Museo de los Santos is a joint project Dr. José Torres Melendez, MD,PhD.(Collector/Curator) and Richard Holm, MBA (Caribbean Consulting) to promote the appreciation, understanding and preservation of Santos and the history of Santeros in Puerto Rico.
Caribbean Consulting works with hotels, hotel associations and tourist boards to feature the culture and traditions of a destination - so the santos were an excellent example of a unique cultural tradition that would enhance tourism in Puerto Rico.
After meeting several collectors, Santeros and scholars - it seemed that there was lots of information about santos, but no central resource to tell the 'story of Puerto Rico's Santos'.
I attended the annual Encuentro de Santeros in Orocovis several times, but this is primarily a market for contemporary Santos and only takes place once a year without much publicity outside of the circle of collectors and scholars.
As a newcomer to Puerto Rico in 2000, I was fascinated by the rich tradition of the Santeros and Santos, but surprised by the lack of any central location where you could find information or even see a collection of Santos.
I realized that Santos had the same challenge as our clients at Caribbean Consulting - great products that were 'undiscovered' by many people who would be very interested if they only knew about them.
Whenever I mentioned Santos to friends of tourists, they immediately wanted to hear more. Rather than repeating information and persuading friends to let me bring friends to see their collections - I decided to start accumulating information with an online museum and Museo de los Santos was created.
The online collection represents Santos taken from the collections of several friends who have also provided information about the Santos or requested permission from authors to reprint their information.
This is a part-time project which relies on volunteers, so please be patient as we build the site. Although not all the santos in the online collection are in the same location, we can arrange a viewing of many of the santos with advance notice.
Please let us know if you have a particular interest so that we can contact the appropriate collectors.
The initial response to our website was so positive that we have now launched this version with improved photography, lots of room for information, links to other websites and online articles plus some new interactive media.
If you have any comments, please feel free to let me know.
San Juan, Puerto Rico