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Aibonito's Mountain Celebration

November, 2001
Copyright © 2001
PUERTORICOWOW . All Rights Reserved.

Tucked away in Puerto Rico's mountainous interior, between Ponce and San Juan is the town called Aibonito. Every year, aiboniteños (people from Aibonito) get together with guests, family, and friends to celebrate "El Festival de la Montaña." Under the theme "Cultivando nuestra herencia cultural" (Cultivating Our Cultural Heritage), this year marks its 21st edition and will be celebrated Nov. 23-25 in the town's Public Plaza.

The idea for the festival emerged in 1980 among the board of directors of Aibonito's Cultural Center. The purpose was to give the people and the surrounding municipalities an opportunity to enjoy some festivities geared toward promoting consciousness, harvesting love for what's ours and one another, and creating a patriotic environment. Over the years, the festival has grown in participation and importance. Now, 21 years later, the event stands out among the countless festivals celebrated annually in Puerto Rico, not only because of its cultural commitment but because of its promotion of family values.

The three-day fest consists of numerous activities, including, an arts & crafts fair; typical music concerts by groups such as Pleneálo and Plena Libre; folkloric dance performances; children's games; clowns; workshops; and a troubadour competition.

In addition, the activities are geared toward providing an outlet for our children and young adults to display their talents. Celebrated every year at the end of November, Festival de la Montaña coincides with the Thanksgiving celebration and holds a "maratón del pavo" (turkey marathon) in honor of this holiday. See below for the festival's complete program.

More info and directions to Aibonito

According to legend, in 1615 a soldier named Diego Alvarez was scaling the Asomante Mountains when he came upon a beautiful panorama and exclaimed, "Ay qué bonito!" Bordered by the municipalities of Barranquitas to the north, Cidra and Cayey to the east, Salinas and Coamo to the south, and Coamo to the west, Aibonito is Puerto Rico's highest town, with an altitude of 2,401 feet above sea level. Known for its year-round refreshing climate, the island's coldest recorded temperature was 40º F in Aibonito on March 9, 1911.

Some of the municipality's points of interest are La Piedra de Federico Degetau; El Cañon de San Cristóbal; the Public Library; Casa Manresa; the Recreational Plaza; Casa del Camionero; and City Hall.

Aibonito is approximately 42 miles from San Juan. To get to Aibonito from the San Juan metro area, take Carr. 52 south to Carr. 14.


(Subject to change)

Friday, Nov. 23

9:00 a.m. Registration of artisans & and exhibit organization

5:00 p.m. Official opening of the arts & crafts market

6:00 p.m. Aibonito School District parade and presentation of Estampas de la Montaña

7:30 p.m. Official acts and awards presentation

8:30 p.m. Orquesta Trova con Sabor

10:00 p.m. Renacer Boricua

11:00 p.m. Pleneálo

Saturday, Nov. 24

10:00 a.m. Exhibits and arts & crafts market open

10:30 a.m. Presentation of students making crafts

11:30 a.m. Songs and traditional games workshop by Prof. Cálixta Vélez

12:30 p.m. Pin Pim Clown show

1:30 p.m. Puppet show

2:30 p.m. Ballet

4:00 p.m. Children troubadours from Rabanal School

5:00 p.m. Religious acts

7:00 p.m. Jíbara mass

8:00 p.m. Los Jilgueros

9:30 p.m. Ballet Guateque

10:30 p.m. Flor de Maga

11:30 p.m. Plena Libre

Sunday, Nov. 25

10:00 a.m. Exhibits and arts & crafts market open

11:00 a.m. Registration for turkey marathon and troubadour competition

12:30 p.m. Víctor Manuel Reyes "El Trovador"

1:30 p.m. Orquesta Acordeones de Puerto Rico

2:30 p.m. Troubadour competition

4:00 p.m. Turkey marathon starts

7:00 p.m.  Atabal

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