandfathers chickens and roosters. The farm sits in the deep valley of the barrio Dajao, in Villalba Puerto Rico.
Young cousins take on the tradition of raising and training gamecocks. By grabbing the legs, it prevents any injury from the sharp spurs this mature gamecock posseses.
View from the top of Pico El Yunque, in El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico.
A majority Puerto Rico's roads and towns are populated by sato's. Sato's are mixed breed dogs that roam much of the island. Many sato's become victims of hit and runs with automobiles and are left on the side of the road awaiting removal by the town. The growing number of these stray dogs is due to economic and cultural factors within the island. Organizations have begun with a mission to help find these animals homes. The sato's have begun to find homes in the United States.
Much of the La Cantera is backdropped by the Rio Portugués. Rio Portugués is the major river that runs along much of the city and helped give birth to Ponce.
My Grandfather Horacio Alvarado sits under his hand-built awning in order to escape the strong afternoon sun on his property which he built in 1971.
A mixed breed dog takes shelter from the heat in Villalba, Puerto Rico.
An old sink along with a concrete washboard was the way my great grandmother would wash the families clothing. With much of her time taken up with raising and feeding the family, she spent one day a week doing the laundry. As modern appliances became more accessible to every part of the island, she eventually purchased a modern washing unit to help with the time consuming task.
A young boy captures a rooster from the brush that makes up most of the barrio called Dajao. The neighborhood is part of the municipality of Villalba, Puerto Rico.
Trainers tie "boxing gloves" to the gamecocks spurs to prevent any physical injury from occurring when sparing with other gamecocks.
Cockfighting is an age long tradition in Puerto Rico, with many Puerto Rican's taking part in the sport. The gamecocks are pampered and well taken care of until two years of age. Many trainers, prepare them to be sold off to potential buyers for use in the cockfighting clubs on the island.
View of my Great-Grandparents bedroom in the home built by my Great-Great-Grandfather José Balbino Negron in the 1800's. The home was handed down to his son, my Great-Grandfather Emilio Rivera Negron and would be the home of my Grandmother. Later on my Mother would spend her childhood here as well. The home still stands today and is occupied by one of the many grandchildren of the family.
On the side of many major roadways in Puerto Rico, sit abandoned markets and homes of earlier times. Many have fallen due to the poor economy and lack of business.
Near the end of January and begining of February, Puerto Rican's across the island celebrate their official end to the Christmas holiday with candles, giant bonfires, and singing. Smoke from the bonfires engulf many of the roads on the island.