Arrived in Puerto Rico on Halloween. In the pouring rain I decided to mosey along the streets of Old San Juan in search of a crackin pub. The city was pretty dead, puerto rican’s are not down with rain. I wondered upon a man, seemed nice enough so I approached him. He was on a good one I’ll tell you what, an honest drug dealer openly stating his profession. He told me La Perla is the most beautiful place in Puerto Rico I must see it and where he lives.
Sooooo I went along for the ride. Walked myself right into the “gnarliest” drug slum of Puerto Rico to have a look.
At this moment I was not so aware of the reputation of La Perla
Flaco, the reason I was safe in La Perla. Showing me his aloe plant.
The massive wall that once surrounded and sheltered the city of Old San Juan to protect it from any maritime or foreign invasion. This wall acted as one of the primary defenses of the city which was subjected to numerous attacks. Flaco said he can see people screaming in pain when he looks at the white marks on the wall.
Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery.The colonial Spanish government at the time construction of the cemetery commenced, viewed death with fear because it was a mystery. Therefore, they decided to build the cemetery to overlook the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the spirit’s journey to cross over to the afterlife.
Flaco’s favorite tombstone in the cemetery.
La Perla was dope. So gnarley I was able to visit and snap some photos. It has a horrendous rap for being one of the most dangerous slums in the world. I felt surprisingly safe, I’m not a snitch so nothing to worry about. They want shizzle to run smoothly too. With only about 200 residents it was brought to my attention that the whole thing has to be an inside job (run by government). Honestly it didn’t feel like one of the most dangerous places ever. Only way to enter is with a local, thank God for Flaco. Super crazy experience. Don’t tell my pops I went in he’ll be pissed.
La Perla is a slum aside of the northern historic city wall of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, stretching about 650 yards (600 m) along the rocky Atlantic coast immediately east of the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery and down the slope from (north of) Calle Norzagaray. La Perla was established in the late 19th century. Initially, the area was the site of a slaughterhouse because the law required them and homes of former slaves and homeless non-white servants – as well as cemeteries– to be established away from the main community center; in this case, outside the city walls. Sometime after, some of the farmers and workers started living around the slaughterhouse and shortly established their houses there. In spite of its oceanfront location, La Perla has always been known for its high rate of illegal drug trafficking and crime.