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Why You Should Visit Puerto Rico Now

UPDATE: Puerto Rico Travel & Tourism

There are many reasons why you should visit Puerto Rico now.

Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has made a strong come back since the devastating hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. This in spite of parts of Puerto Rico still struggling to get back to its 100% pre-hurricane normal life.

Meet Puerto Rico’s very own Don Jibaro!

Don Jibaro and Jimmy Bosch, visit Puerto Rico
Don Jibaro (left) on his Quatro instrument in a jam session with the popular New York Puerto Rican Salsa Trombonist Jimmy Bosch.

My best and lifelong friend Don Jibaro generously offered to write an article for Captain Jetson. He wanted to tell you why you should visit Puerto Rico.

Don Jibaro and Les Rivera
Don Jibaro of jibaros.com (left), and Les Rivera (right) of captainjetson.com.

Jibaros.com

Don Jibaro is the founder and owner of the very popular Puerto Rican website: jibaros.com. His Puerto Rican cultural site has been online since the 1990s!

His site actually belongs to the list of the world’s first websites, covering culture, representing Puerto Rico as a great travel destination too!

By the way, a “jibaro” (male), or a “jibara” (female) is a Puerto Rican Spanish word used to describe a humble Puerto Rican peasant.

Don Jibaro performing on the bongo at a private Puerto Rican culture gathering in Los Angeles. Video: Les Rivera.

Let’s see what Don Jibaro has to say about why you should visit beautiful Puerto Rico now:

Cuatro, national instrument of Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican Cuatro instrument is to Puerto Rico what the Tres instrument is for Cuba. The cuatro is traditionally used for the performance of Puerto Rico’s Jibaro music and songs.

Did you know that Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens?

You haven’t really experienced the full charm and attraction of the U.S. if you haven’t been to Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico is the only island among the three Latin Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic where English is widely spoken.

Puerto Ricans are USA citizens and the US currency is the only money used there.

In 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Jones-Shafroth Act, which granted all Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship if they were born on or after April 25, 1898.

U.S.A.’s bond with Puerto Rico, from a Colony to a Territory

The same 1917 Act provided for a popularly elected Puerto Rican Senate to complete a bicameral Legislative Assembly, as well as a Puerto Rican Bill of Rights.

It also authorized the popular election of the Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner to Washington D.C. to a four-year term. The Commissioner is a non-voting member of the U.S. House of representatives.

The United States and Puerto Rico began a long-standing metropolis-colony relationship. In the early 20th century, Puerto Rico was ruled by the U.S. military, with officials including the Governor of Puerto Rico appointed by the President of the United States.

The Foraker Act of 1900 gave Puerto Rico a certain amount of civilian popular government, including a popularly elected Puerto Rican House of Representatives. The upper house and governor were appointed by the United States.

Experience the islands’ Rich Culture

With over 500 years of history, Puerto Rico is rich in knowledge of how the Western Hemisphere got discovered and became a participant in the many cultures of the world.

The Castle

The Morro Castle, one of the largest castles in the Caribbean, has walls that are 25 feet thick.

Morro Castle Old San Juan
Morro Castle, Old San Juan.

Puerto Rico’s cultural makeup

Modern Puerto Rican culture is a unique mix of cultural antecedents. This includes European (predominantly Spanish, Italian, French, German and Irish), African, and, more recently, some North Americans and lots of South Americans.

A large number of Cubans and Dominicans have relocated to the island in the past few decades, as well.

Another video from our Puerto Rican culture gathering in Los Angeles. Don Jibaro on bongo. Video: Les Rivera
Puerto RIcan Shall NOt Be Boring! Don Jibaro
Puerto Rico is called “The Island of Enchantment (or Love)”. Here is a Don Jibaro car bumper-sticker dwelling a little deeper into Puerto Rico’s slogan as a fun place to visit.

Language and Values of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico received its Spanish language from the Spaniards. Spain also set the tone for the Catholic religion and the vast majority of Puerto Rico’s cultural, moral values, and traditions.

The United States added English-language influence, the university system, and the adoption of some holidays and practices.

The University of Puerto Rico

On March 12, 1903, the University of Puerto Rico was officially founded, branching out from the “Escuela Normal Industrial”, a smaller organization that was founded in Fajardo three years before.

Charming architecture

Puerto Rico’s architecture carries a Spanish influenced design and the bright colors typically found on Caribbean islands.

why visit San Juan puerto rico
When you visit Puerto Rico make sure you digest the beautiful Caribbean architecture, full of bright colors. Here from San Juan.
why visit San German puerto rico
San German, Puerto Rico, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing town.

Delicious Puerto Rican food

why visit Puerto Rico Puerto Rican food
Chuletas (pork chops) with Plantain, Rice, and Gandules (pigeon peas) is a typical Puerto Rican dish. Sazon (seasoning) is often infused into Puerto Rican dishes. The sazon gives the food a very unique and delicious flavor.
Puerto Rican mofongo
Left and middle: Another staple of Puerto Rican food is Mofongo. Mofongo is made with plantain, typically stuffed with a choice of pork, chicken, or shrimp. To the right: Pasteles, which is similar to tamales. Malta is widely consumed in Puerto Rico, a non-alcoholic lightly carbonated malt beverage. Foods in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba are very similar.
Puerto Ricans
Les Rivera of captainjetson.com (left) Don Jibaro of jibaros.com (right) complementing Chef Luis after a delicious Puerto Rican meal.

Visit Puerto Rico and discover the best Hotels and Beaches in the Caribbean

Isla Verde Intercontinental Hotel
The Intercontinental Hotel Isla Verde is a classy hotel by the beach.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Puerto Rico experienced rapid industrialization, due in large part to Operacion Manos a la Obra (“Operation Bootstrap”), an offshoot of FDR’s New Deal.

It was intended to transform Puerto Rico’s economy from agriculture-based to manufacturing-based to provide more jobs.

Puerto Rico has since become a major tourist destination, as well as a global center for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The attraction of Old San Juan

Old San Juan made up the municipality of San Juan from 1864 to 1952, at which time the formerly independent municipality of Rio Piedras was annexed.

With its abundance of shops, historic places, museums, open-air cafes, restaurants, gracious homes, tree-shaded plazas, and its old beauty and architectural peculiarity, Old San Juan is the main spot for local and international tourism.

Old San Juan
Puerto Rico’s rich music culture shines across the island. Here from a jam session in Old San Juan. Puerto Rico is simply gleaming in its deep-rooted rhythmic mixture of Spanish-Afro music and dance. From Puerto Rican Jibaro to Salsa, Bomba, Plena and more… Any music and dance form should bring out the WEPA in you! Wepa is a Puerto Rican Spanish word for “YEAH”.

The oldest parts of the district of Old San Juan remain partly enclosed by massive walls.

Several defensive structures and notable forts, such as the emblematic Fort San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Cristobal, and El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, acted as the primary defenses for the settlement which was subjected to numerous attacks.

La Fortaleza continues to serve also as the executive mansion for the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricos’ beaches

why visit puerto rico
Isla Verde Beach, by San Juan.

Puerto Rico has over 200 likes of some of the greatest beaches in the world, including the world-famous Rincon on the West Coast. Luxury Hilton hotels are also available.

why visit puerto rico
Looking towards Las Marias.

Going to Puerto Rico?

YES, take your camera, because Puerto Rico will make your Caribbean Vacation more than just exhilarating.

Great picture-taking opportunities are just one reason by itself why you should visit Puerto Rico!

El Yunque Puerto Rico
El Yunque National Forest.

Here is more information on our Visit the Caribbean-series of articles

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