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If continuing to be part of the United States were chosen in the first plebiscite, a second vote would be taken between Statehood and Commonwealth.

On June 14, , President Barack Obama "promised to support 'a clear decision' by the people of Puerto Rico on statehood".

On November 6, , a two-question referendum took place, simultaneous with the general elections. The second question posed three alternate status options if the first question was approved: For the second question, There were also , blank and invalidated ballots, which are not reflected in the final tally, as they are not considered cast votes under Puerto Rico law.

Congress action on November 6, plebiscite results. In December , the U. Government submitted a brief as Amicus Curiae to the U. Supreme Court related to the case Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v.

Government official position is that the U. Constitution does not contemplate "sovereign territories". That the Court has consistently recognized that "there is no sovereignty in a Territory of the United States but that of the United States itself".

That is because "the Government of a territory owes its existence wholly to the United States". Congress's plenary authority over federal territories includes the authority to permit self-government, whereby local officials administer a territory's internal affairs.

This board will have a significant degree of federal control involved in its establishment and operations. In particular, the authority to establish the control board derives from the federal government's constitutional power to "make all needful rules and regulations" regarding U.

The latest referendum on statehood, independence, or an associated republic was held on November 6, The people of Puerto Rico made history by requesting, for the first time ever, the conclusion of the island's current territorial status.

On December 11, , the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico enacted a concurrent resolution requesting the President and the Congress of the United States to respond to the referendum of the people of Puerto Rico, held on November 6, , to end its current form of territorial status and to begin the process to admit Puerto Rico as a State.

In late September , Hurricane Maria hit the island as a Category 4 storm causing severe damage to homes, other buildings and infrastructure.

The recovery as of late November was slow but progress had been made. Electricity was restored to two-thirds of the island, although there was some doubt as to the number of residents getting reliable power.

The number still living in shelters had dropped to with thousands of others living with relatives.

Thousands had left Puerto Rico, with close to , having arrived in Florida alone. Much of the population has been unable to return to jobs or to school and access to health care has been severely limited.

Bills for other funding were being considered in Washington but little progress had been made on those. A November 28, report by the Sierra Club included this comment: A tourism web site report in March indicated that all airports were operating, although Luis Munoz Marin Airport would not be back to handling the full number of flights until July All hospitals were operating.

The island was encouraging operators to increase the number of tourists. Over public schools would not reopen in the fall; were expected to be operational.

Almost 40, students left the island's schools since May ; some of these were in schools in the mainland U. Before the hurricanes, Puerto Rico had planned to close schools due to inadequate numbers of students.

The official number of Hurricane Maria-related deaths as reported by the government of Puerto Rico is The Commonwealth has commissioned George Washington University to assess the death toll and is awaiting that report.

Of these five, only Culebra and Vieques are inhabited year-round. Mona, which has played a key role in maritime history, is uninhabited most of the year except for employees of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources.

The latter is the only inhabited islet with communities like Old San Juan and Puerta de Tierra , and connected to the main island by bridges.

The island is mostly mountainous with large coastal areas in the north and south. Puerto Rico has 17 lakes, all man-made, and more than 50 rivers , most originating in the Cordillera Central.

Puerto Rico is composed of Cretaceous to Eocene volcanic and plutonic rocks, overlain by younger Oligocene and more recent carbonates and other sedimentary rocks.

The oldest rocks are approximately million years old Jurassic and are located at Sierra Bermeja in the southwest part of the island. They may represent part of the oceanic crust and are believed to come from the Pacific Ocean realm.

Puerto Rico lies at the boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates and is being deformed by the tectonic stresses caused by their interaction.

These stresses may cause earthquakes and tsunamis. These seismic events, along with landslides , represent some of the most dangerous geologic hazards in the island and in the northeastern Caribbean.

The most recent major earthquake occurred on October 11 , , and had an estimated magnitude of 7. It caused extensive property damage and widespread losses, damaging infrastructure, especially bridges.

The failure of the government to move rapidly to provide for the general welfare contributed to political activism by opponents and eventually to the rise of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

The climate of Puerto Rico in the Köppen climate classification is tropical rainforest. Easterly trade winds pass across the island year round.

Puerto Rico has a rainy season which stretches from April into November. The mountains of the Cordillera Central are the main cause of the variations in the temperature and rainfall that occur over very short distances.

The mountains can also cause wide variation in local wind speed and direction due to their sheltering and channeling effects adding to the climatic variation.

The island has an average temperature of Daily temperature changes seasonally are quite small in the lowlands and coastal areas.

The temperature in the south is usually a few degrees higher than the north and temperatures in the central interior mountains are always cooler than those on the rest of the island.

