Welcome to Puerto Rico!
¡Bienvenido a Puerto Rico!
The archipelago of Puerto Rico is about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida. Puerto Rico (P.R.) is almost rectangular in shape, approximately 100 miles long by 35 miles wide and is the smallest and the most eastern island of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico) with geographical coordinates of 18° 15" N in latitude and 66° 30" W in longitude. P.R's limits are to the west by Haití and the Dominican Republic (La Hispañola), separated by the Mona Passage ("Mona Canal"), to the east by the Virgin Islands, to the north by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Caribbean Sea.
Puerto Rico's culture is influenced by the Indians, Africans, and Spanish races that came together on the island many years ago. One of Puerto Rico's notable exports is its music, which is probably the predominant Caribbean music heard in the United States. Some of the instruments used in traditional Puerto Rican music originated with the Taíno people. The güicharo, or güiro, a notched hollowed-out gourd, which was adapted from pre-Columbian days is most noteworthy in Puerto Rican Music. Although Puerto Rican cooking is slightly similar to Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee. Puerto Rico also celebrates holidays such as Día de la Abolición de la Esclavitud (Emancipation Day) and Descubrimiento de América (Columbus Day).
Today, Puerto Rico is a leading tourist destination, according to Smithsonian.com. The main tourist attractions are Old San Juan, Isla Verde, Casa Blanca, and so many more! Puerto Rico is very interesting! Fun Fact: You drive on the right side of the road in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico was founded as a U.S. territory on December 10, 1898. According to Caribbean Business, Christopher Columbus and his crew were the first Europeans to discover the island of Puerto Rico on Nov. 19, 1493. They found the island populated by about 60,000 Arawak Indians, who called themselves Taínos (Tah-ee-nos), thriving on their fishing and agricultural skills. The Taínos called the island Borikén (Boh-ree-kén). However, the Taíno culture would soon cease to exist due to exploitation, war, and diseases brought by the Spanish. According to Welcome To Puerto Rico, newcomers of the island 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. Because of Juan Ponce de León, Puerto Rico quickly became Spain's most important military outpost in the Caribbean.