Portal:Puerto Rico
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Portal:Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Portal

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 an 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.

Puerto Rico 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. The capital and most populous city is San Juan. Puerto Rico has roughly 3.2 million residents, exceeding over 20 U.S. states. Spanish and English are the official languages of the executive branch of government, though Spanish predominates.

Originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was contested by other European powers, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. Spanish rule led to the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves, and settlement primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia. 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 in 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. As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the U.S. Congress, which governs it under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. Puerto Rico is represented federally solely by one non-voting member of the House called a "Resident Commissioner." Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U.S. citizens residing on the Island to elect a governor. Puerto Rico's future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate. (Full article...)

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The 1985 Mameyes landslide in Ponce was one of the worst landslide disasters in North American history. Caused by excessive rains, it destroyed more than 100 homes and killed anywhere from 129 to 300 residents.

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Map of the departments of Puerto Rico during Spanish provincial times (1886).

The history of Puerto Rico began with the settlement of the Ortoiroid people between 430 BC and AD 1000. At the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1493, the dominant indigenous culture was that of the Taínos. The Taíno people's numbers went dangerously low during the later half of the 16th century because of new infectious diseases carried by Europeans, exploitation by Spanish settlers, and warfare.

Located in the northeastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico formed a key part of the Spanish Empire from the early years of the exploration, conquest and colonization of the New World. The island was a major military post during many wars between Spain and other European powers for control of the region in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. (Full article...)

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Daddy Yankee in 2015 promoting his The Kingdom Tour

Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez (born February 3, 1976), known professionally as Daddy Yankee, is a Puerto Rican singer, rapper, songwriter, actor, and record producer. He was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, and was raised in the Villa Kennedy Housing Projects neighborhood. Daddy Yankee is the artist who coined the word Reggaeton in 1994 to describe the new music genre that was emerging from Puerto Rico that synthesized hip-hop, Latin Caribbean music, and reggae rhythms with Spanish rapping and singing. He is known as the "King of Reggaetón" by music critics and fans alike. Daddy Yankee is often cited as an influence by other Latin urban performers.

Ayala aspired to be a professional baseball player, and tried out for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. Before he could be officially signed, he was hit by a stray round from an AK-47 rifle while taking a break from a studio recording session with reggaeton artist DJ Playero. Ayala spent roughly one and a half years recovering from the wound; the bullet was never removed from his hip, and he credits the shooting incident with allowing him to focus entirely on a music career. In 2004, Daddy Yankee released his international hit single "Gasolina", which is credited with introducing Reggaeton to audiences worldwide, and making the music genre a global phenomenon. Since then, he has sold around 20 million records, making him one of the best-selling Latin music artists. Daddy Yankee's album Barrio Fino made history when it became the top-selling Latin music album of the decade between 2000-2009. In 2017, Daddy Yankee, in collaboration with Latin pop singer Luis Fonsi, released the hit single "Despacito". It became the first Spanish-language song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since "Macarena" in 1996. The single gained global success. The video for "Despacito" on YouTube received its billionth view on April 20, 2017, and became the most watched video on the platform. Its success led Daddy Yankee to become the most listened artist worldwide on the streaming service Spotify in June 2017, the first Latin artist to do so. (Full article...)
History topics
Recreated interior of James Fort at Jamestown Settlement
  • ... that In 1509, Juan Garrido, a conquistador in Juan Ponce de León's entourage, became the first African to set foot on the island?[1]
  • ... that the island of Puerto Rico was originally christened as "San Juan Bautista" (St. John the Baptist), whose capital was called Puerto Rico? That over the years, the names of the island and the capital were exchanged, and San Juan Bautista became the name of the capital while Puerto Rico became the name of the island?
  • ... that the state of Florida was discovered by Puerto Rico's first governor, Don Juan Ponce de León?
  • ... that slaves in Puerto Rico were branded on the forehead with a stamp so people would know they were brought in legally and it prevented them from being kidnapped? The method of hot branding was no longer used after 1784. See: African immigration to Puerto Rico[2]
  • ... that La Fortaleza in San Juan is the oldest executive mansion in the New World?
  • ... that the Puerto Rican coat of arms is the oldest official national seal still used in the Americas?
  • ... that in 1596, Sir Francis Drake, the famed British Admiral who defeated the Spanish Armada, was defeated twice in his attempts to take San Juan and that he died of dysentery while attacking the island?
  • ... that the English settlers who established Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, first stopped in Puerto Rico for provisions before heading towards Virginia? Yes, from April 5-10, 1607 the ships Godspeed, Susan Constant and Discovery made stops in Vieques, southern Puerto Rico, and Mona and Monito Islands on their way to Virginia.
  • ... that on February 17, 1797, the Spanish-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, Brigadier Ramón de Castro believed that the local residents and foreigners of English and Irish descent supported the anti-Spanish military campaign and ordered to place them under surveillance, plus that many were given eight days to leave the island and those who did not leave were imprisoned?[3] Many of the people in Puerto Rico, among them Treasury official Felipe Antonio Mejía, were outraged at Castro's actions and came to the defense of the Irish. See: Irish immigration to Puerto Rico
  • ... that in 1821, Marcos Xiorro, a bozal slave, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico?[4]

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Sources

  1. ^ Aimery Caron. The First West African on St. Croix? University of the Virgin Islands, Retrieved May 9, 2008
  2. ^ African Aspects of the Puerto Rican Personality, Retrieved July 20, 2007
  3. ^ Irish Indentured Servants, Papists and Colonists in Spanish Colonial Puerto Rico 2, ca. 1650-1800, Retrieved November 29, 2008
  4. ^ "Slave revolts in Puerto Rico: conspiracies and uprisings, 1795-1873"; by: Guillermo A. Baralt; Publisher Markus Wiener Publishers; ISBN 1558764631, 9781558764637

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