Puerto Rico Puerto Rico is an island. Its rectangular in shape. Its coasts measure approximately 580 kilometers. It is the smallest and most eastern island of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico has many Mountains; they cover 60% of the island. The territory also consists of a large amount of rain forests, deserts, beaches, caves, oceans and rivers.
A few of the largest mountains in Puerto Rico are, the Cerro La Punta (4,389) Rosas (4,156), and Guilarte (3,952). Many of the rainforest that covered the island has vanished. The 28,00 acres that are left remain at El Yunque peak. Locations of mountains- This is the Carribean national Forrest. In this Forrest you can find many varieties of plant and animal life. Locations of rainforests- Also some very important caves of the west hemisphere are in Puerto Rico. For example the Rio Camuy. Within it are fine examples of stalactites, stalagmites, and plenty of bats.
Due to the fact that Puerto Rico is a relatively short in whidth, it does not have any large bodies of water like rivers and lakes. However it is surrounded by water so thats not really a problem. There is also a very large amount of rainfall due to the rainforests. Puerto Ricos natural resources consist of some stone, fish, copper and nickel, and there is a potential for on and off-shore crude oil. The weather is regularly warm with an average temperature of 80 degrees F. The north coast gets twice as much rain as the south coast.
The dry season is December to March. Puerto Rico is very exposed to the cyclones of the Caribbean. Not as bad however as Jamaica, Cuba, and other Lesser Antilles. Hurricanes frequently occur between August and October. The most destructive hurricane in Purto Ricos history was San Ciriaco.
It occurred on August 8, 1899. History Puerto Ricos first inhabitants were the Taino Indians. They first called the island Boriken or Boriquen. The name means “the great land of the valiant and noble Lord”. The island was first discovered by the Spanish in 1493. It went through many changes.
The Indians were pushed aside and made slaves for the new settlers. Slaves were shipped in from Spain as well. Hundreds if Indians died from disease. Many Spanish men married Indian women. The island colony suffered for hundreds of years from hurricanes and plagues. After about 1850, the desire for greater freedom from Spain increased among the people of Puerto Rico.
As a result of this a new form of government was set up in 1898. Puerto Rico was taken over by America. It became a part of the United States on December 10, 1898. Being a part of the U.S. helped the Puerto Rican society a lot.
They built hospitals, dams, roads, and schools. In 1917 the second Organic Act gave Puerto Ricans the ability to become U.S. citizens. The U.S. Armys 65th Infantry Regiment won fame for their courage and daring.
This regiment was made up of all Puerto Ricans. The government of Puerto Rico is run by the United States congress. Most federal laws apply to Puerto Rico. The Common wealth government is operated under its own constitution. The governer is chief executive officer and is pretty much in charge.
Voters elect 2 senators and 1 representitive. The supreme Court is the highest court in Puerto Rico. It has 7 justices appointed by the govenor. They my serve as long as they want, as long as its not past retirement age. The 92 superior court judges are appointed to 12 year terms.
Cases involving federal law are heard in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico. It has 7 judges appointed by the President of the United States. Culture Puerto Rico is a very crowded island it is populated by about 3,522,037 people. The capital is San Juan. San Juan is also the largest city.
Other large cities of Puerto Rico are, Carolina, and Mayaguez. Puerto Rico is a great place to go and see spainish culture. The food is a lot like Spanish and Mexican food. But certain spices make some things more Puerto Rican. Puerto Rico has many different types of music, as well as the United States. But it is most know for its Salsa.
Many think it as a sauce to dip chips in. However in Puerto Rico it is a very commonly listened to music. And with Salsa music comes “The Salsa”. The salsa is a Latin dance where a man and woman partner up and swing there hips in sync with the beat of the song. Another well known dance used in Puerto Rico is the Meringue.
It is a faster salsa. In this dance, a partner is not needed as much. Two well known Latin singers in America are Jennifer Lopez and Rikki Martin. In Puerto Rico the style is very similar to that of the U.S. Some of the tastes vary, but pretty similar.
Religion The majority of people in Puerto Rico are Roman Catholic. Most of the rest are Protestants. Some practice voodoo as well. Industry Puerto Ricos most valueble agricultural product are Milk, poultry and eggs. Farmers also raise beef cattle. They also sell or trade many other products.
They have two very important fruits that they produce. They are Bananas and plantains. Plantains are a lot like bananas. Puerto Rico also has mines from which they produce stone, sand and gravel, and lime. Puerto Rico is an island so naturally they have a fishing industry. Their annual fish catch is valued at $9 million.
About 4 million lbs. Of fish are caught yearly. The most valueble catch for Puerto Rico is lobster. Puerto Rico and the U.S. trade with each other very often.
It is much like the trade between the actual states and the U.S. Puerto Ricans do not pay customs duties on goods imported from the United States, as they do on other imported goods. Puerto Ricos chief imports include crude petroleum, food products, textiles and plastic products.