Constitution of Puerto Rico
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the controlling government document of Puerto Rico. It is composed of nine articles detailing the structure of the government as well as the function of several of its institutions; the document contains an extensive and specific bill of rights. Since Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, the Puerto Rico Constitution is bound to adhere to the postulates of the U. S. Constitution due to the Supremacy Clause, of relevant Federal legislation due to the Territorial Clause, it was ratified by Puerto Rico's electorate in a referendum on March 3, 1952, on July 25, 1952, Governor Luis Muñoz Marín proclaimed that the constitution was in effect. July 25, an official holiday in Puerto Rico commemorating the invasion of United States troops in Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898, is now known as Constitution Day. According to University of Puerto Rico Law Professor Antonio Fernós López-Cepero, Muñoz Marín chose July 25 for the proclamation of the Constitution with the intention of replacing the 1898 commemoration with the commemoration of the adoption of the constitution.
In an article published on July 25, 2010, the late Professor Fernós López-Cepero stated to El Nuevo Dia newspaper that he heard this information from his father, the late Dr. Antonio Fernos Isern, the president of the Constitutional Convention in 1952, it was ratified by Puerto Rico's electorate in a referendum on March 3, 1952. The United States Congress and the President approved it by Pub. L. 82–447, 66 Stat. 327, enacted July 3, 1952, requiring that the Bill of Right's Section 20 be stricken and that language be added to Section 3 of Article VII. On July 10, 1952 the Constitutional Convention of Puerto Rico reconvened and approved a resolution accepting the conditions established by Pub. L. 82–447, which were ratified in a referendum held in November 1952, by the electorate. On July 25, 1952, Governor Luis Muñoz Marín proclaimed. In a speech on July 25, 2013, Governor Alejandro García Padilla, despite the conditions established in Pub. L. 82-447, proclaimed that, Sec. 20 would be deemed by his administration to be in effect.
The United States government authorized Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution by Pub. L. 81–600, 64 Stat. 319, enacted July 3, 1950. The Constitutional Assembly met for a period of several months between 1951 and 1952 in which the document was written; the framers had to follow only two basic requirements established under Pub. L. 81–600. The first was; the second was the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. The constitution was approved overwhelmingly by nearly 82% of the voters in a popular referendum and ratified by the United States Congress with a few amendments; the United States maintains ultimate sovereignty over Puerto Rico while giving Puerto Ricans a high degree of autonomy. Under this Constitution, Puerto Rico identifies as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A continuing debate has dealt with the legal status of Puerto Rico under the Federal Government of the United States. Certain decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States appeared to have interpreted the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution as still controlling over Puerto Rico.
Under this clause, the United States Congress is the recognized sovereign of the island. In 1976, the U. S. Supreme Court clarified that the purpose of Congress in the 1950 and 1952 legislation was to accord to Puerto Rico the degree of autonomy and independence associated with a State of the Union. However, on June 9, 2016, as an outcome of the case known as'Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle', the U. S. Supreme Court incited a debate regarding the nature of the relationship established by the 1950 and 1952 legislation breaching the compact between the United States and the People of Puerto Rico; the debate was fueled when the Supreme Court decided that the Double Jeopardy Clause bars Puerto Rico and the United States from successively prosecuting a single person for the same conduct under equivalent criminal laws. The Supreme Court ruling stated that, at least in the cases related to criminal offenses, sovereignty of Puerto Rico resides in the United States Congress; the argument made by the U. S. Supreme Court was interpreted by many as an affirmation of a diminished capacity of the constitutional stature that the Puerto Rican government had, the same idea of stature that the Puerto Rican government has had for nearly seven decades, although judge Elena Kagan stated that the ruling in the case of'Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle' was confined to the corresponding issue of double jeopardy within a criminal case, not to the whole of Puerto Rico's political status.
