La Perla – Historic barrio in Old San Juan
Barrio La Perla
Recently the houses of La Perla have been painted, it is like a rainbow of hope in the humble neighborhood. Watch the video for an drone view of La Perla.
La Perla is a historical shanty town astride the northern historic city wall of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, stretching about 650 yards (600 m) along the rocky Atlantic coast immediately east of the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery and down the slope from (north of) Calle Norzagaray.
La Perla was established in the late 19th century. Initially, the area was the site of a slaughterhouse because the law required them and homes of former slaves and homeless non-white servants – as well as cemeteries – to be established away from the main community center; in this case, outside the city walls. Sometime after, some of the farmers and workers started living around the slaughterhouse and shortly established their houses there.
Only three access points exist, one through the “Santa Maria Magdalena Cemetery”, one on the east side and one through a walkway right in the center of the northern wall.
La Perla was the true site of the fictional “La Esmeralda” barrio depicted in Oscar Lewis‘s sociological work “La Vida” describing the lives of Puerto Rican slumdwellers through taped interviews with dozens of intertwined family members who lived there in the 1940s-1960s.
TOURISTS in LA PERLA: La Perla has a reputation of being a not so friendly neighborhood. There are no museums or attractions except the humble people that call it home. There are a few little neighborhood pubs. If visiting we recommend you visit during the daytime.
Original Source: Wikipedia
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