Here's what we're working on now!
The Friends of San Juan National Historic Site are the proud recipients of a generous grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charitable organization of America’s national parks, which makes it possible for us to reach out to all of Puerto Rico's fourth-grade students and have them visit the park for free!
The Friends of San Juan National Historic Site are proudly supporting a brand new initiative to restore and protect one of San Juan’s most iconic sculptures. The sculpture, known as La Rogativa, is located in the Plazuela de la Rogative in the Caleta de las Monjas and very close to the famous Puerta de San Juan.
The monument commemorates the occasion of April 30th, 1797 when British troops, led by Sir Abercrombie, took control of the city by means of a naval blockade. Desperate, the city’s governor ordered a “rogativa,” or a large procession intended as a prayer or supplication to God for assistance in their current crisis. The bishop and women of the city processed through the streets at night carrying torches, singing hymns, and praying for the salvation of their city. The British mistook the lights and noise emanating from the streets as evidence that reinforcements had arrived and outnumbered their own forces. As a result, Abercrombie’s fleet left the port!
La Rogativa has stood sentry over the historic seaside walls of San Juan for more than 46 years without any maintenance whatsoever. Our conservation efforts aim to clean the bronze, wax it, and re-apply an appropriate patina. Once the extent of weathering and damage is fully assessed, however, additional measures may be undertaken to protect the bronze from further deterioration.
Our organization is committed to supporting San Juan National Historic Site in all of its educational outreach initiatives. Throughout the year we partner with the park's talented staff to brainstorm new ways of reaching Puerto Rico's general public. Together, we organize events, we partner with local organizations, we team up with experts and educators, we recruit volunteers young and old, we provide internships, we engage young students in multi-faceted learning experiences, and we work in concert with the National Park Service to share our park's heritage with Puerto Rico and with the world.