Puerto Rico Culture Facts: Curious Details On Puerto Ricans Revealed!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 13, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Dec 03, 2021
Edited by Rhea Nischal
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Puerto Rico is known for rich cultural diversity
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

Cultural and traditional richness boost the magnificence of any place, and Puerto Rico is no exception.

Are you planning a trip to the sun-kissed beaches? Puerto Rico could be your next go-to destination!

Puerto Rico is renowned across the globe for its rich cultural diversity as well as its geographical versatility. The fourth-largest Caribbean Island is Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, tourism is a major industry that yields enormous returns to the economy. Considered to be one of the oldest colonies in the world, the island boasts tropical rainforests, mountains, waterfalls, and beaches.

Moreover, the warm, tropical weather, musical and dance traditions, food, and people of Puerto Rico make for an unforgettable and wholesome experience for tourists. Once in Puerto Rico, don't forget to visit the famous 'Pineapple City' or Barceloneta. Its pineapple plantations and blue beaches are unmissable.

Did you know that the name of the island was changed by the US? In 1898, it was named Porto Rico, but its former name was again reattributed in 1931.

You can enhance your traveling experience with these exciting facts about Texas and the Brooklyn Bridge New York.

History Of Puerto Rico's Culture

The primitive history of the island's origin is shrouded in mystery, but the ancient remains, arts, and artifacts offer a glimpse of its glorious past. Without any further ado, let's peek into the historical background of Puerto Rican culture.

Did you know that Puerto Rico was initially referred to as San Juan Bautista? In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed on this island and named it.

The Spanish terms 'Puerto' and 'Rico' translate to 'rich port'. The name was changed later, owing to the discovery of gold in its rivers. The name San Juan was then attributed to the country's capital city.

Situated in the northeastern part of the Caribbean Sea, the islands of Puerto Rico boast a rich cultural diversity. As history would have it, these islands were colonized by the Spaniards.

However, some believe that even before the Spanish conquest, the indigenous Taino first inhabited the islands about 1,000 years ago. Crops such as tobacco, coffee, and sugar cane were produced on its lands, along with cattle rearing.

To benefit cultivation, a large number of African slaves were imported. This rich island was the apple of the eye of many countries, including the Dutch, French, and English, who strived with several attempts to conquer it.

However, it remained under the direct control of Spain until it signed the Treaty of Paris in 1898, where Spain handed over the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Cuba to the US.

In 1898, Puerto Rico was absorbed by the US as an unincorporated territory. The US used two-thirds of the island as a naval base at the time of World War II.

For 60 long years, the island was utilized to practice bombing and other military exercises, but all these practices stopped after the death of a civilian from bombing. The areas are now wildlife reserves.

Uniqueness Of Puerto Rico's Culture

The specialty of Puerto Rico's culture also depends on its extraordinary location and geographical diversity. Here are some of the best attributes of the island:

For a long time, Puerto Rico, situated in the western hemisphere, stayed as an overseas province of Spain for a long time. After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the island was surrendered to the US.

Interestingly, Puerto Rico doesn't qualify as a country or a state. Puerto Ricans form their own government. Home to more than 3.6 million individuals, the island is densely populated, with most of the population residing in San Juan.

Puerto Rico's residents experience a pleasant tropical climate with occasional outbursts of afternoon showers in the summer. The vast expanse of beaches extends over 270 mi (434.5 km).

The most popular one is Flamenco Beach. The island also contains more than 200 caves, among which many are yet to be explored.

San Juan, Carolina, Caguas, Bayamón, and Ponce are some of the most important cities to visit. Scrub vegetation adorns the southern region, whereas the northern part of the island is covered with tropical rainforests like the Caribbean National Forest located close to the southeastern region of San Juan (now called El Yunque National Forest).

Innumerable bird species and land animals enrich the flora and fauna of the island.

The most noticeable are the snakes, coqui, mongooses, and lizards. Did you know that the coqui is solely available in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is situated in the western hemisphere

Three Cultures Have Influenced The Culture Of Puerto Rico

Did you know that the Puerto Rican culture is a unique blend of three cultures? It's time to learn about those three influencing cultures.

Puerto Rican culture comprises an amalgamation of African, Taino, and Spanish cultures. Some Taino names like Caguas, Mayagüez , and Utuado are still retained by some towns.

Traces of other cultures, including Indian and American, also add to the ethnic diversity of the island. The recognized official languages of Puerto Rico are Spanish and English, while the dollar, colloquially called 'dollar or 'peso' is their currency. Did you know that Puerto Ricans celebrate more than 19 holidays every year?

The three main religions of Puerto Ricans are Catholicism, Protestantism, and Christianity. Pasteles, bacalaitos, and mofongo are popular African dishes.

Traditions Of Puerto Rico

Here are some of the traditions of Puerto Rico that will make you fall in love with this exotic island.

The music of the Puerto Ricans is flavored with a distinct Caribbean touch that is inherited from the native Taino. Percussions such as the mayohuacán and güiro are two of the most popular traditional instruments.

Additions to the musical traditions were enhanced with the introduction of several African and Spanish instruments, which included some stringed instruments like the guitar. Are you familiar with the instrument with ten strings?

It's the cuatro! The streets of Puerto Rico are abuzz with the complex and spicy tunes of salsa, 'the rhythm of the islands'. This irresistible genre was developed in New York City but was soon picked up by the islanders.

Did you know that the famous singers Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez are Puerto Ricans? They are!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Puerto Rico Culture Facts, then why not take a look at our 11 amazing Antarctic Ocean facts that you didn't know, or Brazil Iguazu Falls: you need to know about this wonderful waterfall!

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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