12 Shows, 4 Days And A Whole Lotta Jazz!!!

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Ray Santos at 2016 Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Ray Santos

The 26th edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest will take place from Thursday, March 17 to Sunday, March 20, at the Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan. This year, the festival will have a varied musical offering, including the introduction of HEINEKEN THE LAB, an experimental proposal that will combine jazz with other musical genres on the first night (Thursday). During the four-day event, many world acclaimed jazz musicians will take the stage to perform live. On Sunday, some of the guest musicians will unite in a tribute to jazz’s king of mambo and this year’s honoree, Ray Santos. Under the direction of Humberto Ramírez, the musicians will be presented as the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Big Band.

Thursday, March 17:

Henry Cole Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Henry Cole

8:00PM — Henry Cole & Villa Locura – Graduated from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and renowned music school Berklee College of Music, Cole returns for the second time to the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest. This time around as the opening act of the festival. The musician, who will debut the new concept HEINEKEN THE LAB, is known for his fusion of jazz with other genres like salsa, rumba, plena, funk and rock. This led him to share the stage with important music groups and to receive the support of legendary producer, Quincy Jones, who he claims as one of his heroes. For this occasion, Cole will light up the stage with his group Villa Locura, composed of: Mario Castro (Tenor), Ricardo Pons (Baritone), Luis Rodríguez (Electric Bass), Gabriel Vicens (Guitar), Benson Pagán (Guitar), Alberto Torrens (Barrel), Bryant Huffman (Chekere), Obanilu Iré Allende (Barrel and Voice), Kily Vializ (Voice and Percussion), Jonathan Powell (Trumpet), Jeremy Bosh (Voice), and Negro González (Voice\Rap).

Pirulo at Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Pirulo

9:30 PM — Pirulo Tribal Jazz Experience – With his entertaining musical offer, Pirulo debuts at the JazzFest stage after a year of unstoppable success. The producer, percussionist, and composer, also a graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, has worked with a very diverse group of artists, ranging from music legend Bob Dylan, to Vico C and Tego Calderón, making him the perfect fit for THE LAB.

DJ Guti Talavera at Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

DJ Guti Talavera

11:00 PM — DJ Guti Talavera – Closing HEINEKEN THE LAB will be Puerto Rican DJ Guti Talavera. Based in Miami, the DJ will present his Hip Hop Jazz Live Show, where he will join forces with 3 fellow musicians to create a fusion of progressive rhythms. DJ Talavera will be accompanied by a saxophonist, trumpeter, and Joel Pierluisi (Danger Garden). The producer and expert in plates will integrate his distinctive “scratching” technique as part of this innovative closing.

Friday, March 18:

Charlie Sepúlveda at Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Charlie Sepúlveda

8:00 PM — Charlie Sepúlveda & The Turnaround – Puerto Rican trumpeter Charlie Sepúlveda has become a jazz propeller in his land with eleven recordings as a soloist and working as a professor in the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. His unique and melodic styles led his way participating in big latin jazz recordings with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz and Dave Valentín. The experienced musician will be joined by Norberto Ortiz (Piano), Gabriel Rodríguez (Bass), Francisco Alcalá (Drums), Garwin Vargas (Conga drums) and Bienvenido Dinzey (Saxophone) as the opening act of the second day of the festival.

Ralph Irizarry Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Ralph Irizarry

9:30 PM — Ralph Irizarry – Timbalaye – Known as the timpanist with the greatest swing, Irizarry will be performing during the second night of the festival with his group “Timbalaye”. His credits include five recordings alongside Ray Barreto, as well as an excellent musical relationship with Rubén Blades and Seis del Solar, with whom he collaborated for thirteen years. Other partnerships include artists like David Byrne, Paul Simon, Harry Belafonte, Earl Klugh, Juan Luis Guerra, Cachao, Celia Cruz, and Yomo Toro. Celebrating 20 years with his septet will be fellow musicians Dennis Hernández (Trumpet), Aníbal Rojas (Saxophone), Hommy Ramos (Trombone), Roberto Quintero (Conga drums), Alexander Ayala (Bass), and Adán Pérez (Piano).

