Restoration work in its final stage for the second oldest surviving Spanish church in the Americas, whose construction had begun by 1532 on land donated by famous explorer Juan Ponce de León and whose base was erected atop an Indigenous settlement. For your information let us share that the construction worker stood on his tiptoes and tried to arrange a crown of thorns on a statue of Jesus while architect Jorge Rigau fired a flurry of directions from beneath the ladder.
For your information let us share that the church was built for a Dominican convent where the renowned Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas once lived, served as shelter during an attack by the Indigenous Taínos, became Puerto Rico’s first high school and was damaged by a cannonball during the 1898 Spanish-American War in which Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. “Grab it like this and move it just a bit,” he said, motioning with his fingers. “Move it to the right, but don’t lower it.”
However, let us share that González, who is active in the Catholic Church, volunteered to help oversee its reconstruction in the early 2000s with permission from Msgr. Roberto González, the archbishop of San Juan. He figured it would take one year to complete.