This is mainly due to the warm waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean , which significantly modify cooler air moving in from the north and northwest.

Puerto Rico experiences the Atlantic hurricane season , similar to the remainder of the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic oceans.

A hurricane passes in the vicinity of the island, on average, every seven years. Since , the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane of September is the only hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane.

In the busy Atlantic hurricane season , Puerto Rico avoided a direct hit by the Category 5 Hurricane Irma on September 8, , but high winds caused a loss of electrical power to some one million residents.

Rossello and several Congressmen called on the federal government to waive the WWI-era Jones Act protectionist provisions: On September 28, U.

President Donald Trump waived the Act for ten days. Most of these , 12 and 33 respectively are found on the main island. El Yunque is home to more than plants, 26 of which are endemic to the island.

It is also home to 50 bird species, including the critically endangered Puerto Rican amazon. The population of Puerto Rico has been shaped by Amerindian settlement , European colonization , slavery , economic migration, and Puerto Rico's status as unincorporated territory of the United States.

The estimated population of Puerto Rico as of July 1, , was 3,,, a 6. It went from the 3,, residents registered in the Census to 3,, in the Census.

A declining and aging population presents additional problems for the society. Census Bureau's estimate for July 1, was 3,, people, down substantially from the data which had indicated 3,, people.

Continuous European immigration and high natural increase helped the population of Puerto Rico grow from , in , to almost a million by the close of the 19th century.

A census conducted by royal decree on September 30, , gave the following totals of the Puerto Rican population at that time: During the 19th century hundreds of families arrived in Puerto Rico, primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia , but also from other parts of Spain such as Catalonia , Asturias , Galicia and the Balearic Islands and numerous Spanish loyalists from Spain's former colonies in South America.

This immigration from non-Hispanic countries was the result of the Real Cedula de Gracias de " Royal Decree of Graces of " , which allowed European Catholics to settle in the island with land allotments in the interior of the island, provided they paid taxes and continued to support the Catholic Church.

Between and the census questionnaire in Puerto Rico did not ask about race or ethnicity. According to the census, most Puerto Ricans identified as White and Hispanic; few identified as Black or some other race.

A recent population genetics study conducted in Puerto Rico suggests that between A Pew Research survey indicated a literacy rate of Puerto Rico has recently [ when?

The vast majority of recent immigrants, both legal and illegal, come from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Emigration is a major part of contemporary Puerto Rican history.

Puerto Ricans continue to follow a pattern of " circular migration ", with some migrants returning to the island. As those who leave tend to be better educated than those that remain, this accentuates the drain on Puerto Rico's economy.

Based on the July 1, estimate by the U. Census Bureau, the population of the Commonwealth had declined by , people since the Census data had been tabulated.

The most populous city is the capital, San Juan , with approximately , people based on a estimate by the Census Bureau. Of the ten most populous cities on the island, eight are located within what is considered San Juan's metropolitan area , while the other two are located in the south Ponce and west Mayagüez of the island.

The official languages [] of the executive branch of government of Puerto Rico [] are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language.

Spanish is, and has been, the only official language of the entire Commonwealth judiciary system, despite a English-only language law. Census Bureau's update provides the following facts: In Puerto Rico, public school instruction is conducted almost entirely in Spanish.

There have been pilot programs in about a dozen of the over 1, public schools aimed at conducting instruction in English only. Objections from teaching staff are common, perhaps because many of them are not fully fluent in English.

The Spanish of Puerto Rico has evolved into having many idiosyncrasies in vocabulary and syntax that differentiate it from the Spanish spoken elsewhere.

As a product of Puerto Rican history, the island possesses a unique Spanish dialect. Similarly, words attributed to primarily West African languages were adopted in the contexts of foods, music, and dances, particularly in coastal towns with concentrations of descendants of Sub-Saharan Africans.

Religious affiliation in Puerto Rico [] []. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic church, most of which are located at the town center, or plaza.

Some aspects were absorbed into syncretic Christianity. Protestantism , which was suppressed under the Spanish Catholic regime, has slightly reemerged under United States rule, making contemporary Puerto Rico more interconfessional than in previous centuries, although Catholicism continues to be the dominant religion.

Protestants collectively added up to almost two million people. Another researcher gave a more conservative assessment of the proportion of Protestants:.

Puerto Rico, by virtue of its long political association with the United States, is the most Protestant of Latin American countries, with a Protestant population of approximately 33 to 38 percent, the majority of whom are Pentecostal.

David Stoll calculates that if we extrapolate the growth rates of evangelical churches from — for another twenty-five years Puerto Rico will become 75 percent evangelical.

The data provided for by Pew Research Center , [] is summarized in the chart to the right. An Associated Press article in March stated that "more than 70 percent of whom identify themselves as Catholic" but provided no source for this information.