Still, the outcome fueled a debate regarding the current nature of the political relationship established between Puerto Rico and United States of America. Twelve weeks after the people of Puerto Rico approved to write their own constitution in a referendum, 92 individuals were elected as delegates to a constitutional assembly on August 27, 1951. Of these, 70 belonged to the Popular Democratic Party, 15 belonged to the Republican Statehood Party, while 7 belonged to the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Members from the Puerto Rican Independence Party abstained from participating; the following is a list of the delegates: The delegates, which would become the founding fathers of the current commonwealth of Puerto Rico, established 10 permanent committees: 7 which dealt with constit
Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation of Puerto Rico is the executive department of the government of Puerto Rico responsible for structuring and coordinating the public policies of Puerto Rico over its correctional system and the rehabilitation of its adult and young population. The Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation is the appointed official responsible for setting the public policy of Puerto Rico for its corrections and parole systems. Since January 2016 the incumbent Secretary has been Einar Ramos López. Corrections Administration Juvenile Institutions Administration Labor and Training Enterprises Corporation Office of Pretrial Services Parole Board In August 2015 the department was one of eight identified by the Department of Justice as "high-risk" recipients of federal money, based on audits showing "irregular spending and lax internal controls". In January 2016, $10 million of delayed payments to the department's vendor, Trinity Services Group, threatened to interrupt the food supply to all of its 12,500 inmates.
There are no private prisons in Puerto Rico, but the territory has contracted with corrections companies in the past. In March 1993 the government made a three-year agreement with city officials in Appleton, Minnesota to fill all 516 beds of their Prairie Correctional Facility with Puerto Rican inmates; the prison was sitting empty. Early disputes "underscored the communication problem among inmates and guards". With the introduction of additional prisoners from Colorado and resulting inmate unrest, city officials ended the contract. In March 2012, Puerto Rico contracted with Corrections Corporation of America to send as many as 480 inmates to CCA's Cimarron Correctional Facility near Cushing, Oklahoma; the three-year contract was brought to a premature close in June 2013 after unit-wide fights and "disruptive events", with the inmates sent home. Following is a list of Puerto Rico's 33 state prisons; this list does not include federal jails of other jurisdictions. The main women's prison, Escuela Industrial para Mujeres Vega Alta, was opened in 1954, replacing a prison in Areceibo.
Puerto Rico operates the Hogar de Adaptación Social en Vega Alta, which opened in 1987, the Hogar Intermedio para Mujeres in Río Piedras, which opened in 1996. Puerto Rico's former prison facilities include: Río Piedras State Penitentiary Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent units, but is divided into 1000 mills for accounting; the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U. S. currency into any precious metal, the U. S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U. S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or accept U. S. dollar coins. As of June 27, 2018, there are $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes.
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution provides that the Congress has the power "To coin money". Laws implementing this power are codified at 31 U. S. C. § 5112. Section 5112 prescribes the forms; these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as "legal tender" in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar; the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins, which have values ranging from one cent to 100 dollars; these other coins are more described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time"; that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the "Statements" are being expressed in U. S. dollars. The U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States.
The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States. Unlike the Spanish milled dollar, the U.
S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. In addition to the dollar the coinage act established monetary units of mill or one-thousandth of a dollar, cent or one-hundredth of a dollar, dime or one-tenth of a dollar, eagle or ten dollars, with prescribed weights and composition of gold, silver, or copper for each, it was proposed in the mid-1800s that one hundred dollars be known as a union, but no union coins were struck and only patterns for the $50 half union exist. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar. XX9 per gallon, e.g. $3.599, more written as $3.599⁄10. When issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U. S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is more common. In the past, "paper money" was issued in denominations less than a dollar and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of $20.
The term eagle was used in the Coinage Act of 1792 for the denomination of ten dollars, subsequently was used in naming gold coins. Paper currency less than one dollar in denomination, known as "fractional currency", was sometimes pejoratively referred to as "shinplasters". In 1854, James Guthrie Secretary of the Treasury, proposed creating $100, $50 and $25 gold coins, which were referred to as a "Union", "Half Union", "Quarter Union", thus implying a denomination of 1 Union = $100. Today, USD notes are made from cotton fiber paper, unlike most common paper, made of wood fiber. U. S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U. S. dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by t
La Fortaleza is the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. It was built between 1540 to defend the harbor of San Juan; the structure is known as Palacio de Santa Catalina. It is the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the New World, it was listed by UNESCO in 1983 as part of the World Heritage Site "La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site". During the 1640 reconstruction, the chapel of Santa Catalina, which existed outside the walls, was demolished and was integrated to the walls of the structure, resulting in the alternate name Santa Catalina's Palace. La Fortaleza was the first defensive fortification built for the city of San Juan, the first of a series of military structures built to protect the city which included the Fort San Felipe del Morro and the Fort San Cristóbal; the construction was authorized by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as a defense against attacks from Island Caribs and the European powers of the time. The structure consisted of four walls enclosing an interior patio with a circular tower known as the Homage Tower.
