Five horizontal bands of red and white; a blue triangle based on the left side with white, five-pointed star in the center; design influenced by the US flag, but like the Cuban flag, but with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed
NAME: Borinquen (original Arawak name; Borikén); Commonweath of Puerto Rico; Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico; On his first cross-Atlantic voyage of discovery Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista and he named the great port Puerto Rico; over time the names bécame inverted: the country Puerto Rico and the city and port San Juan. The full name of San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) is the name of the Roman Catholic cathedral in the capital’s colonial center.
NATIONAL SYMBOLS: Puerto Rican spindalis (bird) and coqui (frog)
NATIONAL ANTHYM “La borinqueña”
POPULATION: 3,800,000 (1997); 3,900,000 (2007); 3,600,000 (2010); 3,500,000 (2015)
Another 2,100,000 Puerto Ricans live in New York City and 1,800,000 live elsewhere in USA: total Puerto Rican population: 7,700,000.
ETHNIC GROUPS: 99.9% mestizo/Hispanic/mulatto
CAPITAL: San Juan (population 2015: 395,000; metropolitan area, 2,400,000)
LANGUAGES: Spanish and English joint official languages
RELIGION: 90% Roman Catholic
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men (75); women (83)
GOVERNMENT: Governor and Commonwealth legislature; Puerto Ricans cannot vote in American national elections nor do they pay federal income tax; representative in House of Representatives with voice but no vote; the Chief of State is the president of the United States; the head of government is the governor of Puerto Rico.
MILITARY: US military
industry: manufacturing; per capita income = $6,360 (highest in
MONEY: US dollar
INTERNET CODE: .pr
2000 BCE Ortoiroi, an Archaic age culture
Carib, Arawak, and Boricua peoples come later, before Taíno culture
120 – 400 Igneri, a
tribe from the
650 – 1493 Taíno culture developed and dominated the island
by Cristóbal Colón on his second voyage; native Tainos conquered;
1508 Juan Ponce de León named island's first
1518 African slaves introduced
1561 - 1627 Bernardo de Balbuena, Bishop of Puerto Rico, wrote major Spanish Baroque poetry describing beauty of the New World, especially Mexico (La grandeza mexicana, 1604)
1809 Puerto Rico made integral part of
1868 Grito de Lares: defined Puerto Rican nationhood
1873 Slavery abolished
1934 – 1972 Roberto Clemente: Hall of Fame baseball player for Pittsburgh Pirates; one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players.
1952 Commonwealth status (Free Associated State of U.S.A.) (Estado Libre Asociado) granted after plebiscite.
1954 – present Sonia Sotomayor, Neorriqueña, born in Bronx, New York City, whose parents were from Lajas, Puerto Rico.
1971 – present Ricky Martin (Enrique Martín Morales), born in Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican pop singing artist, member of Menudo band.
1976 Carlos Romero Barceló elected governor.
1984 Pope John Paul II visited Puerto Rico.
2005 Governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vila.
2006 – 2007 The Puerto Rico State Department developed the protocol to grant the Puerto Rican citizenship to Puerto Ricans.
2009 Sonia Sotomayor named to U.S. Supreme Court: first Latino/a and first Puerto Rican-American nominated and appointed as US Supreme Court justice.
2013 Alejandro García Padilla, elected governor.
GOVERNMENT: Constitutional commonwealth; representative democracy
Alejandro García Padilla, Popular Democratic Party
MAJOR POWER FIGURES:
Carlos Romero Barceló, former governor, Democrat
MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES:
Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1826-82); writer
Eugenio María de Hostos (1839-1903); intelectual, writer
Pablo Casals (1876-1973) ; world renowned musician and cellist
Concha Meléndez (1895-1983); educator, poet, writer
Luis Palés Matos (1898-1959) ; writer, poet who invented Afro-Antillano poetry genre
José Ferrer (1912-92); guitarist, singer, and actor
Julia de Burgos (1914-53); writer, poet
René Marqués (1919-79) ; writer, novelist
Rita Moreno (b, 1931); dancer, singer, actress
Roberto Clemente (1934-72); Mayor League baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates; in the Baseball Hall of Fame
Luis Rafael Sánchez (b. 1936); writer, essayist, novelist, playwright
Iris Zavala (b. 1936); Spanish professor, writer, poet, literary critic
Orlando Cepeda (b. 1937); Major League baseball player; in the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Raúl Juliá (1940-94); actor
José Feliciano (b. 1945); song writer, singer
Sonia Sotomayor (b. 1954); American Supreme Court justice