TWELFTH DECADE 2003 – 2013

Puerto Rico

  • For the past five years, the U.S., and thus, Puerto Rico, had been hard hit by the worldwide political and economic crisis.
  • Aníbal Acevedo Vilá won the 2014 elections and Puerto Rico continued to show very weak growth. In 2006 the economic destabilization would show its effect.
  • In 2006, the benefits under Section 936 ended and many factories had already left. More than 40,000 manufacturing jobs had been lost with its multiplying effects.
  • For lack of funds to pay the payroll, the government partially closed and over 90,000 public employees were left without a salary during this period, creating an environment of insecurity and lack of faith on the island.
  • The construction sector was still paralyzed; the cost of electric power and transportation continually increased and there was a significant decrease in sales.
  • The prolonged contraction caused adverse effects in all economic sectors: the levels of investment, income, consumption and employment, and more alarming, the government fiscal crisis did not allow the immediate adoption of measures to confront the recession.
  • The migration of professionals and other workers increased, weakening the labor force. Close to 40% of the population was receiving some type of social assistance.
  • In 2008, Luis G. Fortuño won the governorship. He formed the Economic and Fiscal Reconstruction Advisory Council (CAREF, for its Spanish acronym), composed of a multidisciplinary group, and Richard L. Carrión was asked to chair the group. Among all the members a plan was designed with a series of measures, among which were the shrinking of government and layoffs or reduction of work hours. These actions generated numerous protests.
  • In 2012 Fortuño lost the elections to Alejandro García Padilla. The decade came to an end searching for solutions.
Puerto Rico map


  • This was the decade of urban music: the music that comes from the streets, from the public housing developments, from upset people.
  • This style includes hip hop, rap and reggaeton. Hip hop surged in 60s and 70s and rap is part of hip hop. Rap is a culture, a lifestyle (dressing with caps, dark glasses, jeans worn well below the waist… jewelry).
  • Those who dance in the streets: Beat-boys (they dance at the beat of sound), Bboying culture. Many DJs and much graffiti in the streets. The pioneer in the U.S. was James Brown, and specifically in the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc.
  • In terms of reggaeton, it is a bit of everything. It’s like the Latin version of hip hop and its roots are in Jamaica. Many Jamaicans migrated to Panama to work in the construction of the Canal in the early 1900s and brought this music with them. The most notable exponents were Edgardo Armando Franco, “El General”, native of Panamá and Luis Armando Lozada, “Vico C”.
  • Reggaetón was an underground music, but became popular with Tego Calderón, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen, Wisin y Yandel, Tito el Bambino… Also, DJ Playero and DJ Nelson produced the first reggaeton tracks bringing the genre to the island: Tony Dice, Nina Skya, RKM y Ken-Y, Julio Voltio y René Calle 13.
  • With Daddy Yankee and his “Gasolina”, the genre crossed barriers, in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Trap style differs from reggaeton. While reggaeton was initiated in Panama, trap surged in Southern U.S. when rappers began to mix rhythms. Trap is sharper and more cutting than reggaeton. It talks about drugs, sex, violence… and arms define a new era. Ozuna and Bad Bunny, and foreigners as J Balvin and Maluma are some artists of this genre.
  • The popularity of urban music has marked the years to come and is heard and interpreted internationally.
Musical notes

Christmas tree

  • Christmas trees were elegant with silver, bronze and pink tones. More flamboyant and interest in extending the same ornaments in the rest of the areas.