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old san juan

The Importance of Building Your Tribe

Lifestyle, CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment
Coworking Space at  Piloto 151

Coworking Space at Piloto 151

Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with Piloto 151, a cool co-working space in Old San Juan that I've followed for years now, which I contacted for ambinity's first event, Offline Saturdays. As always, all opinions are my own! 

OK this is probably going to sound harsh for some of you, but when I first started blogging back in 2013, this was not only a creative outlet, it was also a way to escape from people and environments I disliked. I have come a long way since then and I know this was probably due to my anxiety

Today, even though I spend the majority of my days online, I've had the chance of meeting some amazing people offline thanks to this blog and my career in digital advertising. And connecting with them in a more personal way has taught me that once you put yourself out there, express your passions and life goals, the universe will put the right people in your way. 

In a nutshell, I've learned a few lessons from connecting with people offline and collaborating with them along the way. Here are some of them: 

People are cooler than you think

I used to be one of those people who thought most people were annoying and hated when they talked to me for no reason. And don't get me wrong, I still feel that way, specially at the gym or when I'm super concentrated in whatever I'm doing, but who doesn't?! 

What I mean is that once you start listening to other people's stories and sharing your owns, you will notice that there is so much more than meets the eye. You might end up not liking this person, but it might as well be your future BFF or business partner! The key here is to never judge a book by its cover. Stereotypes are for losers! 

Coworking Space at  Piloto 151

Coworking Space at Piloto 151

Building your tribe is essential to your success

I define a tribe as a group of people who mutually encourage each other to grow both personally and professionally. And how do you find your tribe you may ask?

You will have to follow your curiosities, wherever it leads you, which is something I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic. Once you start expressing your passions with like-minded individuals and you are genuinely happy (notice the bold lettering!) about their success, you will begin to attract the people that will complement you during your own journey.

Having a tribe is not about taking advantage of people, it's about inspiring, bringing positive energy and collaborating with each other. Even if you think these people could be your competition, everyone has a unique perspective and talent to share with you and the rest of the world, so it is our responsibility to lead them and help them grow. Because the more people follow their passions, the happier they'll be, and I think we can all agree this world needs more happy people!

Repeat after me: The journey to success is not a competition! 

Coworking Space at  Piloto 151

Coworking Space at Piloto 151

Gratitude is underrated

Once you start getting out of your comfort zone, you will start to see a world of possibilities and opportunities that will basically fall into your lap. And that my friends, is great news for whatever journey you're on! 

Don't forget to take a moment to look at the bigger picture and be grateful and proud of your tribe and for everything that you've accomplished. 

Co-working is key!

Once you find your tribe, find a way to collaborate and make other people shine with you! The girls from Colorful Disaster do it with their #ColorfulGuests posts, Zahira Domenech does it with her Tuesdays Together gatherings, Mari Nieves does it by sharing her digital marketing knowledge with her Pink Studios followers and Merodea does it with their Women We Heart Series. I think we can all agree these are all success stories. Am I right?! And like them, there are thousands of  similar stories of people who dedicate their life to helping other people succeed or highlighting their successes. 

That's why I teamed up with Piloto 151, a co-working spot in Old San Juan, with the main focus of giving local companies the opportunity of working in a community of entrepreneurs with different backgrounds so you can collaborate and grow along them. They literally measure their success by the companies who outgrow Piloto 151, so they can continue to grow in higher scale. 

Piloto 151, which is perfectly surrounded by the best restaurants, stores, hotels and important government agencies, provides services that will help you grow your business from scratch, from permits to talent search.

They have Month to Month and Day Pass Memberships with stable and trusty Fiber Optic WiFi so you can work on your freelance gigs, your startup, study or even have a "workation" without worries. 

You are braver than you think

offline saturdays ambinity

Going back to the anxiety blog post, I think that publishing that article was one of the most fulfilling experiences I've ever had since I started this blog. Ironically, it was all about connecting by being vulnerable, (one of my biggest fears!), which left me feeling a lack of connection with you guys. I wanted to meet you, I wanted to know who you were and I just wished I could get to know you outside the computer screen. 

