|Puerto Rico (whose captial is San Juan) consists of the main island of Puerto Rico and various smaller islands, including Vieques, Culebra, Mona, Desecheo, and Caja de Muertos. There are also many other even smaller islands including Monito and "La Isleta de San Juan" which includes Old San Juan and Puerta de Tierra
and is connected to the main island by bridges. Puerto Rico is mostly
mountainous with large coastal areas in the north and south. The main
mountain range is called "La Cordillera Central" (The Central Range). The highest elevation in Puerto Rico, Cerro de Punta 1,339 meters (4,393 ft), is located in this range. Another important peak is El Yunque, one of the highest in the Sierra de Luquillo at the El Yunque National Forest, with an elevation of 1,065 m (3,494 ft).|
The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States has its origins dating back to the Spanish-American War, in which Spain, ceded the island to the United States. Puerto Ricans were collectively made U.S. citizens in 1917 as a result of the Jones-Shafroth Act., yet they cannot vote for the U.S. president. Since Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory, the United States Constitution does not fully enfranchise US citizens residing in Puerto Rico. Despite their American citizenship, however, only the fundamental rights under the federal constitution apply to Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans have a long history of service in the U.S. armed forces and, since 1917, they have been included in the U.S. compulsory draft whenever it has been in effect. Since 1947, Puerto Ricans have been able to elect their own governor. Its official languages are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language. The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the U.S. is the subject of ongoing debate in Puerto Rico, the United States Congress, and the United Nations. Specifically, the basic question is whether Puerto Rico should remain a U.S. territory, become a U.S. state, or become an independent country.
II. Fondo de las Poemas
Poema Uno - Lamento de un jíbaro
por Miguel Angel Figueroa
Lyrics of a song composed in the traditional décima verse form. Made up of ten-line stanzas, décima have been composed orally by highland bards since the colonization of Puerto Rico. Recorded in the 1960s, like many others that can be harvested from popular culture in New York, they express the ethos of the Puerto Rican migrant to the city, the nostalgia for their pastoral homeland, and fears of loss of language and identity. It was recorded by its composer with a traditional ensemble of guitar, cuatro (four double-string, higher pitched guitar), and guiro (scraping gourd), in the true highlander style.
Poema Dos - Estados Unidos
por Erasmo Vando
Poet, playwright, actor, cronista, and political activist, Erasmo Vando was born in Puerto Rico while it was still a colony of Spain. Vando emigrated to the Southern United States as a laborer and made his way to New York, where he became a community leader, most notably as the president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Youth. Vando was considered by Bernardo Vega to be the best interpreter of the jíbaro, the Puerto Rican campesino, on the stages of New York, and like Vega and Jesus Colon, he often crafted his artistic and intellectual productions within that perspective. In his poem, United States, Vando vented the resentment that many immigrants felt at their disillusionment in the “Land of the Free.”
III. Cultura En Vivo
Link to video of Puerto Rico
Literatura de Inmigración