Preserving Puerto Rico History

by | Crew - Eastern, Project Spotlight

Since 2015, ACE’s Eastern Crew division has provided repair and restoration work at the San Juan National Historic site which is managed by the National Park Service.

Their work has included a significant project involving restoration of the famous walls of Old San Juan that run adjacent to the La Perla neighborhood. Construction of the walls began in 1630 and continued for 150 years. They are as tall as 42 feet and as thick as 45 feet at the base and two feet at the top. The walls thwarted pirates and foreign invaders for decades.

ACE has been using the same mix of crushed red brick, lime and sand as the original wall composition to maintain the wall’s historic integrity and help retain its cultural significance. In addition, the ACE crew is comprised of local residents who receive a living allowance and gain new  jobs skills while earning career-building certifications.

Scaffolding image at historic wall

Crews’ scaffolding near the top of the wall as they work on the historic project

The crew members also work on Castillo San Felipe del Morro, one of two forts built by the Spanish to protect San Juan. The crews perform masonry work as well as trail maintenance and construction, and vegetation management to help preserve this local cultural treasure.

The crews’ participation in these projects help boost their future career opportunities and help bring a sense of pride in their historic neighborhoods.

Jose Guadalupe is a local community member and has been serving on an ACE crew for over a year.

”I am very proud of the work we do here and making our neighborhood look nice and clean again. La Perla was historically the most dangerous area in Puerto Rico, but now there’s even some restaurants and a bed and breakfast that have opened here. Fixing up the wall and giving the children of the neighborhood, including my daughter, something more beautiful to look at makes me happy,” Jose says.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Puerto Rico

Jose stands in front of the wall with the left side showing the degraded condition and the right side showing the improved appearance after the restoration work.

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