Neither a date or a source for that information is provided and may not be recent. The people surveyed by Pew consisted of Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states and DC and may not be indicative of those living in the Commonwealth.

Spyridon's Church is located in Trujillo Alto, and serves the small Orthodox community. Similarly, some aspects of African religious traditions have been kept by some adherents.

Puerto Rico has 8 senatorial districts , 40 representative districts and 78 municipalities. It has a republican form of government with separation of powers subject to the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United States.

The government of Puerto Rico, based on the formal republican system , is composed of three branches: The legislative branch consists of a bicameral legislature called the Legislative Assembly , made up of a Senate as its upper chamber and a House of Representatives as its lower chamber.

The governor and legislators are elected by popular vote every four years with the last election held in November Members of the judicial branch are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Current congressional rules have removed the Commissioner's power to vote in the Committee of the Whole , but the Commissioner can vote in committee.

Puerto Ricans who become residents of a U. Puerto Rico hosts consulates from 41 countries, mainly from the Americas and Europe, with most located in San Juan.

Mona Island is not a municipality, but part of the municipality of Mayagüez. Municipalities are subdivided into wards or barrios , and those into sectors.

Each municipality has a mayor and a municipal legislature elected for a four-year term. An increase of settlement saw the founding of 30 municipalities in the 18th century and 34 in the 19th.

Six were founded in the 20th century; the last was Florida in Since , Puerto Rico has had three main political parties: The three parties stand for different political status.

The PPD, for example, seeks to maintain the island's status with the U. After , other parties emerged on the island. The party claims that it seeks to address the islands' problems from a status-neutral platform.

But it ceased to remain as a registered party when it failed to obtain the required number of votes in the general election.

The insular legal system is a blend of civil law and the common law systems. Puerto Rico is the only current U. Although Puerto Rico has since followed the federal example of transferring criminal and civil procedure from statutory law to rules promulgated by the judiciary, several portions of its criminal law still reflect the influence of the California Penal Code.

The judicial branch is headed by the Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court , which is the only appellate court required by the Constitution.

All other courts are created by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico. Someone accused of a criminal act at the federal level may not be accused for the same act in a Commonwealth court, unlike a state court, since Puerto Rico as a territory lacks sovereignty separate from Congress as a state does.

The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the U. Their residents do not have voting representation in the U.

Like the different states of the United States, Puerto Rico lacks "the full sovereignty of an independent nation", for example, the power to manage its "external relations with other nations", which is held by the U.

Constitution has been extended to an area by Congress or the courts , its coverage is irrevocable.

To hold that the political branches may switch the Constitution on or off at will would lead to a regime in which they, not this Court, say "what the law is".

Puerto Ricans "were collectively made U. Since Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory see above and not a U. Only fundamental rights under the American federal constitution and adjudications are applied to Puerto Ricans.

Supreme Court decisions have held which rights apply in Puerto Rico and which ones do not. Puerto Ricans have a long history of service in the U.

Armed Forces and, since , they have been included in the U. Though the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are also required to pay many kinds of U.

They are excluded from the Supplemental Security Income SSI , and the island actually receives a smaller fraction of the Medicaid funding it would receive if it were a U.

Thus, such a parallel accusation would constitute double jeopardy and is constitutionally impermissible. In , President George H.

Bush issued a memorandum to heads of executive departments and agencies establishing the current administrative relationship between the federal government and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

This memorandum directs all federal departments, agencies, and officials to treat Puerto Rico administratively as if it were a state, insofar as doing so would not disrupt federal programs or operations.

Many federal executive branch agencies have significant presence in Puerto Rico, just as in any state, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation , Federal Emergency Management Agency , Transportation Security Administration , Social Security Administration , and others.

While Puerto Rico has its own Commonwealth judicial system similar to that of a U. Puerto Ricans have also been frequently appointed to high-level federal positions, including serving as United States Ambassadors to other nations.

Puerto Rico is subject to the Commerce and Territorial Clause of the Constitution of the United States and, therefore, is restricted on how it can engage with other nations, sharing the opportunities and limitations that state governments have albeit not being one.

It has also established trade promotion offices in many foreign countries, all Spanish-speaking, and within the United States itself, which now include Spain , the Dominican Republic , Panama , Colombia , Washington, D.

Such agreements require permission from the U. Department of State ; most, are simply allowed by existing laws or trade treaties between the United States and other nations which supersede trade agreements pursued by Puerto Rico and different U.

At the local level, Puerto Rico established by law that the international relations which states and territories are allowed to engage must be handled by the Department of State of Puerto Rico , an executive department , headed by the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico , who also serves as the territory's lieutenant governor.