Luis Salinas Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Luis Salinas

11:00 PM — Luis Salinas Quintet – A guitar expert and passionate for the musical fusion, Salinas has demonstrated his ability in music since his early stages where he self-taught the instrument that has now earned him a spot as a big contender in the jazz music industry. The Argentinian musician has worked with the great singer Mercedes Sosa, who expressed that “it is a joy working and listening to Luis’s subtle and melodic voice”. He will be accompanied by Argenis Luis Peña (Drums, Percussion and Flamenco box), Alex Tosca Laugart (Piano and Keyboard), Ricardo José Martínez (Electric bass), and as a special guest, his son, Juan Salinas (Electric guitar).

Saturday, March 19:

José “Furito” Ríos Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

José “Furito” Ríos

8:00 PM — Jose “Furito” Ríos & Standard Bomba – If you were to take a look at Furito’s resume, you’ll find a wide variety of abilities and experience. Skillful in the saxophone, the flute, piccolo, and clarinet, Ríos also excels as a composer and arranger. His diversity has led him to participate in over 300 recordings with artists from different musical genres, like Ray Barreto and Arturo Sandoval in jazz, Celia Cruz and Bobby Valentín in salsa, and Franco de Vita and Marco Antonio Solís in popular music, just to name a few. He has played in various Broadway musicals, as well as with the Symphonic Orchestras from Puerto Rico and the Bronx. He knows no limits when it comes to his dedication to music. During the JazzFest, he will play his most recent production, “Standard Bomba”, with Ramón Luis Irizarry (Bass and Electric bass), Juan Luis Anglero (Piano), Jimmy Rivera (Drums), Omar “Pipo” Sánchez (Barrel pump, maracas and cuá), Hector Calderón (Barrel pump, maracas and cuá), Raúl Rodríguez (Barrel Pump), Giovanna Sosa (Modern dancer), and Milton Cordero (Digital Artist and Programmer).

Antonio Sánchez Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Antonio Sánchez

9:30 PM — Antonio Sánchez & Migration – The Mexican musician is catalogued as one of the most influential drummers in today’s music industry. With the recognition he gained after his nominations for Best Original Score during 2015 Golden Globes and BAFTA for the movie Birdman, who won the Oscar for best movie, Sánchez has benefited from his well-deserved success to promote two new and unique productions, alongside his group Migration, with whom he’ll debut in Puerto Rico during the third night of the festival. The group is made up of Antonio Sánchez (Director and Drums), John Escreet (Piano), Matt Brewer (Bass), Thana Alexa (Voice), and Seamus Blake (Saxophone).

Paquito D'Rivera Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Paquito D’Rivera

11:00 PM — Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble – Closing on Saturday night will be one of the biggest Latin jazz figures in the world. The Cuban saxophonist, clarinetist, and musical director returns to the Heineken Jazzfest to celebrate his more than six decades of musical career. In his lifetime he has played bossa nova and tango, participated in compositions for philharmonic orchestras, and played tribute to many influential artists. This shows in his last production where he plays tribute to the classic boleros of composer Armando Manzanero. D’Rivera will share the stage with Alex Brown (Piano), Oscar R. Stagnaro (Electric bass), Mark Walker (Drums), Pernell Luciano Saturnino (Percussion), and Victor Provost (Steel drum).

Sunday, March 20:

Berklee In Puerto Rico Equi Castrillo

Berklee In Puerto Rico – Equi Castrillo

5:00 PM — Berklee in Puerto Rico – Our Island may be small in size but huge in talent. Directed by Eguie Castrillo, the Puerto Rican students that have had the opportunity of studying and learning in one of the most important music schools in the world, Berklee College of Music, will take the JazzFest stage on its last day. The young musicians that will play on Sunday are: Manuel E. Castrillo (Congas and Timbales), David E. Suleiman Orozco (Saxophone, Tenor), Orlando A. Latorre (Trumpet), Joseph Omar Rivera (Piano), Jonathan Salas Rodríguez (Drums), and Flavio Lira de Oliveira (Bass).

