Those Magical Years

Sunset Aguadilla by Jerry Valentín
Sunset Aguadilla
by Jerry Valentín

I have always believed in magic because I grew up in a town where magic was tangible. In Aguadilla, the tweets of the birds seem more joyful than anywhere else. The sunsets shine in the splendid crystal sea with so much intensity and the stars rhythmically twinkle in the glowing sky.

Looking back, I feel very fortunate because my childhood was like a fairy tale. I perceived so much magic through the drift of the breeze that playfully swirled with the branches of the palm trees and the ecstatic dance of the ocean waves.

Even though as a little girl I heard the word danger, I didn’t really know what it was until decades later when I became an adult. In my hometown, I would play outdoors with my siblings and friends until dark, having my parents’ certainty that it was safe. A transparent veil of innocence covered Aguadilla, as I read many times in the stars that heaven is reigning in such an enchanting place.

Each year I looked forward to las fiestas patronales, an annual festival dedicated to San Carlos Borromeo, the saint patron of Aguadilla. These festivities begin on November 4 and last over a week. Transformed the historic square into an amusement park, La Plaza surrounds the street vendors, and live entertainment takes place each night with local celebrities. Every time I went for a ride on the Ferry Wheel,” I felt I was flying above the Caribbean Sea.

Las fiestas patronales put you in a festive mood, continuing it with the celebration of Las Navidades. There is nothing like Christmas in Puerto Rico, beginning in early December through Three King Day on January 6 when the Wise Men bring gifts to the children of Borinquen. I feel nostalgic when I remember Las Parrandas, our version of Christmas carols. A group of friends would meet late at night with all kind of instruments, going from house to house. Each time, we would wake up the owner of the house to sing and dance for a while until we would go to the next place. At the last house, a big party would take place, sometimes realizing that the sunrise was joyfully greeting us while we sang.

The memories of these cultural festivities fill my heart with nostalgia; always feeling grateful for the magnificent ocean waves that surround my small and rural town. When I am there, I can feel the magic in the salty air, blissfully fanning the palm trees. José de Diego, a famous poet, and writer who was an Aguadillano, referred to the charming town as where the rocks sing. At night, the melody of the coquis serenades my spirit while the shining stars throw kisses to the moon.

Crash Boat Beach by Jerry Valentín
Crash Boat Beach
by Jerry Valentín

Known as one of the best beaches on the island, Crash Boat has always been my favorite place to hang out. Famous for its colorful fishing boats, the white sand and sparkling blue waters beach is considered among the best spots for surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. Just on the north side of the pier of Crash Boat, Gas Chambers Beach is known as the best break in Puerto Rico, having waves of up to 20 feet.


Crash Boat Beach By Jerry Valentín
Crash Boat Beach
By Jerry Valentín

Located in what used to be Ramey Air Force Base, Wilderness Beach is right by Las Ruinas, the old lighthouse that was built by the Spaniards in 1889 but destroyed by an earthquake in 1918. These ancient brick walls are very popular as a stage for photography. The antique ruins surrounded by the secluded and beautiful beach is one of the most romantic spots in Aguadilla. Wilderness Beach is another excellent place for surfing; however, because of its rocky bottom and current, this site is not recommended for inexperienced surfers, and it is not considered a good bathing spot.

Las Ruinas by Wilderness Beach Jerry Valentin
Las Ruinas by
Wilderness Beach
Jerry Valentin

I always look forward to going for a ride in a boat or a yola from coast to coast, around the bay of the villa. Each beach has its personality that tells a story about the town. We usually start in Crash Boat, watching from far away people diving from the old pier that separates the beach. Across from the historic square, Rompeolas Beach (water breaker) is another great spot for surfing. The seashore is full of fishing boats, finding this place the fishing men a great tide. Playa Colón, which is right across from Parque Colón, is known for where Columbus first landed on the island. This beach offers one of the best views of the sunset in Aguadilla.

Rompe Olas Beach By Ricardo Jusino
Rompe Olas Beach
By Ricardo Jusino
Parque Colon Beach by Ricardo Jusino
Parque Colon Beach
by Ricardo Jusino

 Right after sunset, the graceful evening allows the glowing moon to shine in the serene ocean. Covering the firmament, a gathering of beaming stars; the sweet melody of the coquis cuddle the nights with a soothing touch. The melodiously sound of the breeze, placidly refreshing you, is always reassuring you that magic is at your reach in Aguadilla.


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