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May 13th is Frog Jumping Day! Well, this day was just made for Puerto Rico as we have an enduring love affair with the Coqui frog.
There are currently 18 known species of the coqui in Puerto Rico. The Eleutherodactylus coquí, or coquí común, is the most common species of coquí on the island of Puerto Rico. They are considered common because this species can be found throughout the island’s varying ecological zones.
As the sun begins to set on the islands of Puerto Rico, the coquí común emerges from its hiding place and begins his familiar cry: “CO-QUI (KO-KEY).” To some people, the sound is annoying and almost deafening: but to native Puerto Ricans, visitors to the island and scientists know that this is the special sound that tells us the island is alive and well. It is common for Puerto Ricans who live abroad to say that the one thing they miss most about the island is the call of the coquí in the evening.
Similar species have popped up in South and Central America, and were purposely wiped out in Hawaii as pests. But in Puerto Rico, they are considered a national icon and are the superstars of nocturnal noises. Puerto Rico has been their documented home since the native Taino Indians carved their like on stone engravings 600 years ago. The Taino Indian Symbol is repeated today in local artwork, as can be seen here. One of the island’s proud phrases, “Soy de aqui como el coqui” means “I’m as Puerto Rican as a coqui.”
The coqui can be found among artwork, in books and more. To get your coqui and to celebrate Frog Jumping Day, here are some items that are sure to fit the bill:
In this story, a young boy named Armando surprisingly discovers a coquí in his red shoe. Carlito the Coquí is lost and cannot find his way home to the rain forest. Here’s an educational and entertaining lesson, not only on Puerto Rico’s beloved amphibian, the Eleutherodactylus coqui, but also on Puerto Rico’s environment, geography, history and culture. There are also several appendices with references, other fun facts and a complete list of the 18 known species of coquís. Perfect for a home or school library. For children ages 5 – 12.
Celebrate the coqui with this fun mug! A perfect pairing with Puerto Rico’s fine coffee and tropical teas!
This 8″ COQUI PLUSH version will hang almost anywhere just like a real coqui. The suction cups are on each foot, and they will not damage any surface. Shows off the Puerto Rican flag for all to see! To hear the song of the coqui, squeeze the belly of the frog.
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