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Contact: Dilcia Gonzalez, 787-729-6777
Superintendent Walter J. Chavez announces the grand opening of the Discovery Center at San Juan National Historic Site on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 9:30am.The Discover Center, the heart of educational programming for children, is located just a few steps away from the historic entrance of Castillo San Cristobal on Calle Norzagaray, in what was originally a residence for US Army personnel in the 20th Century.It will feature hands-on activities in a stimulating environment created to arouse curiosity and interest in the fortifications of Old San Juan while providing ways for children to connect to their shared heritage and the stories of those who built and preserve these structures. The center includes several rooms each designed to engage young people in a variety of ways.In the navigation room, computers are available to conduct research.The adventure room, designed to give the feel of being on a ship's deck, children can listen to stories, imagine and read about days gone by. The highlight of the Discovery Center is the Little Masons program, where kids can get their hands dirty applying stucco in much the same way the masons of the fortifications did centuries ago.
"Providing a way to make history relevant is always a challenge, especially to our younger generations.The Discovery Center is a place where children can explore and discover the past with a ranger and find a sense of connection", stated Superintendent Chavez.
The Discovery Center was primarily funded by the fees collected at the entrances to Castillo San Cristóbal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro.Friends of the Forts of Old San Juan were a key component in the planning phase of the new facility."The Discovery Center promotes stewardship in children in an innovative and exciting way and provides an attractive and rewarding experience for the entire family." added Superintendent Chavez.
For additional information, call (787)729-6777 or visit www.nps.gov/saju.
San Juan National Historic Site is comprised of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, Fort San Juan de La Cruz (El Cañuelo), the San Juan Gate, Paseo del Morro and most of the City Wall.The fortifications are open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, except on Tuesdays when the LeLoLai Festival program is held in the main