The Puerto Rico Portal
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 briefly called Porto Rico, 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.
An archipelago among the Greater Antilles, located between the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico 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 3.4 million, more than 21 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 the French, Dutch, and British, 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 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. Spain's distant administrative control continued up to the end of the 19th century, producing a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous, African, and European elements. On September 23, 1868, Ramón Emeterio Betances unleashed a revolt against Spanish rule, declaring for the first time the idea of Puerto Ricans as a distinct people, with right to sovereignty. This revolt, known as El Grito de Lares, was eventually put down by Spanish forces, but the movement continued. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Since then, Puerto Rico has remained 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 United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. However, Puerto Rico does have 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 and do not vote for the president or vice president of the United States, and only some residents pay federal income tax. Like other territories and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico does not have U.S. senators. 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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Lolita Lebrón (November 19, 1919 - August 1, 2010) was a Puerto Rican nationalist who was
convicted of attempted murder and other crimes after leading an assault on the United States House of Representatives in 1954, resulting in the wounding of five members of the United States Congress. She was freed from prison in 1979 after being granted clemency by President Jimmy Carter.
Lebrón was born and raised in Lares, Puerto Rico, where she joined the Liberal Party. In her youth she met Francisco Matos Paoli, a Puerto Rican poet, with whom she had a relationship. In 1941, Lebrón migrated to New York City, where she joined the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, gaining influence within the party's leadership. Within the organization she advocated socialist and feminist ideas. Read more...
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represents the best of what Wikipedia
has to offer. The following Puerto Rico-related articles and lists have been designated as Featured
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Selected anniversaries for January
- January 1, 1775 - The Municipality of Caguas was founded.
- January 2, 1949 - Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 1965 - Roberto Sánchez Vilella becomes Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 1969 - Luis A. Ferré becomes the first pro-statehood Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 1973 - Rafael Hernández Colón begins the first of three non-consecutive terms as Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 1977 - Carlos Romero Barceló becomes Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 1977 - Carlos S. Quirós begins a days-long term as Mayor of San Juan
- January 2, 1993 - Pedro Rosselló becomes Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 2001 - Sila Calderón becomes the first female Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 2005 - Aníbal Acevedo Vilá becomes Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 2009 - Luis Fortuño becomes Governor of Puerto Rico
- January 2, 2006 - Death of Raúl Dávila, actor, All My Children (b. 1931)
- January 9, 1963 - Death of Ernesto Ramos Antonini, co-founder of the Partido Popular Democrático de Puerto Rico (Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico) (b. 1898)
- January 10, 1967 - Birth of Trini Alvarado, actress
- January 10, 1973 - Birth of Félix 'Tito' Trinidad, middleweight boxing champion
- January 11, 1839 - Birth of Eugenio María de Hostos, educator and independence advocate (d. 1903)
- January 12, 1956 - Birth of Roberto Vigoreaux, television producer, actor, and politician
- January 12, 1987 - Birth of Naya Rivera, actress (most notably GLEE)
- January 15, 2009 - Death of Tommy Muñiz, comedian, dramatic actor, network owner and producer
- January 17, 1983 - Death of Luis Vigoreaux, radio and television show host, announcer, comedian and producer (b. 1929)
- January 19, 1957 - Birth of Kenneth McClintock, Secretary of State and former President of the Senate of Puerto Rico, London, England
- January 19, 1958 - Birth of José Aponte, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
- January 19, 1974 - Death of Antonio Fernós-Isern, the first Puerto Rican cardiologist and the longest serving Resident Commissioner (b. 1895)
- January 19, 1985 - Death of Juan Antonio Corretjer, poet, journalist and independence political activist (b. 1908)
- January 21, 1895 - Birth of Concha Meléndez, educator, poet, and writer (d. 1983)
- January 22, 2002 - Death of Manuel Méndez Ballester, journalist, radio and television broadcaster, and teacher (b. 1909)
- January 24, 1880 - Death of José Gautier Benítez, considered Puerto Rico's best poet of the Romantic Era (b. 1848)
- January 27, 1975 - Birth of Iván Calderón, professional boxer
- January 28, 2004 - Death of José Miguel Agrelot, Puerto Rican comedian, radio and television host and media icon known for his Don Cholito character (b. 1927)
- January 29, 1736 - The Municipality of Guayama was founded.
Selected article -
Abandoned Central Mercedita sugar refinery office building. Note the Snow White Sugar
plaque on the left of the building facade.
Hacienda Mercedita was a 300-acre (120 ha) sugarcane plantation in Ponce, Puerto Rico, founded in 1861, by Juan Serrallés Colón. Today Hacienda Mercedita no longer grows sugarcane and its lands are instead used for growing mangoes, grasses, landscape plants and palms, coconut palms, bananas, and seeds.
