Calle Cerra runs for two blocks down the hill from Avenida Ponce de Leon in the Santurce area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It passes through an old industrial area, now abandoned to rebellious art and edgy bars and restaurants. The blank walls of shuttered warehouses and vacated collision repair shops publish the works of some of the island’s brilliant artist-provocateurs in open-air visions of Puerto Rico’s past and future.
Puerto Ricans cling to their fabled Amerindian origins as the island faces Anglo cleansing. Among the beloved Taino chieftains are two Caciquas, Yuisa (whose name is remembered in the municipality of Loiza) and Anacaona, a warrior princess of Dominica. Anacaona chose to be hanged rather than become a gift to a Spanish officer. Her defiance lingers as a mystical curse upon invaders.