Of other particularities of the island of San Juan, with which Book XVIII is brought to an end.

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

Many things have been said generally in the preceding chapters about the island of San Juan, and in many other instances I have referred back to what I had already written about the island of Hispaniola. But the memory of a certain glue found in the island of San Juan comes to mind, of which I had not heard elsewhere and about which I was informed by Juan Ponce de León and other trustworthy persons who were in a position to know; they say that near the mines they call Luquillo there is a certain glue that grows on the trees, white like tallow but very bitter, and mixed with oil and nothing else, serves to tar the ships. And it is very good since, being so bitter, shipworm doesn’t penetrate it, as it does with pitch. The Indians and even the Christians on this island call this glue tabunuco and it is excellent for the purpose mentioned, when it can be had in such large quantities. And this concludes the description of matters concerning this island of San Juan to the present year of 1535.