From the top of the tower, the governor, following military tradition, would take oaths of fidelity at critical moments to the King and Queen of Spain. A second tower named the Austral Tower was constructed. At present, the complex consists of a few attached buildings with formal living quarters in the second floor, private quarters in the third, it overlooks the high city walls that front the bay, within the north perimeter of the house are sheltered gardens and a swimming pool. Starting in 1529, Governor La Gama petitioned the emperor on the need to build defensive fortifications, "because the island's defenseless condition caused the people to emigrate." Construction started in 1533, with the use of stone, concluded by 1540. Yet the fort had no guns, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés commented "if it had been constructed by blind men could not have been located in a worse location." Yet the structure has served as the governor's residence since 1544. Since the 16th century, La Fortaleza has acted as the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, making it the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas.
On November 27, 1822, its traditional status as the executive mansion was made official. The fortress underwent a massive reconstruction in 1846 to change its military appearance into a palatial facade. La Fortaleza has been the residence of more than 170 governors of Puerto Rico and has hosted various dignitaries, including President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy who stayed in La Fortaleza in 1961. King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands are among several heads of state who have stayed in La Fortaleza. In June 2011, U. S. President Barack Obama visited the mansion during a brief trip to the island marking the first visit of an in-office US President to the Fortaleza as well as the Island on official business since Kennedy, 50 years to that date. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain visited La Fortaleza in 2016. La Fortaleza has been captured twice by invaders: 1598, George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, attacked San Juan. 1625, General Boudewijn Hendrick of the Netherlands invaded the city and established himself at La Fortaleza.
During the Dutch retreat, the fortress and the city were set ablaze. According to tradition, in 1898, just before the United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War, the last Spanish governor of the island, Ricardo De Ortega, struck a longcase clock in La Fortaleza with his sword, stopping the clock and marking the time at which Spain lost control over Puerto Rico. On October 30, 1950, there was an attempt by a few nationalists to enter La Fortaleza in what is known as the San Juan Nationalist revolt, intending to attack then-governor Luis Muñoz Marín; the 5-minute shootout resulted in four Nationalists dead: Domingo Hiraldo Resto, Carlos Hiraldo Resto, Manuel Torres Medina and Raímundo Díaz Pacheco. Three of the guards of the building, among them Lorenzo Ramos, were injured. On October 9, 1960, La Fortaleza was designated a United States National Historic Landmark. In 1983, La Fortaleza, along with the San Juan National Historic Site, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
On May 26, 2004, a man armed with a knife entered the mansion's mailroom located just outside the palace gates and took a receptionist hostage. The 2½ hour stand-off ended after Governor Sila María Calderón entered the building and listened as the hostage-taker read a letter. In 2011, Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi wrote the dramatic novel United States of Banana, featuring climatic scenes of revolution at La Fortaleza. List of United States National Historic Landmarks in United States commonwealths and territories, associated states, foreign states National Register of Historic Places listings in metropolitan San Juan, Puerto Rico Government of Puerto Rico. Executive Mansion: Santa Catalina's Palace. San Juan, Puerto Rico. World Heritage Committee. Report of 7th Session, Florence 1983. Paris: UNESCO's Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. January 1984. Government of Puerto Rico - Executive Mansion: Santa Catalina's Palace UNESCO - World Heritage Center: La Fortaleza Historic Site Information Visiting information Historic American Buildings Survey No.
