July 2010 Update: Puerto Rico, Cuba, and a New Website in the Works

Text: Julie Schwietert Collazo
Photos: Francisco Collazo

It’s true, we’ve posted nothing since April. Let’s skip the usual excuses and apologies, shall we, and just say that it’s been so long that we even forgot our own password.

It’s been a busy, fun time.

“Fun Slide,” Aibonito, Puerto Rico, June 2010

Though we never would have expected it when we high-tailed it out of Puerto Rico with all engines thrusting, the island we called home for more than 2.5 years has become one of our writing and photography niches. Fodor’s Puerto Rico, 6th Edition will be hitting bookstore shelves in August. Julie wrote several features for the book, including “History You Can See,” “State of the Arts in Puerto Rico,” “Salsa,” “A Guide to Puerto Rico’s Carved Saints,” and a 14 page itinerary for the Ruta Panoramica, the first time the Ruta’s been featured in the Fodor’s guide. Several of Francisco’s photos illustrate these and other features.

Yes, the guide book has mistakes. And yes, parts of it are already out of date. That’s why you’ll need to supplement it with the iPhone app we’re (slowly but surely) producing. More on that later.

Julie also has a feature article about Puerto Rico’s Ruta Panoramica (Panoramic Route) that will be published in the September issue of Latina Magazine, and several of Francisco’s photos will accompany this piece as well.

A mid-June trip to Puerto Rico and a return trip planned for September will see other writing and photography projects come to fruition. In the meantime, you can read about violence on the island and the problem with lionfish on PR’s Southern coast over at Matador, and take a look at photos from Yauco (one of PR’s coffee-producing towns), Aibonito (home of the annual flower festival), and other cities and towns we visited in June.

Between now and our next Puerto Rico visit, Julie will be headed to Cuba to visit Francisco’s family and to work on a few stories, including several pieces about Havana’s Chinese Cuban population, a subject that she’s been working on for the past couple years.

And other projects abound- a photo essay about scientific research at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for Discover Magazine and the conversion of CollazoProjects from a blog into a full-blown website.

What are you up to these days? Fill us in by leaving a comment below!