On 28 of April a local newspaper, El Nuevo Día, released an article title “Forbidden to take photos in San Juan (Prohíben tomar fotos en San Juan)”. I was sick to my stomach when I read that if you own a professional camera with high tech lenses and tripod you need a permission form to actually take photos of the scenery and monuments of Old San Juan and the San Juan area. I knew that for any formal event that will require setting your camera and models and other stuff for a great photo shoot, you actually need permission. And of course this is obvious! But for those amateur photographers that are just there to capture the essence of Old San Juan and practice their craft or just to have fun. This is ridiculous, yes I said it!
Another thing is that if you are a tourist and just hoped out of the cruise you came to visit and explore the old city, you will not have a municipal policeman bothering you and asking you to put the camera away or ask you for your permission form. Of course, that is really bad for tourism. Well, this just makes me want to hope to ‘La lancha de Cataño’, take my camera out, dress as a just arrived tourist and speak English until my heart drops. That last part won’t be that difficult, especially if I am with my daughter who loves to speak English as if she wasn’t born here.
This is my patrimony and if I’m doing this for recreation and to have beautiful memories of a place as gorgeous as my Old San Juan, I should be allowed to. If the reason is that they are not getting the $ of the people that take Old San Juan’s monuments for commercial purposes, we who pay taxes that contribute to maintaining this landmark, do not need to pay for other peoples irresponsibility. Going to the extreme as making laws to make people actually follow the rules, only reflects the decline of a government that has the need to enforce itself on us.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE living in Puerto Rico, I’m in love with Puerto Rico, even thou it has its gray, big ones, areas. Like it’s sometimes corrupted government, it’s out of control legislators and the small minded one party way of thinking, their outrages law making, the obsession with the Status of the Island, the high rate criminality and unemployment, the not thinking we can do way better and other countries are better that this one… With all that, and I know there is more, I LOVE living here in my island, the land where I and my kids were born in, the land that has the most beautiful of mountain ranges and beaches, and of the best coffee you will ever have. All of that makes for the lack of other things that might make life easier for all Puerto Ricans and every time I lay my eyes on them I feel warm inside and smile giving thanks. We can make this a better place, we just need to put our ‘granito de arena’ especially when it’s time to vote.
So here is a slide show of monuments and scenery from Old San Juan, just a few, in case you come visit and are not allowed to take photos with your professional camera. Enjoy!