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), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit. 'Free Associated State of Puerto Rico') and in previous centuries called Porto Rico in English, is an unincorporated territory of the United States 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 US Virgin Islands, and includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. The capital and most populous city is San Juan. The territory's total population is approximately 3.2 million, more than 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 various other European powers, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. The island's cultural and demographic landscapes were shaped by the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves, and settlement primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia. In 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, with a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous, African, and European elements. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, which remains an unincorporated territorial possession, making it the world's oldest colony.

Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and can move freely between the island and the mainland. As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the U.S. Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. Puerto Rico's sole congressional representation is through one non-voting member of the House called a Resident Commissioner. As residents of a U.S. territory, American citizens in Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level, do not vote for the president or vice president of the U.S., and in most cases do not pay federal income tax. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U.S. citizens of the territory to elect a governor. Puerto Rico's future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate.

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The Cerro Maravilla murders, also known as the Cerro Maravilla massacre, occurred on July 25, 1978, at Cerro Maravilla, a mountain in Puerto Rico, wherein two young Puerto Rican pro-independence activists, Carlos Enrique Soto-Arriví (1959-1978) and Arnaldo Darío Rosado-Torres (1953-1978), were murdered in a Puerto Rico Police ambush. The event sparked a series of political controversies where, in the end, the police officers were found guilty of murder and several high-ranking local government officials were accused of planning and/or covering up the incident.

Originally declared a police intervention against terrorists, the local media quickly questioned the officers' testimonies as well as the only surviving witness for inconsistencies. Carlos Romero Barceló (PNP), then Governor of Puerto Rico, ordered the local Justice Department to launch various investigations, and asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Justice Department to aid in the investigations, which concluded that there was no wrongdoing on the officers' part. However, after one of the local opposing political parties[which?] launched its own inquiries, new evidence and witness testimonies surfaced which uncovered gross negligence and murder on the officers' part, as well as the possibility of a local and federal cover-up. Trials were held and a total of 10 officers were convicted of various crimes. Read more...

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Photo credit: National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center

The Arecibo Observatory is the world's largest single-aperture telescope ever constructed. The telescope's dish has a diameter of over 1,000 ft (305m) and covers over 18 acres. The receiver array is suspended 450 ft (150m) above the dish, supported by three concrete towers each measuring between 265 ft (80m) and 365 ft (110m).

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Salazar-Candal Residence in Barrio Tercero in Ponce, Puerto Rico (IMG 2901).jpg
Ponce Creole is an architectural style created in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the late 19th and early 20th century. This style of Puerto Rican buildings is found predominantly in residential homes in Ponce that developed between 1895 and 1920. Ponce Creole architecture borrows heavily from the traditions of the French, the Spaniards, and the Caribbean to create houses that were especially built to withstand the hot and dry climate of the region, and to take advantage of the sun and sea breezes characteristic of the southern Puerto Rico's Caribbean Sea coast. It is a blend of wood and masonry, incorporating architectural elements of other styles, from Neoclassical and Spanish Revival to Victorian. Read more...

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Sylvia Mendez (born June 7, 1936) is an American civil rights activist of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage. At age eight, she played an instrumental role in the Mendez v. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. The case successfully ended de jure segregation in California and paved the way for integration and the American civil rights movement.

Mendez grew up during a time when most southern and southwestern schools were segregated. In the case of California, Hispanics were not allowed to attend schools that were designated for "Whites" only and were sent to the so-called "Mexican schools." Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites" only school, an event which prompted her parents to take action and together organized various sectors of the Hispanic community who filed a lawsuit in the local federal court. The success of their action, of which Sylvia was the principal catalyst, would eventually bring to an end the era of segregated education. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, on February 15, 2011. Read more...
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Elsa Miranda in 1950

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Sources

  1. ^ Mayor Announces Agreement by Largest Hispanic Bank in United States to Remain in New York City
  2. ^ Guillo dice "hasta pronto" y entra a Guinness: El Vocero[dead link]
  3. ^ Geisler, Lindsey (September 11, 2006). "Mendez case paved the way for Brown v. Board". Topeka Capital-Journal.
  4. ^ "Sauceda, Isis (March 28, 2007). "Cambio Historico (Historic Change)". People en Espanol (in Spanish): 111-112.
  5. ^ Chiquita Banana
  6. ^ "Histórico nombramiento de ingeniero ciego para el DTOP", La Perla del Sur (in Spanish), Ponce, Puerto Rico, December 8, 2016
  7. ^ Banuchi, Rebecca (December 8, 2016). "Ricardo Rossello nombra al secretario del DTOP". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). San Juan, Puerto Rico: GFR Media. Retrieved 2018.


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