PR-54, "La Fortaleza, Calle Fortaleza, San Juan, San Juan Municipio, PR"
An official residence is the residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senior figure resides. It may or may not be the same location where the individual conducts work-related functions or lives. 3 Sutton Place, New York City Presidential Palace Presidential Palace Presidential Palace State House Kiriri Presidential Palace Unity Palace Palácio Presidencial Presidential Palace Presidential Palace Presidential Palace Kinshasa Presidential Palace Palais de la Nation Palais du mont Ngaliema Palais de Marbre Brazzaville Presidential Palace Le Palais de la Présidence Presidential Palace Abdeen Palace Heliopolis Palace Koubbeh Palace Montaza Palace Ras el-Tin Palace Government Building Asmara President's Office National Palace Imperial Palace Presidential Palace State House Osu Castle formal residence Golden Jubilee House current residence Peduase Lodge retreat Presidential Palace Villa Syli Belle Vue Presidential Palace State House Royal Palace State House Executive Mansion Al-Sikka, Tripoli Al Nasr Convention Centre Dar al-Salam Hotel Abusita Navy Base Royal Palace of Tripoli Bab al-Azizia Iavoloha Ambohitsorohitra Sanjika Palace New State House Presidential Palace Presidential Palace State House Clarisse House Mechouar Essaid, Rabat Dâr-al-Makhzen, Fes Dâr-al-Makhzen, Meknes Marchane Palace, Tangier Bahia Palace, Marrakech El Badi Palace, Marrakech Palácio da Ponta Vermelha State House Presidential Palace Aso Rock Villa Rivers State:Government House Urugwiro Presidential Palace Palais de la Republique State House State House Villa Somalia Mahlamba Ndlopfu, Genadendal Residence, Cape Town Leeuwenhof Cape Province:Government House Transvaal:Government House Natal:Government House Orange Free State:Government House Presidential Palace Presidential Palace Lozitha Palace State House The Palace of the Governors Carthage Palace State House State House State House Government House Government House Government House Ilaro Court Palace of the Revolution Presidential Palace Government House Palacio Nacional, Dominican Republic Government House National Palace King's House Government House Jamaica House Vale Royal Government House Government House Government House President's House St. Anns Diplomatic Residence Whitehall Official residence Belize House Government House Rideau Hall Citadelle of Quebec 24 Sussex Drive Harrington Lake Stornoway The Farm, Gatineau Park 7 Rideau Gate British Columbia:Government House Manitoba:Government House New Brunswick:Old Government House Nova Scotia:Government House Prince Edward Island:Government House Newfoundland and Labrador:Government House Quebec:Édifice Price/Price Building *The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec no longer have official residences for their lieutenant governors, but do provide them with accommodations.
Casa Presidencial, Costa Rica Casa Presidencial called Casa Blanca Casa Presidencial National Palace Palacio José Cecilio del Valle None. The President uses own private residence. Los Pinos National Palace Castillo de Chapultepec *In every state of the Mexico the Palacio de Gobierno, or Government Palace, was the official residence the governor, they are now maintained as the relevant governor's offices. Querétaro Casa de la Corregidora Presidential Palace Presidential Palace Palacio de las Garzas White House Camp David Number One Observatory Circle Blair House Presidential Townhouse Trowbridge House Waldorf Astoria New York (Ambassador to
Luis Muñoz Marín
José Luis Alberto Muñoz Marín was the first elected governor of Puerto Rico, journalist and statesman, regarded as the "Father of Modern Puerto Rico" and the "Architect of the Commonwealth." In 1948 he was the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico, spearheading an administration that engineered profound economic and social reforms. Marin was instrumental in the destruction of the Nationalist party and its efforts to gain independence. Luis Muñoz Marín was born on February 1898 at 152 Calle de la Fortaleza in Old San Juan, he was the son of Amalia Marín Castilla. His father was a poet, a politician, responsible for founding two newspapers, El Diario and La Democracia. Days before Luis' birth, his father traveled to Spain to present a proposal of autonomy for Puerto Rico, accepted, his father was elected to serve as Secretary of State of Puerto Rico and Chief of the Cabinet for the Government of Puerto Rico. On October 18, 1898, Puerto Rico was taken by the United States following Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War.
