Puerto Rico – Island of Enchantment

Puerto Rico – Island of Enchantment

el morroPuerto Rico: The incredible geographic diversity, the rich and colorful history and the warm hospitality of Puerto Rico make the Island a unique place in the world. Our natural attractions are certainly breathtaking. The island of Puerto Rico is famous for its white sand beaches, bathed by a crystalline and colorful sea that moves between light blue and emerald green.

Our island is a paradise for those who enjoy shopping because it has an infinity of shops. Here you can find everything from the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean to shops and boutiques that sell the merchandise you would find in the main cities of the world … and many other items and products that you will only find here.

In Puerto Rico the nightlife is vibrant and full of emotion, a perfect complement to the days full of adventure

History: Since the first humans came ashore thousands of years ago, the island that is now known as Puerto Rico has sheltered Indians, Spaniards, Africans and Anglos. The Spaniards had the earliest and greatest influence to the Island at their arrival in 1493. During their 400-year tenure the Spaniards laid the bedrock of the language and culture. They built cities and towns, fortresses and churches, lighthouses and roadways. They brought slaves from Africa to work in the fields, who, in turn, contributed the spice of their culture, enriching the language, music and diets.

Culture: Close to 4 million people live on the “Island of Enchantment,” with more than a million in the greater San Juan metropolitan area alone. It is a vibrant, modern, bilingual, multicultural society, one that has been molded by Spanish, African, Indian and U.S. influences. Residents of Puerto Rico have much in common with their fellow Americans in the continental United States, yet they retain a decidedly Hispanic heritage.

puerto ricoGeography: Puerto Rico is 100 long by 35 miles wide and as a result of its geographical position in the center of the arc of the Antilles, Puerto Rico is essentially a crossroads of Hispanic and Anglo cultures. Despite it’s very diverse influx of cultures, Puerto Rico has been a part of the United States since 1898 and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917.

Size: Approximately 100 by 35 miles (160 by 56 km).

Capital City: San Juan

pr climaWeather: With an average temperature of 83 ° F (22.7 ° C) in the winter and 85 ° F (29.4 ° C) in the summer, the island’s climate is the closest to a timeless and perfect holiday. In other words, it’s always summer in Puerto Rico!
The trade winds cool the coastal towns and the temperature descends the more it climbs towards the mountains.

Puerto Rico is in the time zone of the Atlantic and does not observe the change of time in the winter (Daylight Savings Time). The Island uses electric voltage equal to that of the United States. European appliances require an adapter kit.

Population: 3,817,317 (censo 2001)

Population Density: The population density exceeds 407.15 hab / km, which makes the island as the most densely populated of the Greater Antilles; Likewise, it has one of the largest human settlements in the world. The most densely populated areas are the coasts and the metropolitan area of San Juan, where the density reaches 1,983,45 hab./km.

Citizen: United States

Language: Spanish and English are the official languages, but Spanish is without a doubt the dominant language. English is spoken by about 1/4 of the population-with limited capabilities. English is required in all federal matters. English is spoken in all major tourist areas (%80 Spanish, %20 other).

Currency: The local currency is the US dollar.
There are no customs duties on articles bought in Puerto Rico and taken to the U.S. mainland. Major credit cards are accepted at most businesses, and ATMs connected to major US and international networks are easy to find.

Business hours are similar to those on the mainland, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekdays (the siesta has pretty much disappeared). Most stores are open Saturdays, and all of the larger towns have shopping malls that are open evenings and Sundays.

Time Zone: “Atlantic Standard Time” (AST).
An hour later that “U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST) from October to April, and same as the” Eastern Daylight Saving Time from April to October.

Government: Democratic elections every four years. Three Branches of Government. Governor and his Constitutional Cabinet make up the Executive, the Legislative System is Bicameral and the Judicial Branch.

Puerto Rico officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated US territory with self-governing status.

People are also known as: Puertorriqueños, Boricuas

Puerto Rico is also known as:
The island of Enchantment
Pearl of the Caribbean

Municipalities: Puerto Rico

puertorico banderaFlag: The flag of Puerto Rico consists of five horizontal stripes, three red and two alternating white and superimposed on the strips a blue equilateral triangle, one of whose sides forms the end of the flag next to the flagpole. The color of the triangle is blue. A white five-pointed star is placed over the triangle, placed in such a way that one of its points points upwards.

