The United States anglicized the name to "Porto Rico" when it occupied the island in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans are a Caribbean people who regard themselves as citizens of a distinctive island nation in spite of their colonial condition and U. However, this cultural nationalism coexists with a desire for association with the United States as a state or in the current semiautonomous commonwealth status. Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south. It was thus a valuable acquisition for European powers and the United States. Navy has used its offshore islands for military maneuvers that have damaged their ecology, economy, and quality of life.Puerto Rico retains its strategic importance, housing the U. Army Southern Command and other military facilities. Puerto Rico includes the surrounding small islands, including Culebra and Vieques to the east and Mona to the west.Puerto Ricans self-define as a homogenized Taíno, African, and Spanish mixture.

The impenetrable highlands became a refuge in which settlers, runaway slaves, Taínos, and deserters produced a racially mixed population. Almost 70 percent of the island is urban, in contrast to its rural character up to the 1940s.

Sprawl has integrated formerly distinct barrios (rural and suburban neighborhoods), cities, and towns.

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Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico in 1493, during his second voyage, naming it San Juan Bautista.

Puerto Rican Spanish is a dialect of standard Spanish that has its own particularities.

The influence of Taíno is evident in descriptions of material objects ("hammock" and "tobacco"), natural phenomena ("hurricane"), place names and colloquialisms.At Girl Friends Meet you'll have all the tools at your disposal to contact and hear from exactly who you are looking for.You can organize profile photos into albums and even unlock private photo albums on a one-on-one basis.Spain turned Puerto Rico into a military stronghold.San Juan was walled and fortified to house military forces, but the other settlements were neglected until the eighteenth century; isolated by the scarcity of roads, they subsisted on contraband, with little official management. Census projections for 2000 place the population at 3,916,000, not including the estimated 2.7 million Puerto Ricans in the mainland United States.Then estimated at thirty thousand, they were reduced to two thousand by the seventeenth century through exploitative labor, disease, native uprisings, and emigration to the other islands.