Is cumbia the new punk? How Son Rompe Pera gets crowds moshing to marimbas.
A new generation of mujer libre
The new generation of mujer libre, Son Rompe Pera, is a musical collective that blends rock and hip-hop to create a fusion to the rhythms of the country’s Caribbean coast. This group has come to dominate the San Pedro section of the city of Puerto Plata.
Son Rompe Pera is composed of people with a history of rebellion. They came through the struggles of their ancestors in the struggle for Puerto Rico’s independence. They were able to come up with a musical expression to reflect that struggle.
The group’s name refers to the movement of the young people who made up the group, so they are able to communicate the group’s message of rebellion and fight for their people and the country.
“The movement of the young people is what we mean when we say that we are mujer libre (woman free)”, says Pina Romero, an attorney.
Romero came to Puerto Rico from her birthplace of Los Angeles while she was still in high school. She was the first Puerto Rican woman in her family to go to college, and she studied sociology. Today she is an attorney and the director of the Association of Young Women of Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization that promotes education, advocacy, community development and arts and culture for young people.
Romero, who speaks English and Spanish fluently and can sometimes pass for American, describes the group as a mix of the two cultures.
“What distinguishes us is the idea that we were born free in the freedom,” she adds. “The American dream we are living, we have a lot of pride in it. But we are in a crisis period. We are in a struggle as young people to find in the world what we have lost. The government isn’t helping us a lot. We don’t even know who our leaders are.”
Romero, along with her friend, Dora Maria, decided to form Son Rompe Pera because they were tired of the music coming out of San Juan. “People don’t think about music at home here. They think they can say whatever they