It is also charged to liaise with general consuls and honorary consuls based in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration , along with the Office of the Resident Commissioner , manage all its intergovernmental affairs before entities of or in the United States including the federal government of the United States , local and state governments of the United States , and public or private entities in the United States.

Department of State, the Agency for International Development , and others. The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico , the delegate elected by Puerto Ricans to represent them before the federal government, including the U.

Congress , sits in the United States House of Representatives , serves and votes on congressional committees, and functions in every respect as a legislator except being denied a vote on the final disposition of legislation on the House floor, also engages in foreign affairs to the same extent as other members of Congress.

Many Puerto Ricans have served as United States ambassadors to different nations and international organizations, such as the Organization of American States , mostly but not exclusively in Latin America.

The Adjutant General, in turn, delegates the authority over the State Guard to another officer but retains the authority over the Puerto Rico National Guard as a whole.

The NFC had authority over all U. Navy has basically exited from Puerto Rico, except for the ships that steam by, and the only significant military presence in the island is the U.

Protests over the noise of bombing practice forced the closure of the naval base. A branch of the U. Army National Guard is stationed in Puerto Rico — known as the Puerto Rico Army National Guard — which performs missions equivalent to those of the Army National Guards of the different states of the United States , including ground defense, disaster relief, and control of civil unrest.

The local National Guard also incorporates a branch of the U. At different times in the 20th century, the U. Navy facilities at Roosevelt Roads, Vieques, and Sabana Seca have been deactivated and partially turned over to the local government.

In recent years, the U. Congress has considered their deactivations, but these have been opposed by diverse public and private entities in Puerto Rico — such as retired military who rely on Ft.

Buchanan for the services available there. Puerto Ricans have participated in many of the military conflicts in which the United States has been involved.

A significant number of Puerto Ricans participate as members and work for the U. Armed Services, largely as National Guard members and civilian employees.

The size of the overall military-related community in Puerto Rico is estimated to be , individuals. This includes retired personnel.

There are no counties, as there are in 48 of the 50 United States. There are 78 municipalities. Municipalities are subdivided into barrios , and those into sectors.

Each municipality has a mayor and a municipal legislature elected to four-year terms. The geography of Puerto Rico and its political status are both determining factors on its economic prosperity, primarily due to its relatively small size as an island; its lack of natural resources used to produce raw materials [ citation needed ] , and, consequently, its dependence on imports ; as well as its territorial status with the United States, which controls its foreign policy while exerting trading restrictions, particularly in its shipping industry.

Puerto Rico experienced a recession from to , interrupted by 4 quarters of economic growth, and entered into recession again in , following growing fiscal imbalance and the expiration of the IRS Section corporate incentives that the U.

Internal Revenue Code had applied to Puerto Rico. This IRS section was critical to the economy, as it established tax exemptions for U.

In comparison to the different states of the United States , Puerto Rico is poorer than Mississippi the poorest state of the U.

At a global scale, Puerto Rico's dependency on oil for transportation and electricity generation, as well as its dependency on food imports and raw materials, makes Puerto Rico volatile and highly reactive to changes in the world economy and climate.

The Commonwealth had been defaulting on many debts, including bonds, since With debt payments due, the Governor was facing the risk of a government shutdown and failure to fund the managed health care system.

They also said that "Congress must enact measures recommended by both Republicans and Democrats that fix Puerto Rico's inequitable health care financing structure and promote sustained economic growth.

Just before that deadline, the control board gave the Commonwealth government until February 28 to present a fiscal plan including negotiations with creditors for restructuring debt to solve the problems.

A moratorium on lawsuits by debtors was extended to May Governor Rossello rejected this plan as unjustified and unnecessary. Puerto Rico has an operating budget of about U.

Throughout those years, including present time, all budgets contemplated issuing bonds to cover these projected deficits rather than making structural adjustments.

This practice increased Puerto Rico's cumulative debt, as the government had already been issuing bonds to balance its actual budget for four decades since This sparked an ongoing government-debt crisis after Puerto Rico's general obligation bonds were downgraded to speculative non-investment grade "junk status" by three credit rating agencies.

In terms of financial control, almost 9. For practical reasons the budget is divided into two aspects: Almost one out of every four dollars in the consolidated budget comes from U.

In particular, the government-owned corporations add a heavy burden to the overall budget and public debt, as none is self-sufficient.

In terms of protocol, the governor, together with the Puerto Rico Office of Management and Budget OGP in Spanish , formulates the budget he believes is required to operate all government branches for the ensuing fiscal year.

He then submits this formulation as a budget request to the Puerto Rican legislature before July 1, the date established by law as the beginning of Puerto Rico's fiscal year.

