Celebrating 122 years of our flag

Puerto Rico:
Did you know?

Originally populated for centuries by indigenous aboriginal peoples known as Tainos the island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas November 19, 1493.

Puerto Rico is also popularly known in Spanish as ‘la isla del encanto’ meaning “the island of enchantment”.

Puerto Ricans are commonly called “Boricuas” as they call the island Borinquen, from Borikén, its indigenous name, which means “Land of the Valiant Lord”

Puerto Rico (Spanish for “Rich Port”) comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona.

Puerto Rico has won the Miss Universe beauty pageant crown 5 times in the last 43 years (1970,1985,1993,2001,2006) .

Puerto Rico has more than 40 champions in the sport of Boxing, including the first world champion: Sixto Escobar and the youngest boxer to ever win a world championship: Wilfredo Benitez (1976) he was 17.

wilfredo benitez

Puerto Rico has a larger population  3,978,702 (July 2010 est.)  than Jamaica, Bahamas, Panamá, Costa Rica, Belize, French Guyana, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay and has an equal or greater population than 30 of the 50 states of the U.S. It has a greater population than 10 of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada.

Given its population, it’s one of the most densely populated islands in the world (roughly the size of the State of Connecticut)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are now more Puerto Ricans living on the U.S. mainland than in Puerto Rico.

WKAQ Radio, an AM radio station in San Juan was the second station to broadcast in latin america and the fifth in the world.


Puerto Rico is the country with more radio stations and TV stations per square mile in the world.

In 1858, Samuel Morse sets up the first telegraph in Latin America, was located in the City of Arroyo.


The ‘Puerto Rico Trench’ is the deepest point of the Atlantic Ocean and the second deepest in the world.

Rita Moreno, a Puerto Rican actress living in New York City, is the first person in the world to win an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award.

rita moreno

Puerto Rico’s coat of arms is the oldest in Latin America.


Puerto Rico has  more pharmaceutical companies per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

San Juan is the second oldest city in the Americas and El Morro is one of the biggest Fortress in the Americas.



The first scientific experiment in the americas was done in the late 1500’s. An eclipse under the Puerto Rican sky.

Playa Quique Bravo in Rincón is one of the top beaches in the world for surfing and wind-surfing

The biggest beach festival in the Caribbean zone is celebrated in the city of Manati during the summer.

A Puerto Rican helped in the writing of the Irish constitution when the Irish Free State was established, Dr. Albizu Campos.

don pedro

The Puerto Rican flag and the Cuban flag are identical but with inverted colors.


Famous Puerto Rican baseball players in the Hall of Fame..Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez.

The only place in the world where the option ‘None of the Above’  has won an election was in Puerto Rico, during the 1998 referendum that option got over 50% of the votes.

Today’s Puerto Rican flag was actually illegal in Puerto Rico during the first decades of the U.S. dominion over the Island.

There are are more persons of Puerto Rican descent in the Greater New York City area than in Puerto Rico’s capital city San Juan.

The second largest single-dish radio telescope in the world is located in Puerto Rico almost 20 acres. It’s the only radio telescope that can accurately predict when and where an asteroid might collide with Earth, and was responsible for the first asteroid images in history.


The bats sound effects in the Batman Movies were recorded at Las Cuevas de Camuy in Puerto Rico.

The Coqui frog is native to Puerto Rico and is considered a Puerto Rican Symbol, but recently they have invaded the Hawaian Islands, where they are considered (ironically) a pest.


After the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, the name of the island was officially changed for a while to “Porto Rico” by the island administrators.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Puerto Rican coffee was exported to Europe and still is one of the finest in the world. Today, Puerto Rican coffee is what is served at the Vatican.


The central town of Jayuya was almost entirely destroyed by air raids when the U.S. Army went there to extinguish the Revolt of 1950, the latest attempt for Puerto Rican Independence.

The University of Puerto Rico graduates more doctors and medical specialists per capita than does the United States.


El Recinto Universitario de Mayaguez has approximately 300 engineers working for NASA.


