A Summer Escape to the Island of Enchantment: Puerto Rico

August 10, 2022

Yvette Mendoza

This summer was a bit busier than usual, with my job, LEAP activities and volunteerism, and an LSAT Prep Course occupying my time. But I still found time to spend time with family, and I still managed to explore and learn in the process!

Let me take you along the journey of my summer trip right as we wrap up our summer. My family and I went to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where my mother’s side of the family is from.

I had the opportunity to not only visit my family, but immerse myself in nature, learn more about my culture, eat fantastic food, and, most importantly, relax.

Here are some of my favorite things I was able to do in Puerto Rico that I recommend for anyone interested in interesting adventures.

First, hike through the beautiful El Yunque National Forest. You will fall in love with vibrant green palm trees and the touches of pink from our native flower, the hibiscus. Here, some trails will take you to the highest peak with breathtaking views. As I climbed to the top, I stumbled upon iguanas left and right. It was an excellent way to experience the island’s nature, but make sure you bring a rain jacket!

While getting a good exercise and learning more about the history of Puerto Rico, I walked through Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, a fort located at the Northwestern point of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Its construction began in 1539 when the Spaniards governed Puerto Rico, and this fort was used to defend against naval attack.

You can’t forget Puerto Rico’s excellent food, such as tostones (fried plantains), pernil (pork), rice and beans, and various desserts! My favorite restaurant in Puerto Rico has to be the Zimple Restaurant and Bar. They had a variety of seafood. I fell in love with Paella Marinera, which has octopus and shrimp on top of perfectly seasoned rice.

Lastly, you can’t miss the beautiful palm trees stretching across the ocean shore! Puerto Rico is a lovely island that I’d recommend adding to your destinations list.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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