About Homeland-Root Culture: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Name, Size, and Location

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, but it is not a state. It is suited in the Caribbean Sea.  Puerto Rico has located North America. San Juan is the largest city in Puerto Rico. It is the most populous city. In the territory of the U.S, San Juan is the oldest city. In 1521, the town was founded by Pone de Leon (Orellano-Colón et al. 2015). Puerto Rico is about the size of the Connecticut state.  According to data from the American census, the unincorporated territory had a population of 3,667,084. It is approximately 1,600km (1,000 miles) southeast of Miami of Florida state. By law, Puerto Ricans are the United States citizens and are free to move between the mainland and the island. In the U.S Congress, Puerto Rico does not have a vote because it is not a state.

The Puerto Rico geography includes an archipelago suited between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, west of the Virgin Islands and east of the Dominican Republic. The significant Puerto Rico Island is the most eastern of the Greater Antilles, and it is the smallest (Rivera Ramos, 2001). The size of the area is approximately 9,104 km2 (area of 3,515 square miles). In the U.S, it is the third largest Island. It is the 82nd largest on earth. The mainland measures about 177.8 km (110.5 miles or 96 nautical miles.

Climate and geographical features

The tax incentives, traditional cuisine, natural scenery, tropical climate, and history of Puerto Rico make the island a destination for tourists throughout the universe. It is majorly mountainous with large areas in the coast in the south and north areas of the island. Sandy Beach, Domes Beach, Maria’s Beach and Jobos Beach are some of the famous beaches on the island’s north-west side. The Central Range (La Cordillera) is the main mountainous range (Orellano-Colón et al. 2015). Cerro de Punta which is the highest Puerto Rico elevation point (1,338 meters or 4,390 feet) is suited in this range. With mountains covering about 60% and except in the regional coasts, the area is very mountainous. Puerto Rico provides a fantastic variety of rivers, oceans, caves, beaches, deserts, and rain forests. It has three major physiographic areas namely the karst area, the mountainous interior, and the coastal lowlands.   

In Puerto Rico, the climate is Tropical Marine. It has an average temperature of 26°C (80°F). In most of the year, it enjoys sunny and warm days. Year-round, the lightweight wear is suitable. There are moderate rainfalls and temperature, and winds blow from the East. The rains tend to evenly distributed in the whole year. But it doubles in during May to October (Zhen-Duan, Jacquez, & Sáez-Santiago, 2018). This coincides the season of the hurricane. The driest months are from January to April. The south coast gets a half the rain as the north coast. Annual precipitations in the south are 910mm and 1,550 mm in the north. The yearly rainfall in the mountainous regions is 508 cm while 101-381 cm in the coastal areas.

Primary cultural characteristics

The native people of Taino formerly occupied the island of Puerto Rico. Its official languages are English and Spanish, though the language that is predominant is Spanish.  The culture of Puerto Rica is majorly a fusion of Spanish, Taino, and African influences.  The fusion extends to almost each Puerto Rican life aspect such as the traditional festivals, vibrant music, colorful arts and crafts, and sumptuous cuisine (Rivera Ramos, 2001). Even though other cultures have also contributed to rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, Music is undoubtedly not the exceptions. The Afro-Caribbean beats to original sculptures from European architecture during the tourists visit, they experience the integration in each sound, sight, and tastes. The most traditional dish of Puerto Rica people is asopoa that is not really a soup. It is a hearty gumbo prepared with either shellfish or chicken. Consumed when the budget of food runs low are pigeon peas (asopao de gandules). Most of the people of Puerto Rica are Roman Catholics. Nevertheless, the Commonwealth Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion to all faiths. In Santurce, there is a Jewish Reformed Congregation and there is also a Jewish Community Center in Miramar.

The Immigration periods

Puerto Ricans have both migrated and immigrated to the City of New York. In the mid of 19th C, the 1st Puerto Rican group immigrated to City of New York when Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain and its citizens the subjects of Spain (Orellano-Colón et al. 2015).  In 1898, the following Puerto Ricans wave to move to the City of New York did so after the war between Spanish and Americans. Puerto Rican were no longer citizens and subjects of Spain, they were now citizens of Puerto Rican of possession of America and required passports to travel the United States mainland. The Puerto Rican people story is a special one in the United States immigration history. For more than a century, Puerto Rico has been a possession of the United States even though it has never been a state. Since 1917, the people have been citizens of the United States of America. However, they do not have a vote in the Congress. The Puerto Rico people as American citizens an move in all the fifty states in the U.S just like any other American can legally travel. This is viewed as internal migration but not immigration. Nevertheless, Puerto Ricans leave a homeland in moving to the mainland with is culture and identity (Zhen-Duan, Jacquez, & Sáez-Santiago, 2018). The transition can involve many of the similar emotional adjustments and cultural conflict which are faced by most immigrants.

References

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