Many of those born in San Antón were standouts in sports, the arts and politics. Among them are the distinguished painter Wichie Torres, community leader Judith Cabrera and athletes Papo Franceschi, Toñito Colón, and Cao and Otto Vélez. This famed neighborhood has also been the cradle of popular musical genres such as bomba y plena. Outstanding performers in this field are bomba dancer Librada Roque and the musical group Los Guayacanes de San Antón. The Roque, Antonetti, Maldonado, Franceschi, Cabrera and Arce families, among many others, have ensured that the Afro-Caribbean roots of the culture remain alive in this picturesque neighborhood. Its residents preserve the beliefs, traditions and customs inherited from their African ancestors. One of the activities created by the community is the Plena and Bomba Festival.
The plena and bomba festival began in 1978, when the community worked together to preserve the historic ward. This festival was celebrated for nineteen consecutive years, then rest for ten years, and begins again in 2008.
The structures in the area are made of wood and concrete. To improve the living conditions of this historic site, the municipal government asked Isidro Martínez to design a new complex of residential units that would include improved infrastructure while preserving the style of the area. The streets were illuminated with lampposts and the houses were adorned with beautiful gardens. Today, San Antón is a community of approximately three hundred families.
Adapted by PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Ponce: ciudad museo, 2001. Proyecto subvencionado por la Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades.
Autor: Fundació Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades
Published: September 14, 2010.