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  • 7 Feb 2022 7:00 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

     The projects are going well. 

    Last week, we started expanding the area of Project 9 and Project 2, as well as started Project 10, on a slope right next to the San Fernando Bastion. The sod for these projects should be arriving this week  

    Photo of Project #2 Expansion.

  • 31 Jan 2022 6:26 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    Projects 7 and 8 are finished!

    The sod arrived earlier than expected this week and we managed to complete those two areas with little to no incidents. However, we were short on sod and we were not able to finish Project #9 along with the rest. 

    This week, we'll focus on the new projects which are smaller in scale but tricky to get around. Until then, have a good day! 

    Photo of Project #9

  • 25 Jan 2022 4:16 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    Most don't see them, but they're there if you look closely.

    The walls of El Morro are filled with dozens of drawings made by bored Spanish soldiers. Unfortunately, the tropical weather and human activity has withered most of these works of art. Here are a few I've managed to find.

  • 25 Jan 2022 12:31 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    Starting out as a single tower in the 16th century to the impenetrable fortress known today, Castle San Felipe del Morro has a long and intriguing history. The fort was built as an alternative to La Fortaleza (the governor's residence), the only defense for the city at the time, due to its location being too inland, giving the enemy easy access into San Juan.

    The design of the fortress is said to be inspired by the shape of a goat's head, a design that can be found decorating the entrance to fort's chapel though the claims are still debated.

    Contrary to popular belief, the biggest contributors to El Morro's design and construction were not the Spaniards but foreigners employed by the crown, these being: Battista Antonelli (16th century), a renowned Italian architect under the Hapsburg banner, who was in charge of designing the fort's current appearance; and Irishmen Alexander O'Reilly and Thomas O'Daly (late 18th century), who updated El Morro by improving its stonework and building  cisterns under the plaza.

    The fortification took around 200 years to be fully built and throughout its centuries of activity it only suffered two known defeats, one at the hands of the British in 1598 and the other by Americans during the Spanish-American War in 1898, leading to the end of Spanish rule on the island.

  • 25 Jan 2022 11:03 AM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    WIth area #5 and #6 already done, we've moved on to the next projects.

    Areas #7 and #8 are located at the eastern side of the fort and have been heavily damaged by the erosion and foot traffic. This site possess a particular challenge due to the terrain being both an active anthill and rocky. 

    The crews began working on cleaning out the sod and leveling out the soil to prepare it for new grass.

  • 16 Jan 2022 8:03 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    After much waiting, the new sod arrived! Thanks to that, Area #2 and #5 have been completed and the grass is now in the process of being watered, so that it takes to the soil and grows better. Hopefully we'll have some more updates in the coming weeks.

    We also gave a little TLC to the Santa Elena Bastion since the weeds had overtaken it once more, and cleaned the edges of some of the old manholes around the fort. 

    Finished Area #2

    Finished Area #5

    Santa Elena Bastion (Before)

    Santa Elena Bastion (After)

  • 9 Jan 2022 6:08 PM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    Back to work after the holidays and we've accomplished a lot!

    We managed to finally clear out, prepare, and level the rest of area #2 for new sod (which hopefully arrives this coming week), as well as start and complete the new area (#5). This new spot is located right on top of two manholes, making it a little bit difficult to clean out the grass around their edges.

    This week we also had safety harness training taught by one of the NPS masons; and the crews did a few odd tasks here and there like trimming and trash collecting.

  • 18 Dec 2021 6:47 AM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    Areas #2, #3, and #4 were worked on simultaneously on the last days of November and the first week of December. This was done by dividing the crews into smaller teams, each taking care of individual tasks to make the process quicker.

    Work on Area #2 was shared between the two crews and done with care, as its right next to an edge and it represented a falling hazard to the members.

    Area #3 is located on the right side of the entrance to the fort. The area had to be weeded and leveled out before the sod was planted. The Hurakan Crew was in charge of this area.

    Area #4 can be found below Area #1, next to one of the old manholes; the Boriquen Crew was tasked with this one. It was, perhaps, the easiest area to tackle due to its location.

    Area #2 Photo

    Area #3 Photo

    Area #4 Photo

  • 15 Dec 2021 10:04 AM | Larisa Matias (Administrator)

    As you all know, one of our primary objectives is the revitalization of the green areas surrounding El Morro. While we continue our mission, here's a quick summary of our progress to get everyone caught up. As of now, the project was divided into four areas to make the process easier for both crews.

    Area #1 is located at the left side of the entrance to the fort, from the outside looking in. The damage to the site was made by the heavy traffic of cyclists, golf carts, and tourists. With time, the frequent activity made the ground uneven and grass stopped growing. 

    Due to its size, compared to the rest of  the other locations, the site was divided into Area #1 and Area #2; the second one consisting of three parts. 

    We were able to weed and clear out the area, as well as plant new sod in around two weeks (Nov. 15 - Nov. 26). Area #2 was started on the week of the 29th of November, along with Area #3 and #4, which we'll talk about on our next post!

    Area#1 Photo:

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