While the constitution establishes that the request must be submitted "at the beginning of each regular session", the request is typically submitted during the first week of May as the regular sessions of the legislature begin in January and it would be impractical to submit a request so far in advance.

Once submitted, the budget is then approved by the legislature, typically with amendments, through a joint resolution and is referred back to the governor for his approval.

The governor then either approves it or vetoes it. If vetoed the legislature can then either refer it back with amendments for the governor's approval, or approve it without the governor's consent by two-thirds of the bodies of each chamber.

Once the budget is approved, the Department of Treasury disburses funds to the Office of Management and Budget which in turn disburses the funds to the respective agencies, while the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank the government's intergovernmental bank manages all related banking affairs including those related to the government-owned corporations.

The cost of living in Puerto Rico is high and has increased over the past decade. While some online stores do offer free shipping on orders to Puerto Rico, many merchants exclude Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and other United States territories.

Census Bureau's update. The report also indicates that One of the most cited contributors to the high cost of living in Puerto Rico is the Merchant Marine Act of , also known as the Jones Act , which prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying cargo between two American ports, a practice known as cabotage.

Instead, they must proceed directly to U. The local government of Puerto Rico has requested several times to the U. Congress to exclude Puerto Rico from the Jones Act restrictions without success.

In the Government Accountability Office published a report which concluded that "repealing or amending the Jones Act cabotage law might cut Puerto Rico shipping costs" and that "shippers believed that opening the trade to non-U.

Data were not available to allow us to validate the examples given or verify the extent to which this difference occurred. The study found that Puerto Rico received very similar or lower shipping freight rates when compared to neighboring islands, and that the transportation costs have no impact on retail prices on the island.

The study was based in part on actual comparison of consumer goods at retail stores in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Jacksonville, Florida, finding: The school was free of charge and the courses taught were Latin language, literature, history, science, art, philosophy and theology.

Education in Puerto Rico is divided in three levels—Primary elementary school grades 1—6 , Secondary intermediate and high school grades 7—12 , and Higher Level undergraduate and graduate studies.

As of , the literacy rate of the Puerto Rican population was Instruction at the primary school level is compulsory between the ages of 5 and As of [update] , there are public schools and private schools.

The largest private university systems on the island are the Sistema Universitario Ana G. Since Puerto Ricans pay no income tax, they are not eligible for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

The city of San Juan has a system of triage , hospital, and preventive care health services. The municipal government sponsors regular health fairs in different areas of the city focusing on health care for the elderly and the disabled.

In , there were 69 hospitals in Puerto Rico. Founded in , it is operated by the Medical Services Administration of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico, and is actually a network of eight hospitals:.

The city of San Juan operates nine other hospitals. These nine hospitals are:. The city of Ponce is served by several clinics and hospitals. There are four comprehensive care hospitals: Veterans Administration will build a new hospital in the city to satisfy regional needs.

On the island of Culebra , there is a small hospital in the island called Hospital de Culebra. It also offers pharmacy services to residents and visitors.

For emergencies, patients are transported by plane to Fajardo on the main island. The town of Caguas has three hospitals: Reforma de Salud de Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Health Reform — locally referred to as La Reforma The Reform — is a government-run program which provides medical and health care services to the indigent and impoverished , by means of contracting private health insurance companies, rather than employing government-owned hospitals and emergency centers.

The overall rate of crime is low in Puerto Rico. The territory has a high firearm homicide rate. The homicide rate of Modern Puerto Rican culture is a unique mix of cultural antecedents: A large number of Cubans and Dominicans have relocated to the island in the past few decades.

From the Spanish, Puerto Rico received the Spanish language, the Catholic religion and the vast majority of their cultural and moral values and traditions.

The United States added English-language influence, the university system and the adoption of some holidays and practices.

On March 12, , the University of Puerto Rico was officially founded, branching out from the "Escuela Normal Industrial", a smaller organization that was founded in Fajardo three years before.

Much of Puerto Rican culture centers on the influence of music and has been shaped by other cultures combining with local and traditional rhythms.

Early in the history of Puerto Rican music, the influences of Spanish and African traditions were most noticeable.

The cultural movements across the Caribbean and North America have played a vital role in the more recent musical influences which have reached Puerto Rico.

The official symbols of Puerto Rico are the reinita mora or Puerto Rican spindalis a type of bird , the flor de maga a type of flower , and the ceiba or kapok a type of tree.

The architecture of Puerto Rico demonstrates a broad variety of traditions, styles and national influences accumulated over four centuries of Spanish rule, and a century of American rule.

Spanish colonial architecture , Ibero-Islamic , art deco , post-modern , and many other architectural forms are visible throughout the island.

