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Escape To Puerto Rico This Weekend, at Home

Virtual events allow would be visitors to Puerto Rico learn to dance the salsa, mix cocktails, and indulge in creating spicy international cuisine

As more and more Americans find themselves at home with only dreams of lying on a warmbeach or meeting friends for fun moments, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), has another idea. The organization is making it possible for home-bound souls to experience the spirit of Puerto Rico  by inviting people everywhere to escape to the island this weekend … virtually.

Day dreamers everywhere are invited to meet some of Puerto Rico’s best local talent and immerse themselves in the Island’s rich offerings by joining a salsa lesson with Tito Ortos and his partner Tamara Livolsi, choreographers to the stars including El Gran Combo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Víctor Manuelle on Friday, March 27, a cocktail making class with Roberto Berdecia, bartender and co-founder of the famous La Factoría on Saturday, March 28, and a cooking demo with Puerto Rican chef, Wilo Benet from Wilo Eatery & Bar on Sunday, March 29.

“We take great responsibility in helping stop the spread of COVID-19, so we’re not encouraging travelers to visit us right now as everyone needs to stay safe in their homes. Instead, we want to extend an important part of our culture – our salsa music and dancing, our mixology and our delicious cuisine – to uplift people during these challenging times. We encourage travelers to daydream about our Island now and consider a visit later, when the time is right. In the meantime, we’re excited to join them in their living rooms for this virtual getaway,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

Salsa Lesson on Friday, March 27 from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET

The salsa lesson will kick-off with a brief overview of basic salsa steps from notable salsa dancers, Tito and Tamara, and turn into a salsa dance party, so people can have a little fun from the comfort of their homes.

• To participate, log into Zoom for free via (Meeting ID #293-759-126) at 8:00 p.m. ET. All you need is an internet connection and a webcam to show off your best moves to other participants. No experience is necessary.

• Tito, the Director of the San Juan City Salsa Dance Program, participates with Tamara every year in congresses around the world and both work as judges for the World Salsa Summit, Euroson Latino and the World Salsa Championships.

Cocktail Making on Saturday, March 28 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Participants can meet the top bartender on the Island, Roberto Berdecia, co-owner of acclaimed La Factoría and Jungle Bird, who will serve up one of his favorites.

• To participate, join via Instagram Live at @discoverpuertorico

• La Factoría in Old San Juan, celebrating its fifth year as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars and featured in the music video of the hit song, Despacito, offers incredible cocktails harnessing local flavors, some of the best hospitality on the Island and an authentic atmosphere that seeps out of the distinguished bar walls.

Cooking Class on Sunday, March 29 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Chef Wilo Benet, who has redefined Puerto Rican cuisine, and in that process, has put the Island’s enchanting flavors on the global map, will walk participants through one of his favorite dishes you can easily whip up from home.

• To participate, join via Instagram Live at @discoverpuertorico

• Chef Benet defines his culinary style as contemporary global cuisine, a concept that combines traditional Puerto Rican ingredients with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, Italian, French and Arab influences.

Puerto Rico’s music and gastronomy are at the center of the Island’s culture and visitors will find no shortage of places on the island to explore once the world rights itself and gets back into action.