[May] -Can you tell us about what’s going on here? – Well right now we’re getting ready for our “comparsa” (group of people in a parade). I’m part of the group “Agua, Sol y Sereno” (Water, Sun, and Dew) and we have a parade all through the San Sebastian street with people on stilts, big-headed costumes, plena-dancers/singers, live music, and we go walking down the street together. [May] What do you think is the most traditional aspect of the San Sebastian Festival? – The “comparsa.” Yeah, the comparsa is one of the most traditional things. Especially because in it, we’re remembering historical figures of Puerto Rico. And part of the tradition of The San Sebastian Street Festival and the Puerto Rican people is the “Plena.” (A genre of music, dance, and singing which originated in PR.) [May] Ok. Can you tell us some of the names of the people represented with the big-headed costumes? Well, in the group “Agua, Sol y Sereno” we have some renowned musicians like Andy Montañez, Tite Curet. This year we’re dedicating this “comparsa” aside from our friends from the south and our families and our Puerto Ricans who are having a hard time in the south, we’re dedicating it to “Cachete” Maldonado. Who is a musician who has worked with the community. Who is very important in the Puerto Rican music, especially in the “Bomba” and “Plena.” And who past away recently. So in his honor, we’re dedicating these celebrations to him. [May] Perfect. Well, and what can you tell us about the decision not of not canceling the San Sebastian Festival this year? – I can tell you that it is about tradition. So, in order to be able to help, we Puerto Ricans are very cheerful people and we need… we use humor, we use songs, we use “Plena.” Which is our way of telling stories, since way back and until these days. It’s a way for us to sing, to let go of that, that… that stress, that pain, that grief. We do it through culture. So, because of our culture, the festival is needed. [May] Of course! Ok. Well, thanks a lot! – A pleasure. If an artisan from Cabo Rojo and an artisan from Ponce, people from all over Puerto Rico are working in this festival, the least we can do is to lecture Puerto Rico and the world and tell them that Puerto Rico is standing. I want to hear some noise for the residents of Old San Juan. Take care of it. Take care of Old San Juan. Today we start the road to the 500 years. This city is going to be 500 years old in 2021. And the cobblestones of this city represent the courage, the upbringing, the drive of the Puerto Rican people. Our hearts are looking south! Five, four, three, two, one…! Let’s practice: [sings] [Jim] The “arroz con gandules” (rice and green pgeon peas) is it that one over there? Does it have meat? That desn’t have any meat? No? [Jim] I think this one. [May] This one. Look, I got three. Those are goods made in Puerto Rico. Completely familiar. A family business. One hundred percent artisanal. [May] Great, where are you from? – Aguadilla. On the other side of San Juan. About two hours driving from here. [Jim] What did we get? [May] Some artesanal sweets with coconut and sesame seeds, and almonds. [Jim] Is it good?