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Roberta Gambarini Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Roberta Gambarini

6:00 PM — Roberta Gambarini Quartet – Influenced by the music of the great Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, the Italian singer moved to the United States in 1988 to pursue a career in music while studying in the New England Conservatory of Boston. Her career took flight quickly, becoming a recurring act in the North American jazz festivals. Gambarini will be joined by Cyrus Chestnut (Piano), John Webber (Bass), and Victor Lews (Drums).

Ray Santos Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest

Ray Santos

7:30 PM — Ray Santos Tribute – Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Big Band: Directed by Humberto Ramírez, a group of guest musicians will play tribute to the master of mambo, Mr. Ray Santos, this year’s honoree during the PR Heineken JazzFest.

Tickets On Sale!!!

puerto-rico-heineken-jazzfest-logoTickets for the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest are available for sale. Prices vary depending on a per-day basis. Prices begin at $15.00, up to $75.00 for the JazzPass, a special pass that allows patrons to enjoy all four days for less than $25.00 a day plus a 15-minute fast track entrance before the general public. Prices listed below do not include service charges nor taxes (IVU).

Thursday, March 17- $10.00 (Students with I.D.)/ $15.00 (General Public)
Friday, March 18- $25.00
Saturday, March 19- $25.00
Sunday, March 20- $30.00

Jazz Pass (Full four-day access to the festival with 15 fast track entrance) $75.00

Tickets are available at www.ticketpop.com and at La Bodega de Méndez & Compañía in Guaynabo (787) 277-5880, Ponce (787) 651-1999, or Añasco (787) 826-7570.

How To Get There

For more information regarding the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, visit the website www.prheinekenjazz.com.

©2016,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Old San Juan Is For Walking

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walking in old san juanI’ll never understand how there are people who jump in their cars and waste hours driving around Old San Juan.  That’s the idiot’s way to see the Old City!  But there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of those.  Just visit Old San Juan any Sunday afternoon and you’ll see the long line of cars going from Fort San Cristobal to Fort San Felipe del Morro on Norzagaray Street.

Old San Juan was built by people who had no cars.  Hence, the city streets are narrow, there’s hardly any parking space and the Caribbean sun is so blistering hot that even the best air conditioners can hardly keep up.

The Old San Juan Walking Tour

The Old San Juan Walking Tour. Click on image to see it larger.

Besides, the devil is in the details.  You need to be standing on your own two feet to read the placards on historical landmarks, visit interesting shops, talk to the people, visit the many museums and parks, and stop for a refreshment (adult or otherwise) at one of the city’s many bars and cafeterias.  You just can’t do any of that while sitting in a car.

Then there’s the element of time.  Many tourists arrive on cruise ships and hardly have 8 hours to enjoy the city.  That’s barely enough to explore the Spanish forts, grab a quick lunch or souvenir and rush back to your ship.

Others arrive by plane and have fewer time constraints.  But if they don’t know what to look for they’re prone to wander through the Old City without really getting to know it.

Guía del Caminante del Viejo San Juan

Guía del Caminante del Viejo San Juan. Click on image to see it larger.

Of course, there are trained guides that you can pay to show you around, but they’re expensive and often you’ll be competing for attention with fellow tourists in your party.  If you like feeling like you’re part of a herd, by all means go for it!.

That’s brings us to “The Old San Juan Walking Tour”“The Old San Juan Walking Tour” is an illustrated e-book for your Amazon Kindle that takes you on a step-by-step imaginary tour of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful city.  And it leaves nothing out.  You’ll explore the Spanish forts, the statues, the plazas and every other popular landmark in a virtual walk (complete with 66 stunning photos) that starts right next to Pier #1 and returns you to the same place 8 hours later; just in time to catch your ship!

