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Tuesday 12th December
Puerto Rico Facts
Puerto Rico is approximately one hundred miles long and thirty-five miles wide.

The highest point in Puerto Rico is Cerro de Punta (1,338 m).

Puerto Rico's Rio Camuy Cave Park is the site of huge caves made by the Camuy River over one million years ago.

A large area of karst can be found in Puerto Rico (karst is formed over thousands of years when soluble rock is eroded causing holes and fissures).

The Caribbean National Forest, "El Yunque", is one of the oldest protected areas; it achieved protected status in 1876 whilst under the rule of Spain.

San Juan is one of the largest natural harbours in the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico is close to the deepest point in the Atlantic, the Puerto Rico Trench - approximately eight and a half thousand metres.

Seismic activity in Puerto Rico is monitored by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network at the University of Puerto Rico.

The worst recorded hurricane to hit Puerto Rico was in August 1899.

The Bermuda Triangle, a triangular area in the Atlantic, is said to be responsible for mysterious shipwrecks, disappearances and air crashes (the apexes of the triangle are Bermuda, Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico).

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is the site of world's largest single-dish radio telescope.

Christopher Columbus, the explorer, claimed Puerto Rico for Spain in 1493.

The fortifications of San Juan in Puerto Rico were built to protect the Spanish. In 1595 San Juan was saved from an attack by the English explorer and adventurer, Sir Francis Drake.

Following the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico, along with the Philippines, was ceded to the USA (1898).

Jose de Diego (1866-1918) was an important Puerto Rican poet and leader of the independence movement.

Luis Munoz Rivera (1859-1916), a political poet and founder of the newspaper La Democracia, was an activist in the campaign for independence from Spain. When Puerto Rico was ceded to the US, Rivera agitated for a greater degree of self-government and gained US citizenship for the people of Puerto Rico.

Jose Celso Barbosa (1857-1921) was the founder of the Puerto Rican Republican Party.

Jose de Diego (April 19), Luis Munoz Rivera (July 19) and Jose Celso Barbosa (July 27) are all remembered on national holidays in Puerto Rico.

In 1900 economic migrants from Puerto Rico moved to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations.

In the 1950s and 1960s many people from Puerto Rico moved to the USA to seek work.

International Puerto Rican stars of popular music are Jennifer Lopez, Danny Rivera, and Ricky Martin.

Today, Puerto Rico is one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

Puerto Rico is a dependent of the USA but retains commonwealth status.

The Head of State in Puerto Rico is the President of the United States.

Sila Calderon of the Popular Democratic Party, elected in 2000, was the first female Governor of Puerto Rico.

The tiny coqui frog is the mascot of Puerto Rico. The name comes from its "ko-kee"call.

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