Typical Day at Plaza Colón

By: Jessier M. Rodríguez Vega


Giovani, 57, remembering how long it’s been since he started selling traditional lottery tickets in the Plaza Colón at Mayagüez, on a recent Monday. The traditional lottery since its initiation has had a socio-economic purpose, because in addition to generating revenue for the government, it is the source of employment for thousands of families, selling agents, and hundreds of public employees working for it. “I’ve spend ten years in the same corner of the Plaza Colón, like my brother who also has his place a few blocks down from here.”


Few people at the trolley stop on a recent Monday morning. The public transportation of Mayagüez began offering services in the 1872 and consisted of cars pulled by horses, the line connected downtown Mayagüez with the beach through the Mendéz Vigo street. The drivers maintain a pleasant relationship with the people who daily take the different routes of the trolleys.


A couple enjoying a recent Sunday afternoon and eating ice cream from Rex Cream. Many families “mayagüezanas” and people nearby the town traditionally go to the Plaza Colón after attending church and to eat an ice cream. People go to the Plaza Colón just to sit and feel the fresh air. It is also the meeting point between friends and family to catch up.


Sergio Santiago, with two of his many clients for many years in an enclosed corner to the main square. We have lost the concept of the town of people making their purchases in the downtown area. They prefer their shopping in the outskirts of the town, in malls and department stores. “For 35 years I’ve had the hot dog cart and it has been blessing, thank God I am still here in the same corner. I hope to continue working for 35 years more.”


Sandra and his two grandchildren after leaving the school. Sandra quit her job to take care of her grandchildren so that their parents could continue working. “It is already a custom to pick them from school and then run my errands with them.”


Hilton Zapata and his best friend, both students of University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, taking a coffee in Friend’s Café after finishing his last class of the semester. A few weeks ago Friend’s Café made a tribute called “Tributo Acústico Draco Rosa”. “ After class, we meet up at the university and come to Friend’s Café to grab a cup of coffee and catch up about everything that happened during our day.”


Employees in front of the Casa Consistorial de Mayagüez or commonly known as Alcaldía de Mayagüez. The original building housed the municipal offices, a jail, a telegraph station and the guard corps. At 4:30 in the afternoon the employees of the mayor’s office go out, they are seen chatting between them, or sharing a coffee. Others simply take the trolley or going to their homes.


Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is the cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mayagüez on a Monday afternoon. In 1839, Eugenio María de Hostos was baptized at the Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. A woman stood in front of the church only to made the sign of the cross and continues on her way.


Every day of the week this homeless, Pablo, sits outside the cathedral to ask for money. Pablo has no family and became homeless after loosing his job two years ago. Around the block there are many homeless lying on the seats and on sidewalks. Many of them spend the night there and during the day they go to the traffic lights to ask for money to get something to eat.


Juan with a group of friends playing dominos and sharing stories of their lives on a Monday afternoon. Many weeks ago this group of friends joined with other groups of people at the main square for a dominoes tournament. “We got along very well, although I would like another partner because the one I have is making me lose.”







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