And the best thing is that you can read “The Old San Juan Walking Tour” in the comfort of your own home, determine exactly what you’d prefer to see and hit the ground running when you arrive!  All for less than the price of a sandwich.

Oh, and did I forget to tell you that it’s also available in Spanish?  That’s right!!!  It’s called “Guía Del Caminante Del Viejo San Juan” and it’s just as useful if “español” happens to be your native tongue.

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So if you’re coming to Old San Juan, and you really want to get to know this city in a very short amount of time, do yourself a favor.  Leave the car at any of the city’s many parking garages, jump into your sneakers and hit the cobblestones on foot.  Then you’ll really be able to say “I visited Old San Juan”.

©2015,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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A Day At The Arecibo Radio-Telescope

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Arecibo RadioTelescopy (Courtesy of NAIC-Arecibo Observatory, an NSF facility.)

Arecibo RadioTelescopy (photo courtesy of NAIC-Arecibo Observatory, an NSF facility.) Click on image to see it larger.

When you visit a tropical island like Puerto Rico there are things you expect and there are things that you don’t. You can expect beautiful beaches, lush vegetation, old Spanish cities, wonderful food and pleasing people. But what you probable won’t expect is a high tech facility typical of NASA’s most advanced space centers.

Well, that’s exactly what the Arecibo Radio-Telescope is and it’s just a 90 minute drive from the San Juan Metroplex.

Last Wednesday my wife and I had the unique opportunity to visit the radio-telescope and meet with two great people: its director Mr. Andrew W. Ortiz and one of his excellent tour guides Miss Natalia Feliciano. And believe me, it was worth every minute of our time. The place is amazing and our hosts couldn’t have been more knowledgeable, enthusiastic and pleasing.

Andrew W. Ortiz, Director (our interviewee).

Andrew W. Ortiz, Director (our interviewee). Click on image to see it larger.

Getting to the radio-telescope is easy if you have any sort of GPS unit. Just copy the coordinates from the map below, punch them into your own GPS unit and you’ll arrive at the front gate in no time. That’s what I did. I wrote them into the Google Maps App on my iPhone and it took me straight there.

The final stretch of the trip is quite unique as there is no indication that youre about to reach the radio-telescope. All you’ll see for the last five miles are cows and more cows. In fact, if you didn’t know about the facility you would never guess it’s there with all the cow farms that surround it.

Arecibo Radio-Telescope Visitor Center

Visitor Center. Click on image to see it larger.

When we got to the front gate we still couldn’t see the giant dish. That’s because it sits comfortably in a natural formation between three mountains. After registering at the gate we were escorted to the visitor center where the first thing that we saw were two life-size figures sitting at a table enjoy a cup of coffee. The man on the right is Mr. Karl Jansky and the one on the left is Sydney Chapman, and the are considered the founding fathers of radio-astronomy and ionospheric science.

Karl Jansky (right) and Sydney Chapman (left)

Karl Jansky (right) and Sydney Chapman (left). Click on image to see it larger.

Karl Guthe Jansky was an American physicist who in 1931 discovered that celestial objects emit radio waves. This discovery led to the establishment of what we now know as radio-astronomy, and more importantly, to the construction of the many radio-telescopes around the world that we have today.

Sydney Chapman was a British mathematician and geophysicist. His work on the kinetic theory of gases, solar-terrestrial physics, and the Earth’s ozone layer has inspired a broad range of research over many decades. In fact, the Arecibo Radio-Telescope’s proper name is the “National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center” (NAIC). It was originally constructed in 1963 to study the earths ionosphere and later on went on to studying outer space.

Small meteorite from Mars discovered in Nigeria.

Small meteorite from Mars discovered in Nigeria. Click on image to see it larger.

