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The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is a archipelago located east of the Dominican Republic in the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands and keys, including the populated island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, as well as unpopulated Mona island, located halfway between the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the United States is the subject of ongoing debate on and off the island. Those who support maintaining the current formula insist that upon attaining this status, Puerto Rico entered into a voluntary association with the U.S. "in the nature of a compact", but opponents of the Commonwealth status, disagree: according to them, Puerto Rico is no more than an unincorporated organized territory of the U.S., subject to the plenary powers of the United States Congress.

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The fauna of Puerto Rico is similar to other island archipelago faunas, with high endemism, and low, skewed taxonomic diversity. Bats are the only extant native terrestrial mammals in Puerto Rico. All other terrestrial mammals in the area were introduced by humans, and include species such as cats, goats, sheep, the Small Asian Mongoose, and escaped monkeys. Marine mammals include dolphins, manatees, and whales. Of the 349 bird species, about 120 breed in the archipelago, and 47.5% are accidental or rare. The most recognizable and famous animal of Puerto Rico is probably the coquí, a small endemic frog, and one of the 85 species that constitute Puerto Rico's herpetofauna. No native freshwater fish inhabit Puerto Rico, but some species, introduced by humans, have established populations in reservoirs and rivers. The low richness-high diversity pattern is also apparent among invertebrates, which constitute most of the archipelago's fauna. (more...)

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Photo credit: User:Jmoliver

Many garitas 'sentry boxes', such as this one in Fort San Felipe del Morro, were constructed by the Spaniards to guard Old San Juan against enemy invaders. Long after their decommission, they now commonly used as the iconic representation of Puerto Rico's history and tourism.

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Did you know...

  • ...That Dr. Nitza Margarita Cintrón, is the first Hispanic to be named Chief of Space Medicine and Health Care Systems Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center?
  • ...that the reggaeton was invented in Puerto Rico and has since then spread to other places around the world?
  • ...that Teófilo Cruz is the first and currently only American player to be inducted to the FIBA International Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Ramón (Raymond) Ayala (born February 3, 1977 in San Juan, Puerto Rico), known artistically as Daddy Yankee, is a Latin Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican reggaeton recording artist. Ayala was born in Río Piedras the largest district of San Juan, where he became interested in music at a young age. After receiving lessons from several artists within the genre, he developed an independent career, first recording in a production titled Playero 37. After this he began to produce independent albums. His first solo album was No Mercy. He subsequently formed a duo with Nicky Jam, and then continued his solo career with the releases of El Cartel and El Cartel II. In 2002 El Cangri.com became Ayala's first album with international success, receiving coverage in the markets of New York City and Miami. Barrio Fino was released in 2004, and the album received numerous awards, including a Premio Lo Nuestro and a Latin Billboard, as well as receiving nominations for the Latin Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards. Barrio Fino performed well in the sales charts of the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Japan. On June 5, 2007, El Cartel Records released El Cartel: The Big Boss, which was ranked as the top-selling album in Latin music genres in 2007. He promoted the album with an international tour which began in the United States and continued through Latin America, breaking attendance records in Ecuador and Bolivia. His performances have appeared on more than 70 albums, including compilations such as Mas Flow 2 and Blin Blin Vol. 1. (more...)

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History Pre-recorded | Black history | Military history | African immigration | Chinese immigration | Corsican immigration | French immigration | German immigration | Irish immigration | Grito de Lares | Foraker Act | Jones–Shafroth Act | Migration to Hawaii | Migration to New York
Politics Constitution | The Commonwealth | Governor | Puerto Rican citizenship | Resident Commissioner | Legislative Branch (Senate - House of Representatives) | Supreme Court | Political parties | Military | Independence movement
Geography Municipalities | Islands | Mona Island | Dry Forests | El Yunque National Forest | Rivers | Puerto Rico Trench
Economy Companies | Operation Bootstrap | Tourism | Puerto Rican peso (1895–98) | United States dollar (1898-present)
Society Puerto Ricans | Puerto Ricans in the United States | Demographics | Education | Holidays | Religion
Culture Art | Buildings and Structures | Casals Festival | Cinema | Cuisine | Literature | Music | Sports
Ecology Fauna of Puerto Rico | Herpeto fauna | Endemic fauna | Endemic flora | Puerto Rican birds | Vieques birds | Puerto Rican amazon | Golden coquí | Monito gecko | Puerto Rican crested anole | Mona ground iguana | Elfin woods warbler | Puerto Rican trees
Other Flag | Transportation | Rail transport | Slang | Communications | List of Puerto Ricans | List of fraternities and sororities in Puerto Rico | Scouting in Puerto Rico| Piragua

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