From town to town, there are also many regional distinctions. The oldest parts of the district of Old San Juan remain partly enclosed by massive walls.

La Fortaleza continues to serve also as the executive mansion for the Governor of Puerto Rico. During the s, sections of Old San Juan fell into disrepair, and many renovation plans were suggested.

There was even a strong push to develop Old San Juan as a "small Manhattan ". Strict remodeling codes were implemented to prevent new constructions from affecting the common colonial Spanish architectural themes of the old city.

When a project proposal suggested that the old Carmelite Convent in San Juan be demolished to erect a new hotel, the Institute had the building declared as a historic building, and then asked that it be converted to a hotel in a renewed facility.

The paradigm to reconstruct and renovate the old city and revitalize it has been followed by other cities in the Americas, particularly Havana , Lima and Cartagena de Indias.

Ponce Creole is an architectural style created in Ponce, Puerto Rico , in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This style of Puerto Rican buildings is found predominantly in residential homes in Ponce that developed between and 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.

Puerto Rican art reflects many influences, much from its ethnically diverse background. A form of folk art , called santos evolved from the Catholic Church's use of sculptures to convert indigenous Puerto Ricans to Christianity.

Santos depict figures of saints and other religious icons and are made from native wood, clay, and stone. After shaping simple, they are often finished by painting them in vivid colors.

Santos vary in size, with the smallest examples around eight inches tall and the largest about twenty inches tall.

Traditionally, santos were seen as messengers between the earth and Heaven. As such, they occupied a special place on household altars , where people prayed to them, asked for help, or tried to summon their protection.

Also popular, caretas or vejigantes are masks worn during carnivals. Similar masks signifying evil spirits were used in both Spain and Africa, though for different purposes.

The Spanish used their masks to frighten lapsed Christians into returning to the church, while tribal Africans used them as protection from the evil spirits they represented.

True to their historic origins Puerto Rican caretas always bear at least several horns and fangs. Red and black were the typical colors for caretas but their palette has expanded to include a wide variety of bright hues and patterns.

Puerto Rican literature evolved from the art of oral story telling to its present-day status. Written works by the native islanders of Puerto Rico were prohibited and repressed by the Spanish colonial government.

Only those who were commissioned by the Spanish Crown to document the chronological history of the island were allowed to write.

Diego de Torres Vargas was allowed to circumvent this strict prohibition for three reasons: This historical book was the first to make a detailed geographic description of the island.

The book described all the fruits and commercial establishments of the time, mostly centered in the towns of San Juan and Ponce. The book also listed and described every mine, church, and hospital in the island at the time.

The book contained notices on the State and Capital, plus an extensive and erudite bibliography. Some of Puerto Rico's earliest writers were influenced by the teachings of Rafael Cordero.

Among these was Dr. Alonso , the first Puerto Rican writer of notable importance. After this first novel, Hostos abandoned fiction in favor of the essay which he saw as offering greater possibilities for inspiring social change.

In the late 19th century, with the arrival of the first printing press and the founding of the Royal Academy of Belles Letters, Puerto Rican literature began to flourish.

The first writers to express their political views in regard to Spanish colonial rule of the island were journalists.

After the United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish—American War and the island was ceded to the Americans as a condition of the Treaty of Paris of , writers and poets began to express their opposition to the new colonial rule by writing about patriotic themes.

Cayetano Coll y Toste was another Puerto Rican historian and writer. Pedreira , described in his work Insularismo the cultural survival of the Puerto Rican identity after the American invasion.

With the Puerto Rican diaspora of the s, Puerto Rican literature was greatly influenced by a phenomenon known as the Nuyorican Movement.

Puerto Rican literature continued to flourish and many Puerto Ricans have since distinguished themselves as authors, journalists, poets, novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, essayists and have also stood out in other literary fields.

The influence of Puerto Rican literature has transcended the boundaries of the island to the United States and the rest of the world.

Esmeralda Santiago has written an autobiographical trilogy about growing up in modern Puerto Rico as well as an historical novel, Conquistadora , about life on a sugar plantation during the midth century.

The media in Puerto Rico includes local radio stations , television stations and newspapers , the majority of which are conducted in Spanish.

There are also three stations of the U. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. El Vocero is distributed free of charge as well as Indice and Metro.

Several television channels provide local content in the island. The music of Puerto Rico has evolved as a heterogeneous and dynamic product of diverse cultural resources.

The most conspicuous musical sources have been Spain and West Africa, although many aspects of Puerto Rican music reflect origins elsewhere in Europe and the Caribbean and, over the last century, from the U.

Puerto Rican music culture today comprises a wide and rich variety of genres, ranging from indigenous genres like bomba , plena , aguinaldo , danza and salsa to recent hybrids like reggaeton.