The flag symbolizes the brotherhood in the revolutionary struggle between the Cuban and the Puerto Rican people, due to the fact that the Puerto Rican separatist group that adopted the design of the flag as emblem of their group, the Section of Puerto Rico, was associated with The Cuban separatists who fought with identical ideals under the Cuban Revolutionary Party. This flag was raised for the first time during La Atententona de Yauco in 1897, when Puerto Rico was still under Spanish domination.

The flag was officially adopted by the Commonwealth in 1952. According to the government, the star is a symbol of the Commonwealth and rests on a blue triangle that in its three angles evokes the integrity of the republican form of government represented by three powers: The legislative, the executive and the judicial. The three red stripes symbolize the vital blood that nourishes those three powers of Government, which perform independent and separate functions. The freedom of the individual and the rights of man keep the powers in balance and his essential mission represents two white stripes.

pr escudoCoat of arms: The shield is straight on its top and on both sides ends obliquely at its base its center is green and from it come seven red ribbons with silver seals. The lamb as a religious symbol is associated with Jesus and the red book with the New Testament. The lamb holds a white flag with a printed red cross, ending at the top with a weather vane. At the top of the shield is written the following message “Joannnes sta nomen eius” which means John is your name. Both the banner and the Bible citation are associated with St. John the Baptist, the prophet who announced the arrival of Jesus whose story and message is recorded in the New Testament book.

The shield completes a border or border composed of 16 squares where they are ordered and repeated castles, lions, flags, and crosses. The castles represent the kingdom of Castile, the lions the kingdom of Leon; The flags the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, and the crosses to Jerusalem.

On the sides and outside of the shield and the border are the letters “F” and “Y” with their crowns, yokes and arrows. The “F” symbolizes Fernando, King Consort of the Queen of Castile. The yoke below the letter symbolizes the union of several Hispanic kingdoms or nations. The “Y” to the Queen of Castile, Isabel I and the arrows under the letter the conquest of lands known as the West Indies. At the top of the shield is a crown. This symbolizes the royalty of those who granted the shield to Puerto Rico.

Meaning of its parts:

  • The color green means the fertility of our land.
  • The lamb – according to the depiction of Catholic images, the Lamb represents Jesus Christ.
  • The flag represents peace among men.
  • The book represents the gospel.
  • The letters F and Y- represent the names of the Kings of Spain Fernando and Isabel.
  • The yugo- represents Castile, most important kingdom of that time.
  • The arrows – are the symbol of the strength and power of the kingdom of Castile.
  • The crown – is a badge of sovereignty.
  • The inscription – John is his name, remembers the fact that Columbus baptized us with the name of Saint John the Baptist.
  • Lions, castles, flags crosses – represent the government of Spain in Puero Rico.

puertorico banderaHymn: La Borinqueña
It was born of a dance written by the Catalan Felix Astol Artés in the year 1867. Many affirm that it was the sangermeño Francisco Ramírez Ortíz who wrote the melody, but there is no official document that points to him like the author of the same one. A year later, the poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio wrote the Revolutionary letter, related to the political era that was lived in the Island. In 1901, Manuel Fernádez Juncos writes a new version that is what we know today, while Francisco Ramírez Ortiz writes the music.

The musical and official arrangement of the Hymn of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is made by Ramón Collado in 1952. It was first interpreted as Official Hymn on July 25, 1952, in the acts of the Proclamation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

puertorico islandLa Borinqueña
La tierra de Borinquen
donde he nacido yo.
Es un jardín florido
de mágico esplendor.
Un cielo siempre nítido
le sirve de dosel.
Y dan arrullos plácidos
las olas a sus pies.
Cuando a sus playas llego Colón,
exclamó lleno de admiración:
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Esta es la linda
tierra, que busco yo.
Es Borinquen la hija,
la hija del Mar y el sol.
del Mar y el Sol,
del Mar y el Sol,
del Mar y el Sol,
del Mar y el Sol!

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