La isla de Puerto Rico se la lleva el holandés (The island of Puerto Rico is being taken by the Dutch)


During the XVII century, a San Juan resident writes a letter addressed to King Phillip IV in order to persuade him of the strategic importance of the island of Puerto Rico as a door to the Spanish Empire's possessions. This alluring charm is evidenced by the multiple pirate and corsair attacks, but to the eyes of don Francisco de Lugo y Dávila, Puerto Rico needed more attention and better resources. Not only to face the external enemy, but also to fight against other internal enemies such as the corruption, apathy, and negligence. In Carmen Rita Rabell's book, the author of such letter becomes a fascinating character worthy of the Spanish Golden Age fiction since, among other adventures, he is kidnapped by Dutch enemies and it is during this captivity when he learns valuable information about future attacks, as well as the presence of informants infiltrated within the highest spheres of the insular administration.

But before arriving to his discourse about the importance and conservation of Puerto Rico by D. Francisco Dávila y Lugo who has been more than 15 months prisoner to the Dutch enemy, the investigator tells us about her own adventure searching for the slippery don Francisco. He also exposes masterfully the classic tradition supporting his Discourse to handle the "persuasion, honesty, and discretion" in matters as delicate as the one presented by his letter to the king.

Tag along with Carmen Rita Rabell on her journey through the investigation and analysis of a historical document which, never having stood out before, reveals a lot about the colony's idiosyncrasy and provokes us to ask ourselves how much of whats narrated and exposed in these lines still persists in our Puerto Rico, the one that was not taken by the Dutch.

Acompañe a Carmen Rita Rabell en su recorrido por la investigación y el análisis de un documento histórico que, sin haberse destacado nunca antes, revela mucho de la idiosincrasia de la colonia y nos provoca a preguntarnos cuánto de lo narrado y expuesto en estas líneas aún persiste en nuestra isla de Puerto Rico, a la que no se llevó el holandés.

The Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña's (ICP) mission is to investigate, conserve, promote, and spread Puerto Rican culture in all its diversity and complexity. The memory and promise of a culture, all the different levels, areas, ages, and community's interests create a set of lifestyles, customs, and artistic manifestations which identify us as a country. The ICP exists in order to preserve and divulge this knowledge, internationally spread our talent and to enrich the love of self.

Our traditions are not rigid museum objects, but live activities that are in constant renovation, and reappropriation, as new traditions develop. The respect towards diversity, towards the hybrid, the appropriated and the restated are also an essential part of this institution which actively searches for everyone's collaboration in a task that has to be shared hand-in-hand with its huge diversity.


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