Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
β›΅ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 18 Apr 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚒 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ“„ The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
β€’ The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
β€’ All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.

A Church Within a Church: Ermita Espinar Ruins

Ermita Espinar Ruins

This is one of my favorite off the beaten path finds. As you may know, I enjoy looking at ruins. So the ruins of the Ermita Espinar church in Aguada was on my list to see. But, as we explored the area looking for ruins in a field, we couldn’t find it.

As it turns out, these ruins have been enclosed inside of a new church. It was a very neat thing to see, and I am so happy they have been able to rebuild this parish while preserving the past.

Some Background on Ermita Espinar

Translated from Spanish, an ermita is a chapel or a small church. The area in which this church is located is called Espinar. So, Ermita Espinar is the little church in Espinar. It turns out this neighborhood is a very nice area with a pretty little beach … which we found out from driving all over the place looking for ruins of stone walls in a field.

Ermita Espinar Ruins

Early in the 1500s, the King of Spain provided funds for the construction of a monastery and small chapel to be built for the small settlement of Spaniards, and for the conversion of the native people living in the region.

According to church documents, the Franciscan Friars lived and preached here starting in 1525, and the small chapel was in use by the community until 1529. The sad history is that the Caribe indians attacked and set fire to the church and community in 1529, and 5 Friars died.

Ermita Espinar Ruins

The church was rebuilt in stone in 1600. It was in use until 1867, when it was abandoned after being ruined by a hurricane and other incidents.

In 1967, the community wanted their parish reopened, so they began the construction of a new church that enclosed the ruins. They reopened in 1973 as the Parroquia Santuario Protomártires de la Immaculada Concepción. The Fransiscan Friars are once again holding services in this special place.

Our Visit to Ermita Espinar

Like I mentioned, we didn’t realize what we were actually looking for … I thought we were looking for the remains of stone walls in a field. We stopped and asked for directions a number of times, and each time we were directed to a modern-looking church. We finally decided to stop in at this church, figuring the ruins might be somewhere on the church grounds.

We stopped in on a Monday, and when we went to the church office to ask permission to walk around the grounds to see the ruins, we were told that the church is closed on Mondays. But they told us that they would send someone out to show us the ruins (I guess it helps to carry a camera).

Ermita Espinar Ruins

We still didn’t realize the ruins were inside the church, so I walked all around the parish grounds finding squat.

After a little while, Brother Jaime came out, opened the church for us, and then we realized that the ruins are inside! Even though this was his only day off, Brother Jaime took the time to unlock the church, show us around, tell us all about the history of the church, and let us take photos.

The new church is really a shell, and they are still in the process of making it into a beautiful and more usable place. It contains the ruins of the original stone walls, and many beautiful religious statues. They have even refurbished the original brick floor. The roots, trees and holes where the original beams were are all visible in the ruined walls. It’s really something to see.

Details

Ermita Espinar Ruins

Access to the church and ruins is free, but donations are appreciated. This is a working parish, and they are trying to make improvements to the church and maintain the ruins. So toss a couple bucks into the donation box in the church vestibule.

The church, office, and access to the ruins, are closed on Mondays. It should be open on other days. If not, stop in the office (to the right of the church) and ask.

You can call the parish at 787-891-2989 for more info.

Masses and other services are scheduled throughout the week. Office hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm. There are usually people around at other times and on weekends. The Facebook page has info on scheduled services.

Once in Aguada, take Road 115 to Road 442 north-west (toward the ocean). On Road 442, it’s on the right at the first curve. There is a big parking lot across the street.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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