I decided to start a new event series called Offline Saturdays where we will gather once a month to talk about issues we talk online, but in a more personal way. My very first event will be this next Saturday, May 27 from 3PM to 5PM at Piloto 151 in Old San Juan. My invited guest will be Zahira Domenech from Eventus by Zahira, Tuesdays Together and creator of the Meaningful Growth Planner. She will be talking with us about the importance of connecting with your followers offline. 

Hope I can see you all this Saturday! Don't forget to RSVP through this Facebook Event. :)

Until next time, 

María Elena


Old San Juan City Guide

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment
old san juan travel guide

If you ask me what three things I love most about Puerto Rico I would tell you, in no particular order: the food, the culture and our beautiful sights everywhere you go. That's why I've had in my to-do's to create an Old San Juan City Guide for all of you who haven't visited Puerto Rico yet. And of course, these are all local recommendations. You're so welcome! 

Before I begin with this list, let me tell you how hard to choose the best places to visit in Old San Juan was. It's such a magical city filled with joy, culture, cool people and most importantly, great coffee! If you consider yourself a creative person, there's no way you won't feel inspired after visiting this colonial city in just the first hour.

So here you go! The best places to shop, eat and entertain in Old San Juan:


El Galpón

el galpón hats old san juan
el galpón old san juan

I'm a huge believer in buying souvenirs that you can actually wear or at least take some use out of them. It's hard for me to understand why people buy useless things as travel gifts when they could actually make it a point to look for something that has a meaning tied to each place they visit. Something that when they see or wear, reminds them of all the fun memories in that place.

So I don't know about you, but investing in an authentic handmade Panama hat from El Galpón in Old San Juan sounds pretty legendary to me! These hats are not only handmade, but designed by the store owner, Gustavo Lerner. El Galpón's attention to detail and personalized customer service will make your experience a memorable one. I can assure you will not leave the store without the perfect hat for your lifestyle! 

And if you're looking for a fancier take on your favorite hats, you can always check out their high-end brand, Galpon.co online or in their store. 

More information:

  • Address: 154 Cristo St. San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Contact: 787-725-3945

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday-Saturday 10:00AM-6:00PM

    • Sunday 11:00AM-5:00PM


Collective Request

collective request old san juan

Collective Request started out as one of the best online stores in Puerto Rico and evolved into boutiques in Old San Juan and Guaynabo. As I said in my previous Old San Juan Shopping Guide, this is the perfect store for capsule wardrobe staples! 

Plus, it doesn't hurt the beautiful aesthetics of this Old San Juan boutique, which will help you experience true Puerto Rican design in all aspects.

More information:

  • Address: 159 Calle de la Luna, Old San Juan, PR.

  • Contact: 787-977-7707

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday-Sunday 10:00AM-7:00PM

*You can enjoy 1 hour of free parking at La Cochera. 



luca viejo san juan

I talked a little bit about Luca in my old post about local shopping in Old San Juan as well. If you really want to know the best place for modern and super stylish pieces of jewelry and clothing, look no further! They also have beautiful minimal stationary, which would be a perfect souvenir for the writer in your life. 

More information:

  • Address: 255 Calle de La Cruz San Juan Puerto Rico 00901.

  • Contact: 787-725-3512

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday-Friday 10:00AM-6:00PM

    • Saturday 11:00AM-6:00PM

    • Sunday CLOSED


Pure Soul

pure soul viejo san juan
pure soul old san juan

This place is always in my visit list whenever I'm in Old San Juan. It's the perfect place for Anthropology and Urban Outfitters lovers. The only difference is you'll find items created by local designers. The perfect unique gift shop!

More information:

  • Address: #258 San Justo St. San Juan, PR 00901

  • Contact: 787-723-2800

  • Business Hours: Pending confirmation*

Food & Coffee


wafflera old san juan
wafflera old san juan
wafflera caneloide

If you love waffles of any kind, this place will be your HEAVEN. My favorite kind to order in Waffl-era (also known as "La Wafflera" by locals) is the Caneloide. It is the perfect combination of pecans, cinnamon, cream cheese and sugar. Can't miss this one! Also, this is a great place for tea lovers! 

