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Ponce in the south and Mayagüez in the west also have become sprawling metropolitan areas.

Puerto Ricans self-define as a homogenized Taíno, African, and Spanish mixture.

A rugged central mountain range constitutes two-thirds of the island and separates a northern coastal plain noted for karst formations from a drier southern plain.

The Taínos recognized the power of the seasonal hurricanes that affect the island.

The two names were switched over the centuries: the island became Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan. This sense of uniqueness also shapes their migrant experience and relationship with other ethnoracial groups in the United States.

The United States anglicized the name to "Porto Rico" when it occupied the island in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans are a Caribbean people who regard themselves as citizens of a distinctive island nation in spite of their colonial condition and U. However, this cultural nationalism coexists with a desire for association with the United States as a state or in the current semiautonomous commonwealth status. Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south. It was thus a valuable acquisition for European powers and the United States. Navy has used its offshore islands for military maneuvers that have damaged their ecology, economy, and quality of life.

The San Juan metropolitan area extends almost to Fajardo in the east and west to Arecibo.

Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico in 1493, during his second voyage, naming it San Juan Bautista.

The Taínos, the indigenous people, called the island Boriquén Tierra del alto señor ("Land of the Noble Lord").

Chinese labor was introduced in the nineteenth century, and immigrants came from Andalusia, Catalonia, the Basque provinces, Galicia, and the Canary Islands.

Threatened by Latin America's nineteenth century revolutions, Spain facilitated immigration through economic incentives, attracting other nationalities as loyalists fled republican uprisings. occupation increased the American presence, and the 1959 revolution in Cuba brought an estimated 23,000 Cubans.

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