Published: January 19th 2011January 11th 2011
On top of the World
On Stop along the road to San Juan
Day 3 consisted of the ride of my life, literally! We attempted to find this coffee plantation because coffee is one of the island main agriculture exports and money revenue. But alas, we did not find it. Instead we go to take the ride through the mountains and all around them, allowing us, when not fearing of falling down the mountain side, to see how the landscape changed. As we went through the mountains, the landscape was lush and green. When we were more towards the south west end of the island, the orographic lifting gave way to a dryer climate, more lowlands and browner vegetation. On our way the San Juan, we transitioned from the mountainous interior to the costal lowlands. You began to see grazing lands rather than mountainous landscape.
We did manage to make a stop at The Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center (Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes) in Barrio Tibes, Ponce, Puerto Rico and was opened to the public in 1990. The Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center is one of the largest and most significant Indian sites in the Caribbean islands, and is the largest ceremonial site in Puerto Rico. In 1975, hurricane Eloisa passed near Puerto Rico
Another view from the road.
with torrential rains that caused massive flooding and discovery of remnants of indigenous cultures that had been buried over time and were uncovered by the flooding. It was discovered to be a site of ceremonial games such as the ball game, called "Batey", was played in the ceremonial ball court. Skeletal bones, pottery, and many other objects where found at this site. It was also discovered that after a number of years, the site was vacated. The reasons as to why where never discovered but many different theories arose such as the decline of the Taino people dwindled quickly with the arrival of the Spaniards. This native group of people lived in small, clean villages of neatly appointed thatch dwellings along rivers inland and on the coasts.
The Taino society was thought to be a gentle culture, characterized by happiness, friendliness and a highly organized hierarchical and paternal society. Evidence directed scholars to believe they lived in large farming communities throughout the Greater Antilles. Their villages were governed by chieftains, or caciques. The cacique's function was to keep the welfare of the village by assigning daily work and making sure everyone got an equal share. The Taino had a developed
From Jungle to City
system of agriculture which was environmentally friendly and almost maintenance free. The site we visited was a communal site of ceremony, not a living space. But it still had artifacts and bones discovered and now displayed in the museum.
There are more photos below