Rosario’s extraordinary location within a mountain range of stunning natural landscapes makes it like other, valleys and canyons formed by the Rosario and Duey rivers stand out as they run through the imposing ancient limestone massifs.
The experience we offer our visitors kicks off with a welcome reception and a short documentary film that presents a broad view of Casa Juan Pablo II’s history of community service and of Rosario’s natural and cultural heritage. Moreover, it features a sneak preview of the experience visitors will encounter together with the young hosts and interpretive guides of Casa Juan Pablo II’s Heritage Tourism and Community Service program.
The first part of the tour will take you to the Veredas of the Duey River farm. There, your experience begins as you walk into a narrow valley of coffee plants shaded by drooping branches of the native guaraguao and guava trees. This is the entryway to a rustic path that will lead visitors to discover and appreciate Rosario’s natural history and that of its first inhabitants, the indigenous people, who settled in the area and left traces as evidence of their presence.
The tour’s trail connects visitors with imposing limestone massifs, beautiful coffee plantations and verdant forests, and gives them the opportunity to walk through the waters of the Duey River, while enjoying the stunning, natural scenery unique to Puerto Rico and discovering the imprints left by indigenous people on the banks of the river.
The visitor experience is then transferred to Rosario’s traditional urban area, starting at the parish chapel, whose original construction marks the beginning of the community’s official foundation almost 200 years ago. Departing from this point, the route takes you through Rosario’s main streets, highlighting its exceptional stories and historical buildings that tell the story of its origins and development, until reaching the monument of Rosario’s coat of arms.
This remarkable experience concludes with lunch @ Casa Juan Pablo II. Here, visitors and young guides can share their impressions and experiences of Caras de Rosario, as well as talk about Casa Juan Pablo II’s extraordinary contribution to community well-being.
“For me, the Heritage Tourism and Community Service program has meant both personal and mental growth. I have had the opportunity to learn things not only about the community where I live, but also about myself, and that makes me want to learn more every day. It is important that this project continues to grow, as it has a positive impact in our community, and perhaps in other communities.”
“The Heritage Tourism program is an amazing opportunity in which I can serve and develop interpretation and tour guiding skills. I’m very grateful for this chance to experience new challenges together with my peers as young entrepreneurs. It’s also remarkable their faith and trust in young people’s potential and what we can contribute to society.”
“The Heritage Tourism and Community Service program has greatly contributed to my professional development, and most of all, to my own personal growth. It has helped me understand the importance of appreciating everything that surrounds us and the beauty we see on a daily basis, and of trying to make other people value it in the same way through our tour experience. This project has also helped me discover hidden talents and develop them."
The Heritage Tourism and Community Service program is a Puerto Rico-based social entrepreneurship initiative of the Bravo Family Foundation. You can also experience this unique community-based tourism model at Centro Esperanza in Loiza (northeast region) and Las Mareas’ Punto Educativo, Recreativo y Social in Salinas (southern region).