San Juan, Puerto Rico
Vidal has dedicated a lifetime to the investigation and study
of Puerto Rico's traditional culture. He views his native
land's richness, antiquity, and distinctive traits as a true
reflection of its national identity.
parents always insisted on honesty in every aspect of life
and that we love our homeland and everything it stands for.”
a young man, Vidal was an aide to Puerto Rico 's first elected
governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, and a member of the
founding board of directors of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña.
For nearly five decades, his field investigations throughout
the island to gather information on traditional life have been
complemented by archive and library research in Puerto Rico,
Spain, and the United States. Among his principal fields
of interest are carnival festivities, ex-votos (votive
offerings), witchcraft, folk medicine, colonial artists, and santos (devotional
wood carvings of saints and the Virgin Mary). Vidal has shared
his findings through lectures, articles, and 10 books.
view this work as an expression of my deep pride in the cultural
values of the people of Puerto Rico.”