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Convention in the Caribbean

In March, AGC of America members will have the exciting opportunity to visit a destination bursting with rich culture, fascinating history, good grub, plenty of sun, and miles of sandy beach. Puerto Rico, a tropical Caribbean island, comes with all the luxuries of paradise and none of the pirate mischief. The 96th Annual Convention, scheduled for March 18-20, 2015, will provide attendees with powerful keynote addresses, construction solutions, and networking opportunities, with the beauty of San Juan, Puerto Rico as a backdrop.

Themed “360 Degrees of Construction,” the annual convention aims to provide contractors with a comprehensive view of where they are, where they are going and where they need to be in order to help these professionals strengthen the decisions they have to make every day. AGC will fill their days with dynamic speakers, top-notch education sessions, and a one-stop technology shop, the AGC Technology and Construction Solutions Expo, a value-packed event that will deliver real solutions for the real challenges facing the industry today.

And while the convention days will be packed with learning and sharing, Puerto Rico will provide plenty of activities for the evenings. If you’re unfamiliar with this tropical paradise, here is a snapshot of what awaits you in March.

From 1508 until 1898, Puerto Rico was entirely under Spanish rule. Then, at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Ricans found themselves under U.S. martial law. They were allowed to elect their own House of Representatives and then given full U.S. citizenship. Harry S. Truman finally made the island an official commonwealth of the United States, and Puerto Rico history began to shape into what we see now.

Old San Juan, a walled city with fascinating colonial architecture (400 restored buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries), is lined with cobblestone streets and contains the island’s best museums. Here you’ll find Casa Blanca, a white-walled estate that’s one of the oldest structures in Puerto Rico and was the original home of the Ponce de Leon family.

Every type of ethnic cuisine is available to satisfy your palette. Cocina criolla, which translates literally to Creole cooking, is the popular local cooking style. It is the food created by the European colonists using their traditional recipes combined with native Caribbean foods and cooking styles.

There’s plenty to do when the sun goes down. Gambling is legal and casinos can be found in virtually every hotel lobby around the island. And don’t forget your dancing shoes. Many clubs play salsa exclusively. If you don’t know the six-step routine, you will easily learn it. At any of these places, you’ll be dancing like a local in no time. And what would a Caribbean destination be without rum? Add a little coconut and pineapple juice and you’ve got Puerto Rico’s national drink: the piña colada. But, parents of teenagers beware: the drinking age on the island is 18.

Visit http://meetings.agc.org/convention/for more details on the program or to register. To learn more about life on the island, follow @meetpuertorico on Twitter. More complete coverage of the 96th Annual AGC Convention can be found in our January/February 2015 issue.

See you in San Juan in March!

• The U.S. dollar is the official currency
• No passport is required for U.S. citizens
• Travel time between the airport and the convention hotel is approximately 15 minutes by taxi
• The average year-round temperature is 82 degrees
• The legal drinking age is 18
• The island is approximately 100 by 35 miles, which is roughly the size of Connecticut
• The island’s population is 3.6 million
• Puerto Rico is on Atlantic Standard Time, which is one hour later than U.S. Eastern Standard Time from October through March