History, art and culture

Preserving the cultural treasures of Puerto Rico

With over 500 years of history, Puerto Rico has a rich and varied legacy. Para la Naturaleza maintains six sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which house its headquarters and includes five of our visitor centers. Collections in permanent exhibition at our sites are central to the interpretative tours offered to visitors.

The collection includes approximately 5,000 historical and art objects, including one of the only working steam engines in the world; 220 boxes with archaeological artifacts, fragments and soil samples (pre-historic and historic); more than 60 linear feet of archival documents; and approximately 140 natural history specimens.

Puerto Rico’s architectural heritage also contains the lessons of centuries of adaptations to the island’s climatic conditions. Structures were built of locally sourced materials and the principles of sustainability are inherent. But, Puerto Rico’s historic structures have faced multiple challenges in the past three years that have posed serious threats to their integrity and survival.

Para la Naturaleza is committed to continuing the work it launched in 2017 to support the recovery of the island’s structural heritage. Through our historic preservation program, we are identifying homes and areas of significant historical importance in need of preservation efforts. These historic structures tell a story and provide lessons. They tackled the tropical heat by encouraging cross ventilation through windows, doors, and other perforated elements above doors and windows; water was collected from the roof and channeled to a cistern in the backyard. Interior courtyards were planted with orchards that grew much of the household’s food. Food scraps were used for composting. They were sustainable buildings built for a sustainable life.

We invite you to preserve the cultural treasures of Puerto Rico with a donation to Para la Naturaleza.

Support history, art and culture in Puerto Rico.