Puerto Rico Facts
Unincorporated territory of the United States
- The term "Puerto Rico" translates to "Land of the Valiant Lord".
- Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
- People from this region are called Puerto Ricans.
- The region was originally inhabited by indigenous aboriginal peoples known as Taínos.
- The island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas on November 19, 1493.
- Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist.
- In 1917, Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens.
- The islanders may not vote in U.S. presidential elections.
- Since 1947, Puerto Ricans have been able to elect their own governor.
- Luis Muñoz Marín was elected during the 1948 general elections and became the first elected governor.
- In 2012, a non-binding referendum, Puerto Rico votes in favor of changing its territorial status and requesting to become the 51st state of the United States.