Chronicle of a Day in the Plaza

By:  Laura Olivieri Robles  and Mónica Ocasio Vega

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Giovanni sells lottery tickets from Monday through Friday at the Plaza. Not even a nasty case of the flu kept him from selling lottery tickets to his loyal customers. His friend, Kathy- who did not want to be pictured- kept him company to make time pass more quickly.

 

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While Gladys waited for the bus to take her home she went on and on about how she did not have any children. She was amused of how others had loads of bags full of Mother’s Day presents. “It is a holiday created by the commerce, why does everyone insist on buying presents for their aunt, mother in law and neighbor?”she added when someone was loudly saying all of the presents he had bought.

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Yesenia and Gerardo- who did not want to be pictured- have an on going business in the Plaza, selling a selection of flowers and medicinal plants. Gerardo, an engineer, is the one who cultivates some of their medicinal plants while all of the flowers are brought from big importers like Colombia. By the end of the day all of their gorgeous selection of roses, daisies, lilies and carnations were gone, bought either as a present for Mother’s Day or a nice pick-me up for the day.

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Edmarie Cordova, natural from New York, enjoying a walk with her uncle, Edgardo Soto, while waiting for her mother to come out of the hospital. They came for a short trip to Puerto Rico when her brother decided to come out of her mother’s womb. As a daughter of a Puerto Rican family she naturally has a big stew of English and Spanish in her little head.

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Miriam Acevedo and Carmín Torrellas share their shift at a Jehovah’s Witnesses booth at the Plaza. They nicely greeted anyone who passed by and made conversation with whomever was interested. “We are here to explain what the Bible really says” shared Acevedo, they count with pamphlets of diverse themes addressing questions about God and their religion.

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Julio and Sylvia Marrero, owners of the flower cart located at the corner of the Mayagüez Casino, nicely indicating the flower’s prices to their customers.The couple has been selling flowers for over 30 years. Their business is only open for Mother’s Day and Father’s day holidays

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Gustavo, a professional photographer, is filming the skies over the Plaza for a time lapse he is working on. He’s usually found around the Plaza filming skate videos for Mundorad.com. “I’m here doing the same thing you are” when asked what was he up to.

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Four Eugenio María de Hostos high school students (16 and 17) sit by the square’s fountain during their lunch break. The group said giggling “we’re here killing some time, we already had lunch”. This group of students is one of many that can be seen in the Plaza Colón during lunchtime, because high school students are allowed to have lunch outside of school.

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Santa enjoys a refreshing ice cream with her grandson, Jayron at the Plaza Colón. The boy shared that the treat was his grandmother’s reward for getting first place at a competition on his field day. The boy got comfortable with us rather quickly and started quizzing us on United States presidents.

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Kel, a writer, comes to the Plaza to admire beautiful days and put his thoughts together. Naturally from Ohio, he shared that in his long search for his true home, he found it in the island. “I’m getting the Puerto Rican flag tattooed today at 5:00 P.M., this place is just so wonderful”

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A student from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez Campus, Fernando, opted to enjoy the sun while finishing an art assignment. He majors in civil engineering at UPRM, “an odd choice, I know” he added. All of his works looked beautifully detailed, he conveyed a great talent even though he said he had not taken much art classes.

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Enrique Maíz Torres, Interamerican University student, orders his regular double shot latte. Maíz began visiting Friends Café about two years ago, and knows well the baristas in the shift. “I always order a double shot latte because my best friend is a barista and he taught me that it’s the best way to get a rich coffee flavor” said Maíz Torres.

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Friends Café barista, Hernán Rodríguez Cortés, handing his speciality cappuccino to a customer. Rodríguez has been working at the coffee shop since 2007. He said “We brew an average of 60 to 80 pounds of coffee a week”

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Siblings Ricardo, 4, Natalia, 2, and Damián, 3, playing and bursting bubbles. The siblings enjoyed a day in Mayagüez, while visiting from Camuy, PR. The mother of the trio said “they’re discharging energy so they can sleep the whole trip back home”

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Humberto Rocio and Maria Jaime, UPRM students, taking a break from studying. Rocio is a computer engineering major while Jaime is a chemical engineering major. The couple of friends visited the café as a way to relax from final’s week at the university.

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Edgardo Gonzalez (red), Raúl Marrero (blue), Ulises Pagán (white) and Frankie Velez (stripes) enjoying an evening match of dominoes. The winning team at the moment was Marrero and Pagán. The gang chose to play dominoes at the Plaza Colón because “there is nothing else to do.”

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