by Kristy Dellwo
Directly translated to English, Playa Sucia means “dirty beach”, which does not really sound like the type of place you would want to spend your afternoon. However, coming from a Minnesotan’s perspective who does not get to hang out by the ocean often, I was not phased by the bits of seaweed that lined the shoreline and deemed the beach “dirty” (although I did later hear that the beach was named to keep tourists away). Playa Sucia sits in Cabo Rojo on the Southwest corner of the island. It is nicely tucked in a cove surrounded by scenic bluffs and a lighthouse accessible by a short hike with panoramic views of the water. In addition to the beautiful scenery, this beach also seemed to be a common spot for families to spend time with each other. One big family in particular had brought a speaker to play music and everyone was doing choreographed dances together. The family’s dancing brought a strong cultural presence to the beach, as dancing is a big part of many Puerto Rican family cultures on the island. Everyone was friendly and relaxed, allowing me to forget my responsibilities for a moment and fully appreciate the experience.