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Location of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (Spanish for 'rich port'; abbreviated PR; Taino: Borikén or 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, Commonwealth, 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, between the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. With roughly 3.2 million residents, it is divided into 78 municipalities, of which the most populous is the capital municipality of San Juan. Spanish and English are the official languages of the executive branch of government, though Spanish predominates.

Puerto Rico was settled by a succession of peoples beginning 2,000 to 4,000 years ago; these included the Ortoiroid, Saladoid, and Taíno. It was then colonized by Spain in 1493 following the arrival of Christopher Columbus. 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, Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States.

Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917, and can move freely between the island and the mainland. However, when resident in the unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans 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.

Beginning in the mid-20th century, the U.S. government, together with the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, launched a series of economic projects to develop Puerto Rico into an industrial high-income economy. It is classified by the International Monetary Fund as a developed jurisdiction with an advanced, high-income economy; it ranks 40th on the Human Development Index. The major sectors of Puerto Rico's economy are manufacturing (primarily pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and electronics) followed by services (namely tourism and hospitality). (Full article...)

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Photo credit: José Oquendo

Many landmarks in Puerto Rico, such as the Ponce Cathedral, were influenced by European neoclassical architecture.

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Cañas River in Ponce, Puerto Rico, crossing through Hacienda Buena Vista
Cañas River, also known as Río Cañas (English: Canas River), is a river in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. It is also known as Río Magueyes in the area where it flows through Barrio Magueyes, also in the municipality of Ponce. This river is one of the 14 rivers in the municipality. (Full article...)
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María Luisa Arcelay (December 23, 1898 – October 17, 1981), was an educator, businesswoman and politician. In November 1932, she became the first woman in Puerto Rico to be elected to a government legislative body, when she was elected to represent the district of Mayagüez in the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. (Full article...)

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School of Tropical Medicine
  • ... that Dr. Mario R. García Palmieri, Cardiologist - García Palmieri is the first Hispanic to have the distinction of being designated a "Master" by the American College of Cardiology?[1]
  • ... that Dr. Isaac González Martínez, urologist - was the first Puerto Rican urologist and a pioneer in the fight against cancer in the island?[2]
  • ... that Fernando López Tuero Agricultural scientist and agronomist - discovered the bug (believed at first to be a germ) which was destroying Puerto Rico's sugar canes?[3]
  • ... that Dr. Eduardo Santiago Delpín Surgeon - wrote the first book in Spanish about organ transplant?[4]
  • ... that Dr. Diego R. Solís Physician - made Puerto Rican medical history when he performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico?[5]
  • ... that Dr. Ramón M. Suárez Calderón Scientist, cardiologist, educator and hematologist - carried out investigations that led to the identification of the proper and effective treatment of a type of anemia known as Tropical Espru, the application of complex methods, such as electrocardiography and radioisotope, to be used in clinics and the identification and treatment of the disease which causes heart rheumatism?[3]
  • ... that Before Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors landed on the island of "Borikén" (Puerto Rico), the Taínos who inhabited the island depended on their astronomical observations for the cultivation of their crops?.[6]
  • ... that The School of Tropical Medicine, was an educational institution created in 1926 by an act of the Puerto Rican Legislature, to further the research initiated by the Anemia Commissions and the Institute of Tropical Medicine on anemia and its causes? Did you also know that the institution existed as an independent entity until 1949, when it was integrated into the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico and its building is in the National Register of Historical Places?
  • ... that Dr. Yajaira Sierra Sastre is the only Hispanic, selected to participate in a four-month long, Mars analog mission funded by NASA. Sierra Sastre aspires to become the first Puerto Rican woman to travel to outer space?[7]

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  1. ^ "Dr. Mario R. García Palmieri recibe distinción prestigiosa"; Por: Rosa Rivera Medina; Especial para ESCENARIO[dead link]
  2. ^ Isaac González Martínez[dead link], Retrieved 4 October 2008
  3. ^ a b Rigau Pérez, José G., MD, MPH. "Historia de la investigación científica en Puerto Rico". CienciaPR. Retrieved 2008-10-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[dead link]
  4. ^ Dr. Eduardo Santiago Delpin
  5. ^ Medicos[dead link]
  6. ^ Rodríguez Gracia; Arql. Luis Á. "Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center". Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. Retrieved 2008-10-04. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Yajaira Sierra One Step Closer to Becoming First Puerto Rican Woman in Space
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