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Puerto Rico
 

 

 

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico may be located in the Caribbean and share an island with the Dominican Republic, but did you know that it is an American territory?

Puerto Rico was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He named the island San Juan Bautista after John the Baptist.  When Columbus landed, he met the Taino Indians, the indigenous people of the island. After the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States gained Puerto Rico as a territory. The Treaty of Paris that was signed to end the war allotted the island country to the United States in 1917. This also meant that every citizen of Puerto Rico was granted U.S. citizenship.

Puerto Rico is composed of one large island and several small islands. Puerto Rico is a mountainous tropical island directly in the path of trade winds. These tropical conditions account for its tropical rain forest and tropical wet and dry climates. There is little difference from season to season and being near the equator the length of the day remains fairly constant throughout the year. Puerto Rico thrives on tourism and manufacturing. The warm, tropical weather makes it a destination for vacationers and Puerto Rico has over 270 miles of beaches. As a territory of the United States, the dollar is the official currency of this territory. However, it is called "peso" or "dolar" by natives.

 



Did You Know?

  • The name Puerto Rico (rich port) is derived from the abundant gold that the initial Spanish settlers found on the island.
  • Puerto Rico is 5,324 square miles; about the three times the size of Rhode Island
  • Puerto Rico has both Spanish and English for its official languages.
  • Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente was the first Hispanic player inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  • The largest telescope in the world is located in Puerto Rico. It is used to look at asteroids in space, and determine if any ever get too close to the Earth’s surface.
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