Puerto Rico is an island located in the Caribbean between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico is stationed in the North America region and Caribbean subregion. Its geographic coordinates are 18 15 N, 66 30 W. For map references, look at Central America and the Caribbean.
The area takes up a total of 9,104 square meters; 8,959 square meters land, 145 square meters water. Compared to a US state, it is slightly less than 3 times the size of Rhode Island. The capital of Puerto Rico is San Juan, the largest city that sits on the Atlantic coast of the island.
San Juan is also the most inhabited borough in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. As of 2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico has a population of approximately 395,326 awarding it the title of the 46th-largest city under the sovereignty of the United States. In 1508, Spanish colonist turned explorer, Juan Ponce de León, discovered the embryonic settlement, Cappara, on the landlocked harbor just west of the present day metropolitan area.
In 1521, the settlement was then moved to a rocky archipelago at the harbor’s mouth. This was about the same time that the “Casa Blanca” was built for the Ponce de León family to reside in until the late 18th century. In 1533, the Spanish colonists that were populating the island started building barricades and reinforcements in reverberations to the indigenous Taíno tribe attacks as well as attacks from emulous European jurisdiction. San Juan was originally called Ciudad de Puerto Rico, or “the Rich Port City” due to its similar geography to the town called Puerto Rico of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.
San Juan was later given its formal name of Puerto Rico de San Juan Bautista. Primitively, the city was called Puerto Rico and the island called San Juan, but over the centuries through common use, the names were brought to a turnaround, switching the names, yet again. This time, the island was Puerto Rico and the city was San Juan.
Puerto Rico is made up of three constituent topographic provinces: the mountainous interior, the coastal lowlands, and the karst area. The mountainous interior covers about 60% of the island. The main segment of mountains are part of a central mountain chain called the Cordillera Central, ranging across the endogenous area of the island, originating at Mayagüez and extending all the way to Aibonito. This vast strip of mountains transects the island from right to left, east to west. A few of the largest mountains in this section are: Cerro la Punta, 1,338 meters in elevation, located in Jayuya; Rosas, 1,267 meters in elevation, located between Jayuya and Ciales; Guilarte, 1,205 meters in elevation, located in Adjuntas; Tres Picachos, 1,204 meters in elevation, located in Jayuya; and Maravilla, 1,182 meters in elevation, located in Ponce.
Another well known mountain chain is Sierra de Luquillo, northeast of the Cordillera Central.The coastal lowlands are the second main topographic feature and extend about 13 to 19 kilometers inbound in the north and 3 to 13 kilometers inbound in the south. A sequence of small valleys run through the east and west coast in a perpendicular line.
This streak of valleys was formed by the erosion of the interior mountains.The last main topography feature on the island is the karst region, found in the north. This area is made up of formations of mountainous limestones deliquesced by water all through the geological ages. This area of rugged limestone is an extremely beguiled zone for extensive mogotes, sinkholes, caves, limestone cliffs, and other rock formations. This karst region stretches from Aguadilla, found in the west of the island, to Loíza, to the east of San Juan.On the coast of Puerto Rico, there are usually high temperatures of low 80 degrees fahrenheit and low temperatures of low 70 degrees fahrenheit in the winter. In the summer, there are high temperatures of upper 80 degrees fahrenheit and low temperatures of mid 70 degrees fahrenheit. The average year-round temperature is around 75-85 degrees fahrenheit.
As of 2016, there are over 3.411 million people living in Puerto Rico. There are many different ethnic groups in Puerto Rico such as: the Puerto Ricans, the Puerto Ricans in the United States, the native Taíno tribe, the Nuyorican tribe, the White Puerto Ricans, the Afro-Puerto Ricans, the Arawak tribe, the Spanish settlement of Puerto Rico, the History of Women in Puerto Rico, the History of Jews in Puerto Rico, the Corsicans, the Chinese immigration to Puerto Rico, the Criollo people, the Dominican Republic immigration to Puerto Rico, the Asian Puerto Ricans, and the People of the Dominican Republic. Of those groups, 75.8% are white, 24.4% are African American, and the last 8.5% are other (includes, Indian, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, etc.).
There are 2 main languages spoken by the people living in Puerto Rico: English and Spanish. Although they are both Puerto Rico official languages, Spanish is by far the more dominant language, because the people in Puerto Rico are not competent in English as they are in Spanish. Less than 20% of Puerto Ricans are fluent in English. This preeminent understanding of Spanish over English originated in the early Spanish settlements found on Christopher columbus’s voyage from Spain to the Americas on his way to find the Indies.
Language has always been an issue in Puerto Rico. Until 1930, United States officials insisted on academic schooling and Puerto Rican culture being in English, their intent being to have Puerto Rico’s schooling to be more like the United States’s public schooling. Native’s strong resistance led to the United States dropping the matter and let Spanish be the dominant language used in schools and English being a second language. In 1991, Puerto Rican legislature and governor Rafael Hernández Colon endorsed a bill stating that Spanish was the island’s official language. Puerto Ricans are granted freedom of religion, as they are under the rule of the United States. The majority of these people are part of the Roman-Catholic Church community. There is also a small majority in the Jewish Community Center in Miramar and a Jewish Reformed Congregation in Santurce.
Puerto Rico was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno tribe. The Taíno Indians are a subtribe of the Arawaks that dwell in the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea.