Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Biking, Glass Fusing, and Local History

Day two started early! We hit the road running with an adventurous 14.5 mile bike ride, which began at the historical Ceiva Tree. This tree is 300 years old and only blooms once every 5 or 10 years. The Ceiva Tree is known as the protector of the island. Many of the locals of Vieques feel that the Ceiva Tree contains incredible spiritual power and that it encapsulates human life. Its roots reach down to the underground, and its branches grow through the thirteen levels of Heaven. After meeting with our local guides from JAK Watersports, we visited the mangroves, the ruins of the sugar planation, and bunkers used to store ammunition for the US Navy. To finish off the bike ride, we saw a beautiful view of the ocean and part of the island.

After our hard work and exercise, we all needed some food to gear us up for some glass fusing. We ventured to see Sandra Reyes, a native artist, who talked to us about how important community tourism is in Vieques. Community tourism encourages visitors to spend their money locally to profit Puerto Rican artisans, instead of the huge manufacturing companies, like some in China. After our discussion, we learned how to create turtles, fish, sharks, sailboats, and starfish by blending recycled glass together. This provided an opportunity to understand the amount of work that goes into every piece of artwork!

With our creative juices flowing, we headed back to the Museum Fort Count Mirasol to learn about tomorrow’s art project with local teens. We finished this busy day with a quick dip in the clear blue ocean, cold showers, and a delicious dinner made by Beverley!

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