Tour the Asilo de Beneficencia Community Center

Asilo de Beneficencia is known in English as the “Home for the Poor” or “The Asylum of Charity”. Asilo de Beneficencia was built in 1840 for the purpose of helping poverty-stricken people. The building is situated in San Juan, the capital city on the island of Puerto Rico.

Today the Asilo de Beneficencia is no longer used as a community centre. The building is instead the location of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture’s (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña) administrative offices. The Asilo de Beneficencia also has a number of galleries that exhibit artwork and these displays are changed on a regular basis. Some of the other rooms found in the building hold a number of impressive pre-Columbian artifacts. These collections of artifacts include a variety of relics, pottery and stone tools. There is also a section of the building where a Taíno village scene has been recreated to show what a village might have looked like all those years ago.

At the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture’s offices, the staff research and make detailed studies on the cultural activities occurring in Puerto Rico. As you walk into the Asilo de Beneficencia you will immediately notice the echoing silence of the building. The building has two beautiful interior patios within its boundaries.

The Asilo de Beneficencia’s galleries are open to the public from Tuesday through to Saturday. The galleries are open from 09:00 am to 16:30 pm. There is a nominal entrance fee of $1 asked of the public if they would like to view the interesting artifacts and art pieces kept here. You can get hold of the Asilo de Beneficencia on (787) 724-5949, or on (787) 724-5477.

The city of San Juan is an old city founded in 1521 with a population of about 438,000 Puerto Ricans. Recently a lot of money has been put towards restoring parts of the city like the 19th century Esplanade. The restoration process was done for the 500th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ voyage. There have also been a number of restaurants and shops built to attract and accommodate visitors to the capital. A visit to San Juan and to the Asilo de Beneficencia is something everyone should do when visiting Puerto Rico.

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