Luis's father assisted in establishing an insular police force, but opposed the military colonial government established by the United States. He resigned from office on February 4, 1899, but was elected to the House of Delegates of Puerto Rico. One of Muñoz Marín's paternal great-grandfathers, Luis Muñoz Iglesias, was born on October 12, 1797, in Palencia, Spain. At age 14, he had joined the Spanish Army and battled Napoleon Bonaparte's French Army in the Peninsular War. Afterward he decided to make his career in the army, was awarded decorations after fighting against Simón Bolívar during the Admirable Campaign of independence in Latin America. Once the conflict was over, he traveled to Puerto Rico along with his commanding officer, Miguel de la Torre, he subsequently settled in a farm in married María Escolástica Barrios. One of his great-grandmothers was Rosa Solá, a woman held in slavery by his great grandfather, Vicente Marín. In 1901 when Muñoz Marín was three years old, a group of statehood supporters broke into his father's El Diario's building and vandalized most of the equipment.
Following this incident, the family moved to Caguas. After receiving further threats from the statehood movements, the family moved to New York City. There Muñoz Marín learned English, while his father founded the bilingual newspaper, Puerto Rico Herald. During the following years, the family traveled between both locations, his father founded the Unionist Party in Puerto Rico, which won the election in 1904. Following the party's victory, his father was elected as a member of the House of Delegates. Luis Muñoz Marín began his elementary education at William Penn Public School in Santurce, a district of San Juan. Most classes were taught in English, a change imposed by the American colonial government. Muñoz Marín's knowledge of English allowed him to be advanced to second grade, although he had some difficulty the next year. In 1908, Muñoz Marín was enrolled in a small private school in San Juan. Working with the teacher Pedro Moczó, in two years he covered all the material taught to students between third and eighth grade, passing tests with good grades.
In 1910, his father was elected as Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. This position is a non-voting delegate to the United States Congress. Muñoz Marín moved to New York with his mother before moving to Washington, D. C. at his father's insistence. In 1911, he began his studies at the Georgetown Preparatory School but disliked its strict discipline and failed the tenth grade. In 1915, his father enrolled him at Georgetown University Law Center, but Muñoz Marín was uninterested and wanted to become a poet. In late 1916, Muñoz Marín and his mother were called to Puerto Rico by their friend Eduardo Georgetti, who said Luis' father was suffering from an infection spreading from his gallbladder. Muñoz Rivera died on November 1916, when Luis was eighteen. A month Muñoz Marín and his mother returned to New York. Within one month he published a book titled Borrones, composed of several stories and a one-act play. For several months, he served as the congressional clerk to Félix Córdova Dávila, who succeeded Muñoz Marín's father as Resident Commissioner.
On July 1, 1919 Muñoz Marín married Muna Lee, an American writer from Raymond, Mississippi who had grown up in Oklahoma. Lee was a rising writer of Pan-American poetry, they had a daughter and a son together, but lived apart before separating in 1938. During the 1920s Muñoz Marín spent the majority of his time in Greenwich Village, where he lived apart from his wife and young children. During those years he asked his wife and mother to send him money, indulged in a "Bohemian life" that strained his marriage. Muñoz Marín and his wife Muna Lee underwent a legal separation in 1938. During his first campaign for the Puerto Rico Senate in 1932, Muñoz Marín was accused of being a narcotics addict. Before his campaigns of 1938 and 1939, while he was still married, Muñoz Marín met Inés Mendoza. A teacher, she became his mistress and was fired for complaining about the prohibition against classes in Spanish, they agreed that substituting "one language for another is to diminish that country's capacity to be happy".
Muñoz Marín asked Mendoza to "stay with him all his life."In 1940, a month after his election as President of the Senate in Puerto Rico, Muñoz Marín and Mendoza had a daughter, named to commemorate his
Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León known as Ponce de León, was a Spanish explorer and conquistador known for leading the first official European expedition to Florida and the first governor of Puerto Rico. He was born in Santervás de Campos, Spain in 1474. Though little is known about his family, he was of noble birth and served in the Spanish military from a young age, he first came to the Americas as a "gentleman volunteer" with Christopher Columbus's second expedition in 1493. By the early 1500s, Ponce de León was a top military official in the colonial government of Hispaniola, where he helped crush a rebellion of the native Taíno people, he was authorized to explore the neighboring island of Puerto Rico in 1508 and for serving as the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown in 1509. While Ponce de León grew quite wealthy from his plantations and mines, he faced an ongoing legal conflict with Diego Columbus, the late Christopher Columbus's son, over the right to govern Puerto Rico.
