Portal:Puerto Rico

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Location of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (Spanish for 'rich port'; abbreviated PR; Taino: Boriken, Borinquen), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit.'Free Associated State of Puerto Rico'), is a Caribbean island and unincorporated territory of the United States. It is located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

The Commonwealth is an archipelago among the Greater Antilles located between the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands; it includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. It has roughly 3.2 million residents, and its capital and most populous city is San Juan. Spanish and English are the official languages of the executive branch of government, though Spanish predominates.

Puerto Rico was first settled by a succession of indigenous peoples beginning 2,000 to 4,000 years ago; these included the Ortoiroid, Saladoid, and Taíno. It was then colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. Puerto Rico was contested by other European powers, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. An influx of African slaves and settlers primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia vastly changed the cultural and demographic landscape of the island. Within the Spanish Empire, Puerto Rico played a secondary but strategic role compared to wealthier colonies like Peru and New Spain. By the late 19th century, a distinct Puerto Rican identity began to emerge, centered around a fusion of indigenous, African, and European elements. In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917, and can move freely between the island and the mainland. However, as residents of an unincorporated territory, American citizens of Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level, do not vote for the president or vice president, and generally do not pay federal income tax. In common with four other territories, Puerto Rico sends a nonvoting representative to the U.S. Congress, called a Resident Commissioner, and participates in presidential primaries; as it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in Congress, which governs it under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U.S. citizens residing on the island to elect a governor. Puerto Rico's current and future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate. (Full article...)

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The Puerto Rican parrot is the only remaining native parrot in Puerto Rico and, as its current population is currently estimated at 58-80 and around 300 in captivity, is one of the 10 most critically-endangered species in the world.

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Old Parque de Bombas firehouse building
The Parque de Bombas (English: firehouse) is a historic former fire station in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It is one of Puerto Rico's most notable buildings, with some considering it "by far the most easily recognized landmark in the Island." It is located at the Plaza Las Delicias town square, directly behind Ponce Cathedral. Originally built in 1882 as a pavilion for an exhibition, it became Puerto Rico's first ever fire station. In 1990, the fire station closed and was converted into a museum. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 12 July 1984. (Full article...)
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  • ... that in 1822, there was an attempt, known as the Ducoudray Holstein Expedition, conceived, carefully planned and organized General Henri La Fayette Villaume Ducoudray Holstein to invade Puerto Rico and declare it the "República Boricua"[2] and that General Ducoudray Holstein intended to make the city of Mayagüez the capital of the island?[2] The plans of the invasion were soon disclosed to the Spanish authorities and the plot never materialized.
  • ... that Old San Juan has more than four hundred carefully restored 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial buildings?
  • ... that Corsicans and those of Corsican descent have played an instrumental role in the development of the economy of the island, especially in the coffee industry? See: Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico[3]
  • ... that in 1858, wired communication in Puerto Rico began in the town of Arroyo, the first in Latin America, when Samuel Morse introduced the telegraph into the island?[4]
  • ... that when the United States enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act on May 6, 1882, many Chinese in the United States fled to Puerto Rico? They established small niches and worked in restaurants and laundries.[5]
  • ... that the "first Puerto Rican Flag" was the "Revolutionary flag of Lares"?. The flag was knitted by Mariana Bracetti and used in the short-lived rebellion against Spain known as the Grito de Lares (The Cry of Lares).[6]

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Sources

  1. ^ "American album certifications – Ivy Queen". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Cedó Alzamora, Federico (2010), Mayagüez Capital de la República Boricua (PDF) (in Spanish) (2 ed.), Mayagüez: Oficina de Publicaciones Históricas, Museo Eugenio María de Hostos, Departamento de Arte y Cultura, Gobierno Municipal de Mayagüez, p. 44
  3. ^ Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico[dead link], Retrieved July 31, 2007
  4. ^ NY/Latino Journal
  5. ^ "The Chinese Community and Santo Domingo's Barrio Chino". DR1.com. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  6. ^ Peres Moris, José, Historia de la Insurrección de Lares, 1871 (in Spanish), Library of Congress, Retrieved Feb. 25, 2009
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