Puerto Rico has some national instruments, like the cuatro Spanish for "four". The cuatro is a local instrument that was made by the "Jibaro" or people from the mountains.

Originally, the Cuatro consisted of four steel strings, hence its name, but currently the Cuatro consists of five double steel strings.

It is easily confused with a guitar, even by locals. The Casals Festival takes place annually in San Juan, drawing in classical musicians from around the world.

In , Paoli was the first operatic artist in world history to record an entire opera — when he participated in a performance of Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo in Milan, Italy.

In the latter part of the 19th century, the cuisine of Puerto Rico was greatly influenced by the United States in the ingredients used in its preparation.

Puerto Rican cuisine has transcended the boundaries of the island, and can be found in several countries outside the archipelago. Basic ingredients include grains and legumes , herbs and spices , starchy tropical tubers , vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood and shellfish, and fruits.

Desserts include flan, arroz con dulce sweet rice pudding , piraguas , brazo gitanos , tembleque , polvorones , and dulce de leche. Locals call their cuisine cocina criolla.

The traditional Puerto Rican cuisine was well established by the end of the 19th century. This is due to the frequent hurricanes that Puerto Rico experiences, which destroy crops of maize, leaving more safeguarded plants like conucos hills of yuca grown together.

The tradition of cooking complex stews and rice dishes in pots such as rice and beans are also thought to be originally European much like Italians, Spaniards, and the British.

Early Dutch , French, Italian, and Chinese immigrants influenced not only the culture but Puerto Rican cooking as well. This great variety of traditions came together to form La Cocina Criolla.

Coconuts, coffee brought by the Arabs and Corsos to Yauco from Kafa , Ethiopia , okra , yams , sesame seeds , gandules pigeon peas in English sweet bananas, plantains, other root vegetables and Guinea hen, all come to Puerto Rico from Africa.

Puerto Rico has been commemorated on four U. Forever stamps included the Puerto Rico Flag illustrated by a bird issued Four Puerto Rican personalities have been featured on U.

These include Roberto Clemente in as an individual and in the Legends of Baseball series issued in Baseball was one of the first sports to gain widespread popularity in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Baseball League serves as the only active professional league, operating as a winter league. The Puerto Rico national baseball team has participated in the World Cup of Baseball winning one gold , four silver and four bronze medals, the Caribbean Series winning fourteen times and the World Baseball Classic.

Boxing , basketball , and volleyball are considered popular sports as well. In the professional circuit, Puerto Rico has the third-most boxing world champions and it is the global leader in champions per capita.

Since then, it has won more than 30 medals in international competitions, including gold in three FIBA Americas Championships and the Goodwill Games August 8, , became a landmark date for the team when it became the first team to defeat the United States in an Olympic tournament since the integration of National Basketball Association players.

Winning the inaugural game with scores of 92—73 as part of the Summer Olympics organized in Athens , Greece. In , the archipelago's first unified league, the Puerto Rico Soccer League , was established.

Other sports include professional wrestling and road running. The World Wrestling Council and International Wrestling Association are the largest wrestling promotions in the main island.

The World's Best 10K , held annually in San Juan, has been ranked among the 20 most competitive races globally. The "Puerto Rico All Stars" team, which has won twelve world championships in unicycle basketball.

Puerto Rican athletes have won nine medals in Olympic competition one gold, two silver, six bronze , the first one in by boxer Juan Evangelista Venegas.

Cities and towns in Puerto Rico are interconnected by a system of roads, freeways , expressways , and highways maintained by the Highways and Transportation Authority under the jurisdiction of the U.

The island's metropolitan area is served by a public bus transit system and a metro system called Tren Urbano in English: Puerto Rico has nine ports in different cities across the main island.

The San Juan Port is the largest in Puerto Rico, and the busiest port in the Caribbean and the 10th busiest in the United States in terms of commercial activity and cargo movement, respectively.

Telecommunications in Puerto Rico includes radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet. Broadcasting in Puerto Rico is regulated by the U.

Cable TV subscription services are available and the U. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service also broadcast on the island. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the U. For other uses, see Puerto Rico disambiguation. For other uses, see Porto Rico disambiguation and Borinquen disambiguation.

It has, for example, been applied to both states and territories. When used in connection with areas under U. History of Puerto Rico.

Captaincy General of Puerto Rico. Climate of Puerto Rico. Largest cities or towns in Puerto Rico Census []. Political party strength in Puerto Rico.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Foreign and intergovernmental relations of Puerto Rico.

Military of Puerto Rico. Municipalities of Puerto Rico. Economy of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico government-debt crisis. Education in Puerto Rico.

