By KEVIN WESTMORELAND”This was a very, very challenging day for me,” says Ramiro Herrera, 33, a resident of Puerto Rico’s northernmost town of San Juan, the capital.
“The whole world is saying that Christmas music is coming, but I’m not seeing anything.”
Ramiro has been hearing the festive music from afar since he was a child.
“I was always listening to it,” he says.
“Christmas was always the best time to watch movies or to sing or play video games.
I thought it was very relaxing.”
The local radio station KUNC, which plays popular Christmas songs, has been broadcasting Christmas music since 1977.
Ramiros grandfather also had the honor of playing the national anthem at a military parade last year.
But Ramirot is not alone in his struggles.
He says he has had to make some hard decisions.
“Now, I have to find a job,” he explains.
“If I don’t, I can’t afford to feed my family.”
His father, Juan Herrera, a pastor, has struggled to make ends meet.
He has lost his job as a bus driver.
He’s been forced to turn to the island’s only grocery store, which is not open.
And now he’s on the verge of homelessness.
“It’s very difficult,” Juan says.
The government of Puerto Ricans government has responded with a proposal to increase its Christmas music quota.
A few weeks ago, the Department of Tourism and Culture issued a press release stating that Santa Cruz, a city of nearly 100,000 people, had surpassed its quota.
But the press release does not mention Ramirol.
“This is really, really hard,” Juan explains.
“I think the music is great, but it’s not enough,” Ramirosis adds.
“There is no Christmas music that’s really good.”
The island’s Christmas market in Santa Cruz is already full of traditional music, including traditional Christmas songs that have been played for thousands of years.
A video that was posted on YouTube in March showed a man with a white beard playing traditional Christmas music.
He is seen dancing in front of a church and singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
A small choir sings the traditional holiday song.
Santa Cruz, which has a population of about 2.5 million, is home to some of the world’s most famous musicians.
Its Santa Cruz Christmas Market features traditional Christmas shopping, Christmas trees and festive food, and there is even a Santa Claus statue in front, but Ramirology says that is not enough.
“You don’t need Santa Claus,” Rakiro says.