Thousands of people lined the streets and sidewalks in front of the San Juan docks early Saturday morning to board the majestic sailboats that serve as training vessels for Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay. Regatta Capital-Festival For 500 years San Juan.
Long lines of people occupy the entire dock, forming a crowd like the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian in Old San Juan. Crowds of citizens woke up at 6:00 am and started entering the ships in different ways. The wedding of Orlando Rivera and Carmen Sanchez of Dorado is a relive of the 1992 regatta.
“We have the experience of the 1992 regatta and we want to fulfill the purpose of experiencing and learning the culture of the training ships and sharing with our fellow citizens and Puerto Ricans. I have seen everything good so far in safety, the citizens follow the instructions, so that makes everything a success,” explained Sanchez, the ship from Mexico. Waiting in line to gain access, he pointed out between laughs, a boat would be enough because “we’re queuing on Wednesday if we stay”.
Access to sailboats was granted after 10:00 a.m. at Pier 1, where the training vessel ARM Cuauhtémoc from Mexico was located, and people began entering in groups of 40, later increasing to 60 participants. Public navigational access will be available until 4:00 p.m. today, and the artistic events of the San Juan 500 Year Celebration will continue during the night hours, municipal security said.
The family of Lilibeth Gonzalez and Israel Rodriguez of Guayama and their four children, Lilimar, Alondra, Israel and Gabriel, arrived early. The family arrived as early as 8:00am and took advantage of the trip inside the ship to take photos as it was their first time on board.
They emphasized that the event was a great opportunity to learn about other cultures. Once aboard the Mexican sailboat, the crew greeted and politely answered participants’ questions and doubts. People took out their cellphones to take photos with officers and cadets.
Cadet student Vianney Sánchez Durán, 22, a native of Puebla, said she started sailing four years ago and that some girls want to be part of the team. In fact, he pointed out, less than 15% of the ship’s crew are women. Sanchez Duran, who goes by his second last name on his white uniform, has a year left to complete his naval engineering and navigation studies.
“On a day like today we got up at 6:00 a.m. and polished the rear posts and ratchets. The school apron, plate and all pins are removed (polished and cleaned). “Sailing, there are classes like sailing, ship maneuvering and climbing, which is the ratchet stick and the main fabric,” explained the young woman celebrating her birthday.
The student cadet was very friendly with all the participants who asked her about her days on board. According to her, it was her first time in Puerto Rico, and her unfamiliarity with the walled city made it seem “so beautiful.”
Edwin Rodríguez, a journalism student at the Universidad Sagrado Corazón, was born in Mexico of Puerto Rican parents and was lucky enough to have Sergeant Maestro Bernal, part of the crew, teach him how to sail and navigate the school ship.
“I was curious to know about the boat and I contacted him (Bernal) and the experience was very good. He explained to us all the work with a sergeant and a candle. He is very kind and gentle in explaining everything to us,” Rodriguez said.
In Princess style Artisans’ tents are situated. William Soto, a craftsman for 50 years, commented, “Anything always sells, but not as much as an idea.” Lots of people visited the craft tables in the area.