The hammock and  the cooking  “grill” were first invented and used in Puerto Rico by the Taino Indians.


The English words canoe, hammock, barbecue, manatee and hurricane and others came from Taino Indian words.

Puerto Rico has some of the  few remaining bioluminescent bays left in the world.(3)

Mosquito bay in Vieques, La parguera in Lajas and Fajardo

Puerto Ricans are ethnically diverse.  Aside from the Spanish, Taino Indians and Africans, there has been immigration in the past centuries by Corsicans, Canary Islanders,  Irish,  Scots,  Germans, French,  Portuguese, Lebanese,  Chinese, Jews, U.S. ex patriots and others.

In just a matter of a few decades, in the 20th century,  Puerto Rico went from an agricultural to an industrialized and highly urbanized society.

Puerto Ricans can be found in all 50 states and in more than 150 countries around the world.

The Rio Camuy Cave system in Puerto Rico is the third largest cave system formed by water in the world.


El Yunque (The Caribbean National Forrest) is the only tropical rain Forrest in the U.S. national park system.


The PIÑA COLADA was invented at the San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel bar in 1963.


Puerto Rico produces and exports more rum than any other country in the world. It has the largest rum distillery.


Two of the oldest churches in the Americas lie in Old San Juan
Built in the 1530s, the Iglesia de San José which is the second oldest church in the western hemisphere, and the Catedral de San Juan.

Puerto Rico has its own “Galapagos Island.” The Mona Island. 270 species of fish and endangered sea turtles and Iguanas.

Puerto Rico has more than 270 miles of beaches including 8 beaches that have been listed under the prestigious Blue Flag Programme

San Juan is the second largest cruise port in the Western Hemisphere and one of the busiest commercial ports in the world.


The Island has 239 varieties of plants, 39 types of reptiles and amphibians, and 16 bird species that are endemic only to the area.

Puerto Rico has more rivers per square mile than any other place in the world.

Almost every town has its own coliseum built for rooster fights. In Puerto Rico, cockfighting is considered to be a ‘gentleman’s sport’ and is legal, unlike other parts of the United States.

Major General Luis R. Estevez, was the first Hispanic to graduate from West Point (1915).

Mayor General Luis R Esteves

Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach, (July 28, 1877 – November 8, 1939), was the person who ordered the first shots fired in World War I on behalf of the United States on an armed German supply ship trying to force its way out of the San Juan Bay  on March 21, 1915.

Teniente Coronel Teofilo Marxuach

La Fortaleza its the oldest executive mansion in the world (since 1533)


James Watson, co-discovered of the DNA, and winner of the Novel Price, published that the closest Perfect Human, was a Puerto Rican woman (Taina).


The monster in Puerto Rico has been confirmed as the longest zipline cable in the world by Guinness World Records at the Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. The new exciting ride is 7,234 feet long, or 28 football fields, and about 1,200 feet high. Riders can reach speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.


The Birth of the New World (colloquially known as La Estatua de Colón, literally meaning “The Statue of Columbus”) is a colossal sculpture located on the Atlantic coastline of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. In 2016, it became the tallest statue in the hemisphere, surpassing Mexico’s Guerrero Chimalli (which measures 60 metres including its base).



  1. The word Hispanic comes from the Roman geographic label Hispania now Espana. Hispanics discovered America in 1492 and in a swift manifestation of military arms imposed their power from North to South America. Long before other Europeans Hispanics had established European settlements throughout the Americas. The first of these was San Juan in Puerto Rico in 1521. In the case of the United States, discovery here was initiated by the conqueror of Puerto Rico Juan Ponce de Leon who discovered what he called La Tierra Florida after Easter sunday in 1513. Later in 1565 an Hispanic soldier named Pedro Menendez de Aviles set up a military bastion in Florida which he named San Agustin or St. Augustine now considered the oldest European inhabited settlement in North America although in truth that honor goes to San Juan,Puerto Rico which was founded in 1521.

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