History of Puerto Rico

History

Who discovered it?

Who discovered it?


On November 19, 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage. He found the island populated by as many as 50,000 Taíno or Arawak Indians. The Taíno Indians who greeted Columbus made a big mistake when they showed him gold nuggets in the river and told him to take all he wanted.


What is was Originally called?


Originally the newcomers called the island San Juan Bautista, for St. John the Baptist and the town Puerto Rico because of its obvious excellent potentialities. It was not until later that the two names were switched. Thanks in part to the enthusiasm of ambitious Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant to Columbus, the city of Puerto Rico ("rich port") quickly became Spain's most important military outpost in the Caribbean.