More information:

  • Address: 252 Calle San Jose Street San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Contact: 787-721-1512

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday 8:30AM-3:00PM

    • Tuesday 9:00AM-5:00PM

    • Wednesday-Friday 8:30AM-3:00PM

    • Saturday-Sunday 9:00AM-3:00PM

St. Germain & El Mezzanine

Picture  via

Picture via

Picture  via

Picture via

In this building you will find everything you need: Booze, coffee and food! Love good food and coffee? St. Germain has a great lunch and brunch menu! Love fancy cocktails and rooftops at night? El Mezzanine has some of the best cocktails in town. Plus, it has some beautiful interiors so you can enjoy your tapas while you appreciate this colonial city. 

More information:

  • Address: 156 Calle Sol, San Juan, 00901

  • Contact: 787- 725-5830

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday - 10:00AM-4:00PM/ 6:00PM-11:00PM

    • Tuesday-Friday - 11:30AM-4:00PM/ 6:00PM-11:00PM

    • Saturday - 11:30AM-11:00PM

    • Sunday - 10:00AM-3:00PM/ 6:00PM-11:00PM

Casa Cortés Chocobar

casa cortes chocobar old san juan

Chocolate lovers rejoice! This is the best place to indulge your sweet tooth with their signature hot chocolate (local's favorite) and their creative dishes. 

Love art? I would suggest checking out their gallery upstairs. 

More information:

  • Address: 210 San Francisco Street, San Juan, P.R. 00901

  • Contact: 787-722-0499

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday-Sunday: 8AM-8PM


Pic via  Coastal Living

If you ask me my favorite place to have brunch in Old San Juan, Caficultura would be it! But I must warn you, because of it's location right in the entrance of the city, it can be full of tourists. Nevertheless, I can assure you it will still be amazing and their coffee is to die for! 

More information:

  • Address: 401 San Francisco St. San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Contact: 787-723-7731

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday 7:30AM-4:00PM

    • Tuesday-Sunday 7:30PM-6PM

Cuatro Sombras

Pic via  Facebook

Pic via Facebook

Hands down, my favorite Puerto Rican coffee ever! It is a beautiful place to enjoy your coffee after a hard day of shopping.  

More information:

  • Contact: 787-724-9955

  • Address: 259 calle recinto sur, San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Business Hours:

    • Monday-Thursday 7:00AM-8:00PM

    • Friday-Sunday 7:00AM-9:00PM



Castillo San Felipe del Morro (aka El Morro)

Picture via Expedia

Picture via Expedia

Definetely can't visit Puerto Rico without touring El Morro! You will learn all about out Spanish heritage while you enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the Island. 

Locals' tip: Bring your kite and picnic for a great afternoon under the sun. Just don't forget your sunblock please! 

Paseo la Princesa

Picture via  La Capitana

Picture via La Capitana

If you are coming to Puerto Rico with your significant other, you can't miss one of the most romantic spots in Old San Juan! It's in my opinion, the best spot for a marriage proposal in the Island. 

Paseo Puerta de Tierra

Picture  via

Picture via

If you love to exercise outdoors, you'll love this new place right by the shore and outskirts of Old San Juan. 

Bahía Urbana

Picture taken by  Skylens Media

Picture taken by Skylens Media

How could I leave Bahía Urbana out when I have such amazing pictures in this place?! This is also a relatively new place to visit, but it's a great place to chill and catch beautiful views of la Bahía de San Juan and the Bacardi Factory in Cataño. 

Locals' tip: If you happen to be in San Juan for the last Sunday of any given month, you can't miss the Heineken Ventana al JazzFest. Bring a beach chair, some snacks and your favorite bottle of wine and you'll enjoy the most relaxing afternoon in the city! 

I know there are so many other places to visit in Old San Juan that are just as good (like La Bombonera, Señor Paleta or La Factoría), but I chose to feature the ones that I have had the most experiences at. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments bellow. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time, 

María Elena

Wish List | New Wardrobe for the Holidays + Promo Code!