The Hacienda was the administrative center of the large sugarcane mill called Central Mercedita as well as that of its cane sugar refinery plant which packaged the Snow White brand sugar at its nearby packaging plant. Hacienda Mercedita was also the site of origin of a rum production in 1865 that became the successful Destilería Serrallés rum distillery producing Don Q and other spirits. After operating continuously since 1949, Central Mercedita closed down in December 1994, and its sugar mill site is abandoned and in ruins. The Serrallés rum distillery, however, is an expanding and successful company still operating from the same original location, in barrio Vayas, southeast of the intersection of routes PR-10 and PR-52. Central Mercedita, where the local sugar cane was processed, is now owned by Puerto Rico's Autoridad de Tierras (English: Land Authority). Though Hacienda Mercedita was located in a different barrio, Sabanetas, its location was next to the rum distillery, the two being separated only by La Esperanza street (PR-5506). Read more...
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José Ramon Fernández
"Marqués de La Esperanza"
José Ramon Fernández, 1st Marquis of La Esperanza (1808-1883), was the wealthiest sugar baron in Puerto Rico in the 19th century. He was also one of the most powerful men of the entire Spanish Caribbean. He owned an immense plantation of nearly 2300 acres on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, and a sugar mill with an advanced steam engine. His wealth and political connections gave him the power to convince the Spanish Colonial government in the island to split the municipality of Manati in two, and thus found the municipality of Barceloneta.
The Hacienda La Esperanza steam engine has been designated a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Today the entire property is owned by the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, which preserves and protects it, including some of the only coastal forest left in the region. Read more...
Did you know -
Iglesia Santísima Trinidad of Ponce
- ... that German settlers in Ponce established the first non-Roman Catholic Church in the Spanish Colonies? Yes, the Iglesia Santísima Trinidad, an Lutheran Church founded in 1872, was the first Protestant church in the Spanish Colonies. See: German immigration to Puerto Rico
- ... that Bavi Edna Rivera is the first Hispanic woman bishop and the 12th woman bishop in the Episcopal Church?
- ... that Puerto Rico has the largest and richest Jewish community in the Caribbean? and that Puerto Rico is the only place in the Caribbean with the three Jewish denominations of Judaism, the Conservative, Reform and Orthodox? See: Jewish immigration to Puerto Rico
- ... that Father Francisco Ayerra de Santa María (1630 - 1703) is considered to be Puerto Rico's first native-born poet?
- ... that Bishop Juan Alejo de Arizmendi (July 17, 1760-October 12, 1814) was a patriot and the first Puerto Rican to be consecrated Bishop and that he was immortalized by Puerto Rican artist José Campeche in a painting in 1803?
- ... that Father Diego de Torres Vargas was the first person to write a book about the history of Puerto Rico?
- ... that world-renowned religious minister and member of the Honorary Committee of The Presidential Prayer Team, Rev. Nicky Cruz was once the leader of a notorious New York City street gang called The Mau Maus?
- ... that Gothic churches are rare in the New World, but that Puerto Rico has two: Porta Coeli, built in 1606 in San German, and Iglesia San José, built in the 1530s in Old San Juan?
- ... that the Mita Religion founded in 1940 by Juanita García Peraza, is the first Protestant religion of Puerto Rican origin?
- ... that Luis Cardinal Aponte Martínez, Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of San Juan is the only Puerto Rican to become a Roman Catholic cardinal?
- ... that Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago is the first Puerto Rican person, the first Caribbean-born layperson and the first layperson in the history of the United States to be beatified?
The following are images from various Puerto Rico-related articles on Wikipedia.
El Imparcial headline: "Aviation (US) bombs Utuado" during Nationalist revolts.
'La escuela del Maestro Cordero' by Puerto Rican artist Francisco Oller.
Sugar cane workers resting at the noon hour, Rio Piedras. Photograph by Jack Delano, a photographer for the Farm Security Administration. Ca. 1941.
The first Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, established in 1900 CE.
Royal Decree of Graces, 1815, which allowed foreigners to enter Puerto Rico.
The Revolutionary flag of Lares.
"The first Puerto Rican Flag" used in the unsuccessful Grito de Lares (Lares Uprising).
The 45-star flag, used by the United States during the invasion of Puerto Rico, was also the official flag of Puerto Rico from 1899 to 1908.
Picture by journalist Carlos Torres Morales of the Ponce massacre, March 21, 1937.
Map of the departments of Puerto Rico during Spanish provincial times (1886).
"El desastre es la colonia" (the disaster is the colony), words seen on light meter six months after Hurricane Maria
Hurricanes Irma and Maria sharply reduced the availability of electricity throughout the island
Raising the US Flag over San Juan, October 18, 1898.
Flag flown by Fidel Vélez and his men during the "Intentona de Yauco" revolt.
US and Puerto Rico flags on a building in Puerto Rico
Selected quote -
||Atrocities are committed in the name of terrorism, but also in the name to combat terrorism.
|-- Former P.R. Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado, on the commemoration of the September 11 attacks, in a September 11, 2007 interview with Primera Hora.
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