Portal:Puerto Rico

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The Puerto Rico Portal

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The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is a archipelago located east of the Dominican Republic in the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands and keys, including the populated island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, as well as unpopulated Mona island, located halfway between the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the United States is the subject of ongoing debate on and off the island. Those who support maintaining the current formula insist that upon attaining this status, Puerto Rico entered into a voluntary association with the U.S. "in the nature of a compact", but opponents of the Commonwealth status, disagree: according to them, Puerto Rico is no more than an unincorporated organized territory of the U.S., subject to the plenary powers of the United States Congress.

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US 65th Infantry Regiment.Painting.Korean War.Bayonet charge against Chinese division.jpg
The 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed "The Borinqueneers", was an all-volunteer Puerto Rican regiment of the U.S. Army. Its motto was Honor and Fidelity. It participated in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

Puerto Ricans have participated in every major American military conflict, from the American Revolution, when volunteers from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico fought the British in 1779 under the command of General Bernardo de Gálvez (17461786), to the present-day conflict in Iraq. The 65th Infantry which was originally activated as the "Porto Rico Regiment" in 1898, served in World War I, and was involved in active combat during World War II. However, it was during the Korean War that Puerto Ricans suffered the most casualties as members of an all-Hispanic volunteer unit. Among the problems that they faced were the difference in languages (the common foot soldier spoke only Spanish, while the commanding officers were mostly English-speaking Americans) and the harsh, cold climate. The 65 Infantry was deactivated in 1956 and became the only unit ever to be transferred from an active Army component to the Puerto Rico National Guard. (more...)

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Totem de San Juan 2007.JPG
Photo credit: Carlo Giovannetti (Thief12)

Old San Juan is characterized by a mixture of Spanish architecture, cobblestone streets and open public plazas. Most buildings and plazas are maintained to preserve their history, with some, such as the Quinto Centenario Plaza being modernized with recent architecture and works of art.

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Did you know...

  • ...that Puerto Rico enjoys one of the planet's highest productivity ratios? That value-added in manufacturing on the island totals $10.02 for every dollar of production worker wages, more than double the mainland US average of $4.64?
  • ...that the island of Puerto Rico was originally christened as San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist), whose capital was called Puerto Rico? That over the years, the names of the island and the capital were exchanged, and San Juan Bautista became the name of the capital while Puerto Rico became the name of the island?
  • ...that Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl, was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and the first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross, military decoration second only to the Medal of honor?
  • ...that the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is one of the oldest protected areas in the Western Hemisphere by virtue of having been set aside by the Spanish Crown in 1876 while Puerto Rico was still part of the Spanish Empire?
  • ...that the myth of the Chupacabra has its origins in Puerto Rico?


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Héctor Lavoe (September 30, 1946 - June 29, 1993) was an internationally renowned Puerto Rican salsa singer born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Lavoe joined Willie Colón's band, performing as the band vocalist, before forming his own band, performing as lead vocalist. Lavoe recorded several musical hits, including Bandolera, El periódico de ayer, Mi gente and El cantante (written by Ruben Blades just for him), reaching international star status. His career includes two stellar performances, one during the 1974 Congo promotional activities of the Ali-Foreman fight and a 1975 concert at Yankee stadium. However, Lavoe was stricken with several tragedies during his lifetime, including a lifelong addiction to heroin. After several failed attempts at a comeback, he died penniless from complications from AIDS. (more...)

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Puerto Rico-related topics

All Puerto Rico-related topics
History Pre-recorded | Black history | Military history | African immigration | Chinese immigration | Corsican immigration | French immigration | German immigration | Irish immigration | Grito de Lares | Foraker Act | Jones–Shafroth Act | Migration to Hawaii | Migration to New York
Politics Constitution | The Commonwealth | Governor | Puerto Rican citizenship | Resident Commissioner | Legislative Branch (Senate - House of Representatives) | Supreme Court | Political parties | Military | Independence movement
Geography Municipalities | Islands | Mona Island | Dry Forests | El Yunque National Forest | Rivers | Puerto Rico Trench
Economy Companies | Operation Bootstrap | Tourism | Puerto Rican peso (1895–98) | United States dollar (1898-present)
Society Puerto Ricans | Puerto Ricans in the United States | Demographics | Education | Holidays | Religion
Culture Art | Buildings and Structures | Casals Festival | Cinema | Cuisine | Literature | Music | Sports
Ecology Fauna of Puerto Rico | Herpeto fauna | Endemic fauna | Endemic flora | Puerto Rican birds | Vieques birds | Puerto Rican amazon | Golden coquí | Monito gecko | Puerto Rican crested anole | Mona ground iguana | Elfin woods warbler | Puerto Rican trees
Other Flag | Transportation | Rail transport | Slang | Communications | List of Puerto Ricans | List of fraternities and sororities in Puerto Rico | Scouting in Puerto Rico| Piragua

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