Illegal drugs in Puerto Rico. Culture of Puerto Rico. Architecture of Puerto Rico. Media in Puerto Rico.

Music of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico on stamps. Sports in Puerto Rico. Patricia Gherovici states that both "Porto Rico" and "Puerto Rico" were used interchangeably in the news media and documentation before, during, and after the U.

Nancy Morris clarifies that "a curious oversight in the drafting of the Foraker Act caused the name of the island to be officially misspelled".

When several priests protest, the crown requires Spaniards to pay native laborers and to teach them the Christian religion; the colonists continue to treat the natives as slaves.

It is illustrated in the very different images conjured up by the English term "commonwealth" and the Spanish version, Estado Libre Asociado literally, free associated state.

The issue seems to be whether this ambiguity is a purposeful virtue or a disguised colonial vice. Rico Senate declares Spanish over English as first official language".

San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved February 7, Retrieved September 25, Retrieved June 26, Retrieved January 11, April 1, to July 1, for Puerto Rico".

United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 23, Database updated on May 8, Accessed on May 10, Retrieved August 21, Retrieved May 16, Journal of Socio-Economic Research.

Retrieved May 15, Territories and Possessions" PDF. Diachrony, synchrony, and contact. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Res 36, 72nd Congress, enacted The Puerto Rican syndrome. Hispanic Americans in Congress, — Register of Porto Rico.

Office of the Secretary. Scientific survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. New York Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on September 12, Retrieved September 21, Constructing A Colonial People: Subject People and Colonial Discourses: A History of Afro-Hispanic Language: Five Centuries, Five Continents.

Retrieved January 17, Retrieved February 16, Economic History of Puerto Rico. Retrieved August 26, Retrieved October 31, Retrieved February 20, Archived from the original on October 13, Grose, Advance in the Antilles: Retrieved February 6, Exploring the Decolonial Imaginary: The phase "The Island of Enchantment" has been traced back to a travel guide by that title that Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

Retrieved April 14, Retrieved July 27, Archived from the original on October 11, Retrieved February 11, Archived from the original on February 13, Retrieved October 30, The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology.

Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present. Memoirs of A Writer in Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on February 8, Archived from the original on May 20, Archived from the original on September 8, Baralt, Slave revolts in Puerto Rico: Archived from the original on March 9, Retrieved April 29, Historia militar de Puerto Rico in Spanish.

Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario. Archived from the original on May 15, Retrieved September 30, Retrieved October 1, The World of Hispanic Division, Library of Congress.

The War with Spain in University of Nebraska Press. Puerto Rico and the United States, — University of Pittsburgh Press. The first 60 minutes of a crisis can be the difference between success or a complete disaster - but if you have the right plans in place you can ensure your brand comes out the other side.

Cannes gives us a glimpse into the future of PR. This year, that future looks like paradigm-shifting automation.

What will agency work look like after AI and automation have remade it? And how can we keep on leading with real, human purpose?

What technology can do for consumers and brands versus what it should do is at the core of a creepy-cool study - and Cannes very first game show So what did this year's entries do right?

And what does it mean to be young and ambitious in the world of PR? Premier acquires cultural music agency Albion Media By Arvind Hickman, November 09, Entertainment, arts and culture communications agency Premier has acquired classical music and performing arts specialist agency Albion Media.

Clearcast halted Iceland's plans to reuse Greenpeace 'Rang-tan' film By Simon Gwynn, November 09, Political associations of Greenpeace meant the supermarket had to change plans for its purpose-led Christmas campaign.

Waitrose launches Christmas campaign with innovative ITV ad break By Simon Gwynn, November 09, The retailer has created six second spots as part a campaign with more than executions.

Heathrow bears depart Florida for the UK in Christmas campaign By Gurjit Degun, November 08, London airport unveils its third festive campaign featuring Doris and Edward Bair returning home for the festive season.

If Facebook sneezes, do other tech giants catch a reputational cold? By Cordelia Meacher, November 08, For keen watchers of tech and innovation, Facebook sent up a reputational flare from Silicon Valley last month.

Five Campaigns We Liked in October: MoJ opens up about reality of youth prison By Jonathan Owen, November 08, The comms team at the Ministry of Justice decided that honesty was the best policy when trying to recruit youth custody officers, by being open about the challenges of the work, in a campaign that has boosted recruitment.

Click here for the Top Recruiter Profiles. The rise of AI: October 18, Join this webinar, in partnership with LexisNexis, to find out how you can embrace and benefit from making AI part of your strategy.

SA Tourism on the hunt for an events management agency October 23, South African Tourism remains a dynamic DMO and is looking for an activation agency to continue their strategic marketing.

How to track your brand imagery across the web September 10, And other digital weapons

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