Puerto Rico – is a wonderful archipelago in the Caribbean Region with an intensive development of the economy, good roads and a special local flavor.
Commonwealth of Puerto-Rico (official name of the country) is situated in the Caribbean Sea on the island of Puerto Rico which belongs to the Greater Antilles islands and on a couple of small islands nearby. Puerto Rico is a U.S. dependent territory and has the status of unincorporated organized territory, resulting in that that this country is controlled by the United States. All the residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens but do not pay income taxes. All the locals fluently speak English and Spanish.
The island is washed by the Atlantic Ocean at the north and at the south – by the Caribbean Sea. Through Mona strait passes the main path of ships going to the Panama Canal. Puerto Rico comprises the main Puerto Rico island and a number of smaller islands and cays, including Caja de Muertos, Culebra, Desecheo, Isla de Mona and Vieques islands.
The main island is stretches to 170 km from East to West and 60 km from North to East, it is mountainous overall. The highest point in Puerto Rico is the mountain Cerro de Punta with the height of 1338 m. The island's capital city of San Juan is on the north coast of the island. Puerto Rico – is the most mountainous island of the Greater Antilles island group. Its topography is complex. Along the entire island from West to East stretches heavily dissected ridge of central Cordillera.
Island is prone to earthquakes. Earth depths contain small deposits of various minerals, but almost all of them have no commercial value. The most significant reserves are the following: copper, nickel and iron. Building materials are also mined, including kaolin, marble, gypsum, limestone, granite, etc.
Climate of Puerto Rico is tropical marine, mild with little seasonal temperature fluctuations: in the southern part, the temperature is slightly higher than in the north one, and at the central highlands – it is always cooler than at the rest of the island. The average annual temperature is 14 ° C. The hurricane season lasts between June and November.
In Puerto Rico there are 17 lakes and more than 50 rivers. Rivers are more full-flowing and wider in the northern part of the island than in the southern one. Rio Camuy Cave Park – is the region formed of karst in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. This area is famous for its limestone formations completely surreal and is considered one of the best places in the world for caving. Kama River – is one of the largest underground rivers in the world.
Among Puerto Rico's national symbols, the following are considered: small bird Spindalis Portoricensis, flower Thespesia Grandiflora and cotton tree Ceiba Pentandra. Unofficial national animal is a tiny frog Eleutherdactylus Coqui.
The first inhabitants of Puerto Rico were Indians Taino. From their culture to us came such words as “hurricane” and “barbecue”. They were the people who invented the hammock. Puerto Rico nowadays has rich cultural traditions as for a small island nation. For the first time when the island was mentioned in a written in 1644. Many celebrities originate from Puerto Rico; among them are Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee and many others.
Female representatives of Puerto Rico regularly participate in beauty contests of Miss World and Miss Universe. Puerto Ricans won Miss Universe competitions for five times (1970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006), taking the second position of number of nominations after the United States. Historically, the Roman Catholic Church has dominated at the island; however, when the island appeared under the jurisdiction of the United States significant number of followers of the various Protestant communities emerged. Before, when Spain ruled the island Protestantism was subject to persecutions. Puerto Ricans celebrate what is probably the world’s longest Christmas. The festivities get underway on 23 November and last until the end of January when the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián take place (“Culture and traditions”, n.d.)
There is also a small Jewish community in the city of San Juan and its environs, representing all branches of Judaism. There is a Muslim community with chapel houses across the island. Three main mosques are located in Rio Piedras, Ponce and Mega Alta.
About Puerto Rico. (n.d.). Welcome to Puerto Rico. Retrieved April 1, 2014 from http://www.topuertorico.org/aboutpr.shtml
Central Intelligence Agency. (2014). The World Factbook: Puerto Rico. Updated March 11, 2014, Retrieved April 1, 2014 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rq.html
Culture and traditions (2014). Universia Studies in Puerto Rico. Retrieved April 1, 2014 from http://iberoamerican-universities.universia.net/en/puerto-rico/live/culture.html