The Southwest Places




Cockfighting is a tradition that persists in the Spanish islands of the Caribbean—in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. The fact that these birds are put in a ring with spurs on their ankles and are expected to fight until death—and it is hoped that only one has to die—may seem like a horrid blood sport to the outsider, but it is a long-held tradition here, and like Spanish bullfights, it's definitely authentic (albeit something that is not for everyone). The high season for fights is June through November (roosters cannot fight during molting season, from December to January). February through May are usually reserved for training. Given the tendency for blood splatters, you might want to avoid the front row. Bets are taken, but first-timers should sit out their first time in the gallera until they get the system down.

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