Brief facts about Puerto Rico

La Bandera de Lares

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is associated with United States of America and is known as the territory of United States of America but is not incorporated in it. A commonwealth, it is located between the British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. It is a highly populated island with a present census of 3.9 million.

If you are going to visit the country or you want more information about the country, here are some brief facts about Puerto Rico.

 

Nature Related Facts:

1.  There are several forests in Puerto Rico which include El Yunque which is the only rainforest under United States Forest Department. There is also the Piñones Forest and the Cloud Forest.

2.  The national animal of Puerto Rico is a tree frog called the Coqui. It is native to the island and cannot be found anywhere else. It has transparent skin.

3.  Cerro Punta in the Cordillera Central range is the highest point of Puerto Rico.

4.  The Ceiba is Puerto Rico’s official National Tree.

5.  Puerto Rico is situated in the Atlantic Ocean and in the south it has the Caribbean Sea.

6.  The national bird of Puerto Rico is the Stripe-headed tanager. The natives call it “reinita mora.” It is a tropical bird and it eats fruits.

7.  The Puerto Rico trench is the deepest spot in the Atlantic Ocean.

8.  The island has a 435 kilometer long coastline and attracts many surfers from around the world.

 

Historical Facts:

1.  The Puerto Rican flag was outlawed and the only flags allowed to be flown were the Spanish flag (1492 to 1898) and the flag of the United States (1898 to 1952).

2.  The first Puerto Rican flag, “The Revolutionary Flag of Lares” was conceived in 1868

3.  In 1892, the flag was changed to model that of the Cuban flag. It’s triangle was sky blue.

4.  In 1952, Puerto Rico adopted the flag first created in 1892 but changed the triangle to dark blue (matching that of the U.S. flag).

5.  Christopher Columbus found Puerto Rico in 1493 during his second voyage to the newly discovered lands. He did not understand he was in a new continent but rather believed that he was in the east.

6.  Sugar plantations were the major source of employment in Puerto Rico before 1960s.

7.  67% of rum that is produced in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico . The island has a 400 year old history of rum making.

 

National Facts:

1.  San Juan is the most populated city in Puerto Rico with Bayamon coming in the second place.

2.  Felix Astol Y Artes and Manuel Fernandez Juncoz wrote the national anthem of Puerto Rico. It is known as La Borinquena which means Island of Borinquen.

3.  The culture is a mixture of African, Spanish and Taino Indian. The people who are close to each other greet each other with a kiss. It is also considered good manner to stand very close to the person you are speaking to.

4.  The official language of the country is interestingly bilingual. English and Spanish both are acceptable but Spanish is dominant most of the time. Though people do speak in English when they meet tourists.

5.  Americans do not need passports to visit Puerto Rico.

6.  Puerto Ricans are citizens of America but do not have the rights of full citizenship.

7.  Puerto Ricans who live in Puerto Rico cannot vote for the U.S. President in federal elections although they can be drafted and the American flag flies over Puerto Rico’s Capital.

8.  Every U.S. citizen is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, except for Puerto Ricans living on the Island.

9.  American citizens are protected by the Bill of Rights, except for Puerto Ricans living on the Island.

10.  Puerto Ricans living on the Island do not have equal representation in the U.S. Congress. Indeed Puerto Rico has non-voting representatives in the U.S. Congress.

11.  In the U.S. (in NYC at least), the U.S. and Puerto Rican flags can be flown at equal height, whereas on the island the official mandate is to have the Puerto Rican slightly lower.

12.  The U.S. has absolute power over Puerto Rico. If the Islands government produces a piece of legislation, it can be revised and vetoed at the whim of the U.S. government, and therefore must ultimately be approved by it as well.