En Español
In English

Goals of the Cuatro Project
                                              ...an agenda of education and inspiration


Why do Puerto Ricans love their cuatros?

How did the cuatro evolve? What were its antecedents?  How did its form, stringing and usage vary over the centuries?

What was the cuatro's role in traditional music, and how has its musical role changed over the centuries?

What is the best way to learn to play the instrument and the different genres that are traditional to the instrument?

Who were the great players who evolved the instrument's playing styles and who were the makers who devised its physical form?

How is the cuatro linked to our cultural history, and to our political history as well?

How did the cuatro get to be our "national instrument" and a supreme cultural icon?

What were the other Puerto Rican stringed instruments that disappeared, why are they hardly heard today, and how can they be brought back for our delight and inspiration?

jibplay2.jpg (18242 bytes)
The cuatro has been for many Puerto Ricans far more than just a pastime: over the centuries the cuatro has served as crucial tool for emotional survival. Through the centuries, Its primordial importance as a vehicle for the expression of secular and religious themes of the countryside has made Puerto Ricans and their cuatros inseparable.   Photo by Jack Delano Phot


The way to fund documentation and cultural development projects has traditionally been to ask for grants from private and public institutions. But the bulk of the Cuatro Projects costs: transportation, comunications and publication, have come from the personal resources of its three founding members

Clearly, to date we have been privileged to receive substantial additional financial support from several notable government bodies, such as the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the Massachusetts State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We have also received generous support from Jolgorio of Massachusetts, Inc.

But as welcome as this support has been, it has not been sufficient to meet the Project's ambitious goals. Thus in order to proceed, we are working to free ourselves from relying on institutional generosity and instead rely on those who benefit from our findings going to our Cuatro Store and purchasing our unique educational products. The profits from online sales of current educational products will serve to fund our future products.


A definitive and comprehensive textbook about the history of the cuatro and the family of Puerto Rican stringed instruments.

A series of graded instruction methods for the construction and execution of the cuatro and the family of Puerto Rican stringed instruments.

A series of long and short video documentaries and methods in video about the history, construction and execution of the cuatro and the family of Puerto Rican stringed instruments. 

Anthologies of traditional music for our traditional stringed instuments.

Curricula and interactive educational materials for schools.

Traveling Exhibits

Educational Festivals

Radio Programming

Archives of photographs, recordings & other documentation available to the public.

New recordings of traditional music and music played on recreated instruments

Workshops for the building of our traditional instruments

The establishment of Cuatro Centers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico