Your first impression of Puerto Rico is likely to be how warm and friendly the people are. Don’t be suspicious; it’s not an act. Life in our tropical paradise gives us plenty to smile about – the weather, our music, the physical beauty all around us, and most of all, the natural warmth that is part of our culture. Here, you are more likely to be greeted with a kiss on the cheek than a handshake.
The Mosaic that is Puerto Rico
Our friendliness goes way back. Puerto Rico is home to a diverse culture, accustomed to mixing with other people. Originally inhabited by the Tainos Indians, our island was overtaken by the Spanish in 1508 and ruled by them for centuries. During that time, African slaves were brought to the island, adding a third layer of cultural influence. They were followed by waves of Chinese, French, German, and more Spanish migration, and eventually by the Americans, who assumed governance of the island after prevailing in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The final wave occurred in the 1960s, when many Cubans made Puerto Rico their new home.
So while Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon may have named our land the “rich port” for the gold nuggets found in its rivers, its wealth today can be tabulated in the friendliness and resourcefulness of its inhabitants, and the vivacity of their culture. You can hear it in the music, taste it in the food, and see it in the endless diversity of the faces that cross your path.
When you visit Puerto Rico, you begin to understand what has drawn people to its shores for over five centuries. The magic of the New World still beckons in the 21st century mosaic that is Puerto Rico. Experience the history with one of our Eco Tours Puerto Rico day trip excursions.