Among the many interesting exhibits that you’ll find at the center there is a satellite view of the island of Puerto Rico, as it looked back in 1997, where you can clearly see the Arecibo Radio-Telescope. Another interesting item —and one you can easily miss— is a small meteorite from Mars— discovered in Nigeria. We know it’s from Mars because it contains trace elements that are only found in the Martian atmosphere.

Meteorite from Mars discovered in Namibia.

Meteorite from Mars discovered in Namibia. Click on image to see it larger.

A few meters away there is a slightly larger one (350 pounds) that was discovered in Namibia, Africa in 1836 ad is mainly composed of nickel and iron.

You’ll also find exhibits about infrared light, the life span of different types of stars, how audio reacts in a vacuum, star constellations around the world, radio-astronomy around the world and a scale model of the Arecibo Radio-Telescope.

Everything we have mentioned so far is located on the first floor of the exhibition area and is part of the permanent exhibit. On the second floor there’s an itinerating exhibit area that presently holds a Nanotechnology exhibition. Prior to that there was a NASA exhibition complete with a real astronaut suit and different equipment used in space exploration. Exhibits on the second floor usually change on a yearly basis but if they are very popular —like the one from NASA was— they can remain for longer periods of time.

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The Arecibo Radio-Telescope has come a long way when it comes to catering to tourists. Prior to 1997 the facility was mainly a research center where visitors could see the radio telescope and very little else. In fact, I remember visiting the place many years ago and there was even a glass where you could see the scientists at work and a sign that read: “don’t feed the scientists”.

Inside the visitor center, Arecibo Radio-Telescope.

Inside the visitor center, Arecibo Radio-Telescope. Click on image to see it larger.

Today the Arecibo Radio-Telescope is an ultra modern facility that still fulfills its research functions while receiving thousands of visitors and educating the community.

Then there’s the dish. After exiting the visitor center we went straight to an observation deck that’s right at the edge of the 1,000 foot dish. And believe me, it was a jaw dropper. It was the brainchild of Dr. William E. Gordon, a Cornell University professor who was interested in studying the ionosphere.

Construction started in 1960 under the supervision of doctor Gordon and three years later it was completed at an estimated cost of 9 million dollars. According to the Bureu Of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator that would be about $71,368,175.68 in today’s dollars.

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So why did doctor Gordon and his team decide to build this multi-million dollar facility —the largest of its kind in the world— in the middle of nowhere? Well, there were three main reasons. The first reason was because the money came from the U.S. Department of Defense and they wanted it to be on U.S. soil. The second reason was because Puerto Rico is the U.S. territory closest to the equator and that would add to the instrument’s accuracy. And finally there’s the geomorphology of the site.

The Arecibo Radio-Telescope dish sits comfortably between three mountains.

The Arecibo Radio-Telescope dish sits comfortably between three mountains. (photo courtesy of NAIC-Arecibo Observatory, an NSF facility.) Click on image to see it larger.

The Arecibo Radio-Telescope sits between three mountains that practically resemble the size and shape of the reflector dish. Therefore, it required a lot less excavation to construct and —of course— a lot less money.

The radio-telescope is comprised of three main elements: the three concrete towers which rise an average of 300 feet into the sky, the platform and the reflector dish. The towers get their names from the numbers on a typical clock. The one pointing north is tower number twelve (265 feet), the one pointing southeast is tower number four (265 feet) and the one pointing southwest is tower number eight (365 feet). Together they form a perfect triangle.

The center platform is suspended 450 feet above the dish by steel cables capable of holding up to ten tons each. These cables are the original ones installed back in 1963 and they are periodically treated with dry oxygen to avoid corrosion.

Arecibo Radio-Telescope Platform.

Arecibo Radio-Telescope Platform. Click on image to see it larger.

The platform is subdivided into five parts. These are: the triangular base that suspends it from the cables, the circular base that allows the instruments to rotate 180°, the azimuth that allows the instruments to move along a vertical semicircle, the Gregorian dome that holds the instruments used for out space exploration and the 430 antenna which is used for ionospheric analysis.

