As I mentioned back in March, one of the key benefits of my status as a certified Puerto Rican artisan is not having to collect sales tax. Today, Nick and I gathered all the appropriate documents (and then added everything else we have…) and made a slightly dreaded trip to the “Colecturia” (goverment collections and tax office) in Aguadilla to claim my tax exempt status.

We anticipated a long afternoon of waiting and the need for a repeat visit but were happily wrong on both fronts. Thanks to some good tips from our friend Pam (come right after the 12-1 lunch break on a Wednesday or Thursday) and the right documents (my id from Fomento, a government issued photo id, Social Security card and a utility bill for proof of address) we were in and out of the office in under 30 minutes! Job done and what a relief.

We were done so quickly we decided to take the “scenic” route home. We always drive back from Aguadilla on the 2 “highway”. Its got a few nasty traffic lights but it is quick and has multiple lanes. This time, we took the 111, which runs parallel to the 2, but down by the ocean, through “downtown” Aguadilla. We enjoyed the views and stopped a few times to take it all in. More by luck then planning, we happened upon ‘Parque de Colon’ (Columbus Park), which commemorates what is claimed to be Christopher Columbus’ landing point in Puerto Rico (neighboring town Aguada has one of those to0…).   I was excited to finally see ‘La Casa del Árbol’ a “tree house” that is built around a massive Banyan tree and amazingly, is freestanding… We spent a few fun minutes climbing up and down the impressive structure, and then continued down the scenic road back home.

Looking back toward downtown Aguadilla from Parque Colon

Nick in the “tree house”

Where in the world is Miri???