Photo by Raquel Pérez Puig.
And what better way to appreciate Puerto Rico than through the eyes of the people who live here? So throw away those pamphlets you got from the hotel lobby desk and let Los Locales guide you.
We want you to come visit first for our beaches and sunshine, sure. But we want you to return for rainforest treehouses, oysters from Boquerón, Guavate's miles of pork stands, Rincón's laid back surf cult lifestyle, alcapurrias from Piñones, the hidden beach caves of the north coast, THE best coffee, and of course, the people, the great people of Puerto Rico.
Los Locales is a collective diary created by people from Puerto Rico who are IN LOVE with Puerto Rico and we want nothing more than for you to fall in love too.
Puerto Rico is not an all inclusive resort kind of island (although we do have some world class ones), it is not precisely a luxury escape for the rich and famous jet-setters (looking at you, St. Barth's) and it is not a desolated virgin place where people live in huts. When it comes to size, we are smaller than Cuba but we compensate with 100x35 miles of pure soul.
Puerto Rico is it’s own wild, colourful creature. The people will welcome you with smiles perpetually colored by optimism (no matter what!), with the warm embrace of an innate sense of hospitality and with a passion for life flavored by tropical breeze.
Michelle Gratacós (b. 1984, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a creative entrepreneur and co-founder of the community art projects Empanadillas Geométricas and Espacio Común. She graduated with a B.A. in Image and Design from the School of Plastic Arts of Puerto Rico in 2006 and proceeded to obtain her M.F.A. in Experience Design in 2009 from Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm, Sweden. After her studies, she served as Director of the Design Center at the School of Plastic Arts of Puerto Rico in 2011 and as a faculty member of the Graphic Design department at the Dewey University in Puerto Rico from 2011 to 2014.
As an Art Director and Experience Designer, Gratacós consulted for Carolina Caycedo’s “The Stargate” in the Matadero in Madrid, Spain (2010), and has participated in various exhibitions including: “El Panal” at the Trienal Poli/Gráfica in Puerto Rico (2011), curated by Rebeca Noriega, where the project “Espacio Común” was born, the project “Empanadillas Geométricas” at Boom Art Fair in Puerto Rico (2013), curated by Celina Nogueras and Miguel Miranda, and Wanted Design NYC in New York (2013) as part of the group Design in Puerto Rico, founded by Carlos Bobonis. Her latest design collaboration is with Twin Dogs Co, who currently distribute her patio furniture designs internationally.
meet your guides
Frequent flyer, legit carb enthusiast, natural born curious and beach connoisseur, Jeniffer Rosa López was born and raised in Puerto Rico. As a voracious reader since early childhood, Jeniffer fell in love with Spanish literature and calls Gabriel García Márquez her idol. She earned a bachelor's degree in Communications and Journalism from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras and by the time she was 22 years old, she had a Masters degree in Performance Studies with a focus in Latin America, from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. After studying briefly with the political activist performance group Yuyachkani in Lima, Perú, Jeniffer developed an unbeatable, ummeasurable passion for Latin America.
Soon after graduating, she began working as a reporter for El Diario La Prensa, and shortly thereafter with People en Español. After five years of working under Kika Rocha's wing at People, she decided it was time to change course and joined the Mayor of San Juan Jorge Santini Padilla's team as Deputy Director of Communications.
Today, Jeniffer works as a Public Relations Director for Latin America at a global makeup brand and lives between New York and San Juan with her husband.
Photo by Raquel Pérez Puig.
Anaïs Melero is a food and prop stylist, illustrator, and storyboard artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A "Cangrejera" for life, Anaïs was born and raised in San Juan. As the daughter of a photographer and food stylist, she grew up surrounded by artists from all walks of life, and attributes her sensibilities to her parents' influence. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute (2006) in Brooklyn, New York, where she lived until 2008.
She then returned to her homeland and has worked with various clients on projects ranging from cookbooks- Cocina Tropical for Rizzoli Publications- to international television commercials and music videos. She is also an artist assistant. She has participated in various group art shows in San Juan, New York and Berlin. She is passionate about art, film, music, photography, reading, travel and collaborating with the wonderfully talented people that surround and inspire her.