One thing that caught my attention was what our guide Natalia said about the Gregorian dome: “it looks small from the observation deck, but it’s actually about the size of a six story building”. ¡Wow!

The 430 antenna gets its name from the fact that it works at a frequency of 430MHz. This antenna is used to study the earth’s ionosphere, which was the reason for building the facility in the first place.

Finally, the fixed dish is 305 meters across, which boils down to 1000.7 feet. It is made up of almost 40,000 3’X 6′ perforated aluminum panels. This makes the dish a reflective surface for radio waves and a “transparent” surface for rainwater and sunlight. Hence the aquifers that lay below the dish are not affected by it and there are even plants growing below its surface.

On the very edge there’s a fence-like structure that anyone (including me) would have expected to be for keeping animals (both quadruped and biped) off the dish. Well it’s not. It actually serves a technical purpose. It keeps spurious signals from cell phones, radio stations, tv stations and any other type of radiofrequency that might hinder the performance of the instruments from reaching the dish. In other words, it acts as a giant Faraday cage. It also helps keep the useful signals in.

Our guide Natalia Feliciano.

Our guide Natalia Feliciano. Click on image to see it larger.

The radio telescope mainly conducts two types of studies: passive and active. Passive studies (radio-astronomy) are used to study light emitting celestial bodies like stars, galaxies or pulsars which, like Karl Jansky discovered, also emit radio waves. These signals hit the dish, bounce back into the Gregorian dome and go through fiber optic lines to the control room where scientists analyze them with the aid of sophisticated computers.

Active studies (radar astronomy) are used to study objects that don’t emit any light like meteors, asteroids and planets. In this case the radio-telescope sends a radio signal that hits the object reflects back into the dish and is then analyzed. The facility has its own diesel generators because the amount of power (1.2 million watts) that the radio-telescope draws when it is in the transmitting mode is so great that it would leave Arecibo in the dark every time they “flipped the switch”.

Finally, one of the most important tasks performed by the Arecibo Radio-Telescope is the study of near earth objects. In layman’s terms big chunks of rock that could hit our planet and mess things up for humanity. I spoke extensively about this subject with Andrew Ortiz and it’s not quite like they present it in the Hollywood blockbuster “Deep Impact”. However, there are actually ways to divert such objects if we can only identify them in time. We also spoke about the fact that the Arecibo Radio-Telescope was instrumental in the recent discovery of sea water on Mars! If you would like to listen to my interview with Ortiz in its entirety you can listen to episode 150 of my podcast “Hablando De Tecnología”. However, you will need to brush up on your Spanish.

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The Arecibo Radio-Telescope is normally open to the public Wednesdays thru Sundays, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. However, during the months of June and July it’s open 7 days a week. Admission is only $10 for adults and $6 for children and senior citizens over the age of 65. No reservations are required for small parties. Larger groups must call in advance.

Regular visits include two interactive exhibits, trained guides that answer your every question, an audiovisual tour covering every aspect of the observatory’s operation, and a guided tour to the observation deck. All tours, exhibits and movies are available in English and Spanish.

During certain periods throughout the year the observatory undergoes a maintenance schedule which is also used to conduct VIP tours. Participants in these tours get to see the inner workings of the facility and get to visit areas such as the maintenance shops, power plants, dish footings… in other words: “the whole shabang”. These tours have a 100% surcharge so be ready to pay $20 instead of $10 for adults and $12 for children instead of $6. But hey, if you’re really into science and radio-astronomy this is the tour for you!!!

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Originally the Arecibo Radio-Telescope was managed by Cornell University, but in 2011 it passed over to a consortium formed by UMET (Universidad Metropolitana de Puerto Rico) (a local university owned by the Ana G. Méndez Foundation), the Stanford Research Institute and USRA (Universities Space Research Association).

For information more please call 787-878-2612, ext 346 or visit the observatory’s website at: https://www.naic.edu/.

©2015,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”