Alvin Báez

Visual Storyteller
   
The Gentleman's Sport
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality: American
Biography: Passionate visual storyteller with solid news judgment and international experience in photography and multimedia production. Able to work under pressure, with the flexibility to juggle competing deadlines. Team player who promotes a positive... MORE
Public Story
The Gentleman's Sport
Copyright Alvin Baez 2024
Date of Work May 2008 - Ongoing
Updated Oct 2018
Location PUERTO RICO
Topics Documentary, Editorial, Photography, Photojournalism

The "sport of beaks and spurs" or "the gentleman's sport" arrived to Puerto Rico and the rest of the Hispanic Caribbean thanks to the Spanish colonizers, and has since been a Puerto Rican tradition. Cock fights have taken place in the island since the 16th century, but it wasn't until 1770 that it became an official, regulated sport thanks to a law signed by Spanish governor Don Miguel de Muesas. 

When the Americans invaded the island in 1898, they prohibited the sport, but it was still practiced ilegally. In 1933, American governor Roberto Gore declared cock fights a legal activity again, thanks to the intervention of local congressman and passionate advocate of horse racing and cock fights Rafael Martínez Nadal. 

Today, Puerto Rico is one of the countries in which cock fighting is practiced the most. There are about 115 legal cockfighting centers around the island and the industry is responsible for about 20,000 direct and indirect jobs.

It's estimated that more than 175,000 cockfights take place in Puerto Rico every year and generate over 100 million annually.

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