After a long court battle, Columbus replaced Ponce de León as governor in 1511. Ponce de León decided to follow the advice of the sympathetic King Ferdinand and explore more of the Caribbean Sea. In 1513, Ponce de León led the first known European expedition to La Florida, which he named during his first voyage to the area, he landed somewhere along Florida's east coast charted the Atlantic coast down to the Florida Keys and north along the Gulf coast as far as Charlotte Harbor. Though in popular culture he was searching for the Fountain of Youth, there is no contemporary evidence to support the story, which all modern historians call a myth. Ponce de León returned to Spain in 1514 and was knighted by King Ferdinand, who re-instated him as the governor of Puerto Rico and authorized him to settle Florida, he returned to the Caribbean in 1515, but plans to organize an expedition to Florida were delayed by the death of King Ferdinand in 1516, after which Ponce de León again traveled to Spain to defend his grants and titles.
He would not return to Puerto Rico for two years. In 1521, Ponce de León returned to southwest Florida with the first large-scale attempt to establish a Spanish colony in what is now the continental United States. However, the native Calusa people fiercely resisted the incursion, he was wounded in a skirmish; the colonization attempt was abandoned, its leader died from his wounds soon after returning to Cuba. Ponce de León was interred in Puerto Rico, his tomb is located inside of the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista in San Juan. According to John J. Browne Ayes, 30% of the modern population of Puerto Rico descend from Juan Ponce de León and his wife. Juan Ponce de León was born in the village of Santervás de Campos in the northern part of what is now the Spanish province of Valladolid. Although early historians placed his birth in 1460, this date has been used traditionally, more recent evidence shows he was born in 1474; the surname Ponce de León dates from the 13th century. The Ponce de León lineage began with Ponce Vélaz de Cabrera, descendant of count Bermudo Núñez, Sancha Ponce de Cabrera, daughter of Ponce Giraldo de Cabrera.
Before October 1235, a son of Ponce Vela de Cabrera and his wife Teresa Rodríguez Girón named Pedro Ponce de Cabrera married Aldonza Alfonso, an illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso IX of León. The descendants of this marriage added the "de León" to their patronymic and were known henceforth as the Ponce de León; the identity of his parents is still unknown, but he appears to have been a member of a distinguished and influential noble family. His relatives included Rodrigo Ponce de León, Marquis of Cádiz, a celebrated figure in the Moorish wars. Ponce de León was related to another notable family, the Núñez de Guzmáns, as a young man he served as squire to Pedro Núñez de Guzmán, Knight Commander of the Order of Calatrava. A contemporary chronicler, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, states that Ponce de León gained his experience as a soldier fighting in the Spanish campaigns that defeated the Moors in Granada and completed the re-conquest of Spain in 1492, he married a distant relative of his, Leonor Ponce de León, with whom he would form the first European family living in Puerto Rico.
Once the war against the Emirate of Granada ended, there was no apparent need for his military services at home, so, like many of his contemporaries, Ponce de León looked abroad for his next opportunity. In September 1493, some 1,200 sailors and soldiers joined Christopher Columbus for his second voyage to the New World. Ponce de León was a member of this expedition, one of 200 "gentleman volunteers."The fleet reached the Caribbean in November 1493. They visited several islands before arriving at their primary destination in Hispaniola. In particular they anchored on the coast of a large island the natives called Borinquen but would become known as Puerto Rico; this was Ponce de León's first glimpse of the place. Historians are divided on what he did during the next several years, but it is possible that he returned to Spain at some point and made his way back to Hispaniola with Nicolás de Ovando. In 1502 the newly appointed governor, Nicolás de Ovando, arrived in Hispaniola; the Spanish Crown expected Ovando to bring order to a colony in disarray.
Ovando interpreted this as authorizing subjugation of the native Taínos. Thus, Ovando authorized the Jaragua massacre in November 1503. In 1504, when Tainos overran a small Spanish garrison in Higüey on the island's eastern side, Ovando assigned Ponce de León to crush the rebellion. Ponce de León was involved in the Higüey massacre, about which friar Bartolomé de las Casas attempted to