Reasons to visit Puerto Rico is back into the travel spotlight with a vengeance. Overcoming recent hurricane damage, the beautiful island welcomes visitors once again.
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.
Don Jibaro of jibaros.com represents Puerto Rican culture on his popular website. Here he gives us his reasons to visit Puerto Rico:
1. It’s part of the United States…
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 Puerto Ricans, born on or after April 1925, 1898, U.S. citizenship.
The same Act provided for a popularly elected Senate to complete a bicameral Legislative Assembly, as well as a Bill of Rights. It authorized the popular election of the Resident commissioner to a four-year term.
The United States and Puerto Rico began a long-standing metropolis-colony relationship. In the early 20th century, Puerto Rico was ruled by the military, with officials including the governor 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 House of Representatives. The upper house and governor were appointed by the United States.
2. It’s Rich in Culture…
With over 500 years of history, Puerto Rico is rich in knowledge on how the Western Hemisphere got discovered and became a participant in the many cultures of the world. The Morro Castle, one of the largest castles in the Caribbean, has walls that are 25 feet thick.
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.
From the Spanish, Puerto Rico received the Spanish language, the Catholic religion and the vast majority of their cultural and moral values and traditions. The United States added English-language influence, the university system, and the adoption of some holidays and practices.
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.
3. It has the best Hotels and Beaches in the Caribbean…
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.
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.
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.
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.