Fashion, Lifestyle, ShoppingMaría Elena RodríguezComment

*All the pictures in this post were taken by Collective Request.*

Yes, it is not even pass Halloween and I am already talking about the Holidays. You know me, gotta be prepared before the holidays madness! The thing is, my birthday is on November 27, which means I am celebrating a new year of life while most of you are either stuffing a turkey or going crazy over Black Friday. But the best part of my birthday is that it is actually the beginning of the Holiday season, which means I have the perfect excuse to treat myself and start shopping for christmas outfits! It's a thing, ok?

And I don't know about you, but when it comes to holiday outfits, I tend to spend a little more than I usually do. So I was browsing around the Collective Request website, one of my favorite online stores for quality, capsule worthy clothes, and I found some beautiful outfits that could be perfect not only for the holidays, but for all year round.

Luckily, the #girlboss Ashley Cervantes, the owner and founder of Collective Request kindly sent me a coupon code for 10% off at your collectiverequest.com check out: AMBINITY10. Just for you, my readers, because she's awesome like that! 

So here are my top holiday outfit picks from Collective Request that I will definetely be adding to my closet soon. Hope you like them: 

Grey Sweater Dress

Collective Request also carries one of my favorite jewelry designer lines: Viviana D'Ontañon:

And remember to use your 10% off your order use Promo Code: AMBINITY10 at your collectiverequest.com checkout. 

What do you guys think? Let me know what are your favorite holiday outfits this year in the comments bellow. 

Until next time, 

María Elena

Local Shopping in Old San Juan

Shopping, Travel, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment

Honestly, I visited Old San Juan this past Saturday with the intention of just eating brunch at Caficultura, one of the best places to drink coffee in the city. But then, as it always happens, I felt inspired to walk through the pavers of this old colonial city and visit all the local shops I love so much that I can only find in Old San Juan. 

Needless to say, if you've ever felt a lack of inspiration in your life, there's no better way to cure it than visiting Old San Juan. This city has je ne sais quoi that can only be described as magic. It is not just the beautiful architecture and spectacular views of the San Juan Bay... it's more about the people and their energy.

Each local shop you visit in Old San Juan makes you feel like you are visiting an old friend and you feel opened to strike conversations with them. And I don't know about you, but this doesn't happen to me at any shopping mall.

Don't get me wrong, we all know local shopping, specially in this Island where our sales tax is up to 11.5% is not easy, but I believe local shopping is the best way to have a simpler lifestyle. Since it is, in some cases, slightly more expensive but much higher quality, you'll be buying less of what you don't need and more of what you do need. See? It is not that hard.

But let's get to the point. :) Here's the end result of my most recent local shopping experience:

Collective Request

I've been following this online store almost since they first opened. Their Instagram account is to die for and I always wanted to buy something from their store. So when I saw their new store in Calle Luna #201 it was a pleasant surprise to see super affordable quality clothing. And don't even get me started on their dainty gold jewelry! They are definitely on my wish list. 

I ended up buying this oversized Canadian Tuxedo in just $16! 


If you love minimal design you will fall in love with this store. This tiny store has a modern and chic vibe that brings joy to your life. If you're like me, you will be wandering around for a while just discovering from the simplest gold brass jewelry to the most beautiful article of clothing. 

Since I was looking for some nice hoop earrings, I decided to go for these chic and unique ones, to give a little twist to my standard look. Then I saw this beautiful pen and it just spoke to my soul. 

Pure Soul

These are two stores in Old San Juan that are the epitome of lifestyle for me. One of them focuses on boho chic clothing and accessories and the other one on decoration and living. Every time I visit one of these stores I end up with one of two things: with a slimmer wallet or super inspired!

Between all of the beautiful things I saw, I found this adult coloring book and journal (as if I don't have enough of them already). Just like their names, these items feel like they are for the soul. I have to admit the size of this coloring book was key to my purchase because I can just throw it in my handbag and pretend I have the free time in my day to use it! Ha! Then I saw this notebook that says "always be inspired" and I just knew I needed it to write down every blog idea that comes to my mind. 

As you may have seen from this post, in Old San Juan every store has a story. Just do a quick Google search and you'll start seeing its magic. ;)

What are your favorite local shops?