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Ana Carolina Reyes

Ana's articles will answer your questions. Do you know what an “ají dulce” is? Do you know someone who is a “maceta”? And what about Puerto Rican vocabulary, TV shows, singers, dancing, history, literature, links to Puerto Rican sites, etc.? Ana would like to receive suggestions and your questions about Puerto Rico. You ask and she research for you! We hope you enjoy it!

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Previous Questions and answers are included below.



New Question . . . .

Hi Ana . . . My name is Víctor Collazo, I was born in Ponce, but I have lived in the United States all my life. My friend who visited Puerto Rico recently told me that while visiting a mall in Puerto Rico he saw a painting of a beautiful waterfall called “COLLAZO Waterfall”, of course it was written in Spanish. Can you tell me if there is a waterfall in Puerto Rico named Collazo Waterfall?

Yes, there is “el Salto Collazo.” It is located in the municipality of San Sebastián del Pepino in the Northwest side of the island. San Sebastián was founded in 1752 and the name “el Pepino” comes from the “mogotes” that are in the area. San Sebastián is located in the Karst region of the island, a region of limestone characterized by subterranean rivers, mogotes, canyons, valleys and caves. For that reason you can see “Mogotes” in that area. These are small mountains of limestone usually covered by forest. There are also a lot of caves such as “La Bruja” and “La Cueva del Pozo”. The town is also bathed by various rivers: “el Río Grande de Añasco”, Culebrinas and Guajataca. In the Guajataca river bed rises el “Lago Guajataca.” El Salto de Collazo is located on route 111 from San Sebastián to Lares, approximately 10 minutes from town. It is a beautiful waterfall that you won’t miss if you visit the town. You can swim in a small pool at the feet of the waterfall. San Sebastián del Pepino has other special activities such as “las fiestas patronales” that are celebrated in January and include the famous “Festival de la Novilla” (Festival of the Calf) where the “pepinianos” dress a calf with colored outfit, ribbons and flowers and walk her around the town. San Sebastián also celebrates “el Festival de la Hamaca” where artisans from all over the island come together to share their work with hundred of visitors. “Pepinianos” are very proud of their town, their culture and their festivals.


Photo is courtesy of Jaime Valentín in Puerto Rico.

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Previous Questions . . .

What are ajíes dulces and what do they look like?

In Puerto Rico the “ají dulce” is an important ingredient to make sofrito. We use sofrito in almost all our recipes. “Sofrito” is a paste made of garlic, onion, green peppers, ají dulce and coriander. We also use the “ají dulce” to prepare “mojito isleño”, a sauce used for fish or meat.

How does this plant grow? The plant is a perennial. In Puerto Rico local farmers grow it commercially. For that reason you can buy the “ají dulce” in your favorite food store, local markets, etc. I like to visit “el Mercado Orgánico” which take place twice a month in “la placita Roosevelt” in Hato Rey. There you can buy the fresh “ají dulce” directly from the farmers.

But you know what? You can grow your own plant! In that market I bought a little plant for $1.00 and now I have my own plant in my balcony.  I save the seeds from mature fruit to start new plants. It is nice to have your own plants in your house. Next time you buy this kind of pepper, don’t throw the seeds out. Just let them dry for several days. Then plant the seeds in your favorite spot and don’t forget to water regularly.

In several weeks you will have a beautiful plant and if you are lucky, an “ají dulce” will make you happy!

Ana Carolina Reyes studied at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. She has a Bachelor Degree in Modern Languages (Portuguese, French, Italian) and a Master Degree in Translation. She studied Legal, Environmental, History and General Translation courses. Ana obtained a scholarship to study at the University of Coimbra in Portugal where she obtained a certificate as a Portuguese teacher, and also participated in “Proyecto Ventana al Mundo,” a group of 57 Puerto Rican students that represented the island at the Puerto Rico National Pavillion at EXPO’92 in Seville, Spain.

Ana Reyes lives in Puerto Rico where she works in the private industry and as freelance translator. She is also a volunteer with “Ciudadanos Pro Bosque San Patricio”, a community group that works to protect and preserve the “Bosque San Patricio” in the San Juan area.