The beautiful island paradise of Puerto Rico lies in the hurricane belt of the Carribean. Each year, from June through November hurricane season brings over 150 mph winds, storm surges, torrential rains, and destruction, making hurricanes one of the most feared forces of nature. Thankfully, the stormiest months tend only to be August and September, when conditions in the Atlantic basin are most ripe for a hurricane to develop. In addition, the Caribbean is vast and the chances of any single island being hit directly by a hurricane are slim. Direct hits are so rare, in fact, that many elder inhabitants of the islands still relate events in history to being before or after "the storm" because they may have only seen one or two of significance in their lifetimes. 
During our musical we "meet" two hurricanes:
With the coastal areas fairly settled, Corsicans settled in the southwestern highlands, especially around the town of Yauco and made coffee an island success. During this period in history, Jibaros lived a hardworking but simple life high up in the mountains. They grew and harvested coffee, and survived on the native fruits and vegetables and the meager cash crops they were able to grow. The majority of coffee plantations were small. On these small inland farms, the owners and the jibaros worked together, creating a sense of community with close ties. The coffee harvest season lasted from August to January/February (depending how high up in the mountains you were). Jibaros traditionally celebrated the coffee harvest with joyful music and dance, and lively celebrations that lasted long into the night. By 1896, Puerto Rico had become the world's sixth-largest coffee exporter. [13,14,23,24,27,28,29,30]
 Hurricane San Ciriaco. Photo from the Library of Congress (public domain). http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/sanciriaco.html
 "Tropical storms and Hurricanes...of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from 1515 to present," National Weather Service, San Juan Puerto Rico. http://www.srh.weather.gov/sju/hrcnhist.html
 "1899 Hurrican San Ciriaco," Wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1899_Hurricane_San_Ciriaco
 "Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in Puerto Rico from 1900 to 1979," The Puerto Rico Hurricane Center, http://huracanado1.tripod.com/history2.html
 "Hurricane Season of 1956," December 1956. (Hurricane Santa Clara). http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/general/lib/lib1/nhclib/mwreviews/1956.pdf
 Hurricane Betsy (Santa Clara)," http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm56.html.
 Link to Puerto Rico.com, http://www.linktopr.com/huracan_list.html
 "Puerto Rican migration to New York," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_migration_to_New_York
 "History Puerto Rican Migration," Latino Education Network Service, http://palante.org/History.htm
 Puerto Rican [Migration] / Cuban Immigration http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/immig/cuban3.html
 "Long Night's Journey," The Puerto Ricans: a documentary history, Kal Wagenheim and Olga Jimenez de Wagenheim, Markus Wiener Publishers, 1994.
 "Rural Life Under US Rule," Cultures of America - Puerto Ricans, Petra Press, Marshall Cavendish Corp., 1996.
 "Zafra," Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zafra_(agriculture)
 "Hacienda Buena Vista," http://www.gicco.com/19thCentury.htm
 Baquine - http://www.prfdance.org/celebrando2005.baquine.htm
 "From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, Virginia E. Sancheck Korrol, University of California Press, 1983.
 "Happiness Rains," PuertoRico-Guide.Info. http://puertorico-guide.info/weather/
 Wagenheim, Kal and Jimenez de Wagenheim, Olga, "The Puerto Ricans: A Documentary History," Markus Wiener Pub., 1996. (Before I read this book, I hated history. ;) A facinating book that presents history in the words of those who were there.)
 Jimenez de Wagenheim, Olga, "Puerto Rico: An Interpretive History from Pre-Columbian Times to 1900," Markus Wiener Pub., 1998.
 Kal Wagenheim, "Puerto Rico: A Profile", Praeger Publishers, New York NY, 1970.
 Morales Carrion, Arturo, "Puerto Rico: A Political and Cultural History," W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1983.
 Pico Fernando, "Historia General de Puerto Rico," San Juan, PR: Ediciones Huracan, 2000.
 The Book of Coffee and Tea: Second Revised Edition, Joel Schapira, Karl Schapira, David Schapira, St. Martin's Griffin Publisher, March 15, 1996.
 "Mountain Gold: Puerto Rico's Gourmet Coffee," Bienvendios Magazine, Official Visitors Guide of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association, Coral Publications, 1999.
 "Corsican Migration to Puerto Rico in the 19th Century - Part 1," Wilfredo Santiago-Valiente, PhD, El Boricua, a cultural newsletter (www.elboricua.com), August 2003.
 "Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsican_immigration_to_Puerto_Rico
 "An Introduction to the Coffee History of Puerto Rico and Yauco Selecto'S Part in that History," Yauco Selecto Literature, http://www.tastesoftheworld.net/information.php?info_id=16
 Website for Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, http://www.gicco.com/19thCentury.htm
 "Puerto Rico Joe Sampling an island's coffee," Christopher Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, October 14, 2001, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/14/CM92860.DTL
 Interviews and teaching from Joquain Nieves Caldero, Folklorist from Corozal and Director of Guateque de PR, 2003.
We hold the banner high for Puerto Rico everyday!
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