Puerto Rican Biographical Essay

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Puerto Rico, Discover a Magnificent and Unique Island

Puerto Rico, officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, making it the smallest island of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") consists of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and several islands: Vieques, Culebra, Mona and numerous islets.

Explore Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers countless cultural experiences and many historical locations. Whether you enjoy nature or history, nightlife or adventure, culture or sports, pack your bags and discover this unique island full of interesting contrasts and surprises!

My name is Magaly Rivera and proud to be Puerto Rican. I invite you to take some time to explore the tropical island of Puerto Rico, where you can find local exotic hideaways, miles of white sandy beaches, mountains and valleys, and many other natural wonders. In addition to the natural splendors you will find yourself surrounded by warm and friendly people.

Within these pages you can find a wide scope of information pertaining to the island, its culture and people, and every detail that makes Puerto Rico, a magnificent and unique island.

Country Profile

Capital:San Juan

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic.

Coordinates: 18°15'N, 66°30'W

Climate: Tropical Marine, average temperatures year round between 80 °F (26.7 °C) and 70 °F (21.1 °C).

Time zone: Atlantic Standard (UTC - 4:00)

Currency: United States Dollar (USD) $

Population: 3,351,827 (July 2017 est.)

Nationality: Puerto Rican

Primary ethnicity: Hispanic

Ethnic composition: white (mostly Spanish origin) 75.8%, black 12.4%, other 8.5% (includes American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, and others), mixed 3.3%

National anthem:La Borinqueña

Language: Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Rico.

Government: Democracy, Republic

Total area: 9,104 sq km (3,515 sq mi)

Did You Know?

In Puerto Rico, life expectancy at birth for the population has increased from 29.8 years in 1902 to 79.4 years in 2016.


Eugenio María de Hostos


Patriot, educator, sociologist, philosopher, esayist, and novelist.  He was born in the municipality of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, on January 11, 1839.

He did his first studies in Mayagüez and later went to Spain (Bilbao) for his secondary education.  Following his father’s desires, he went to Madrid to study law, but his constant activism in support of the political rights for Puerto Rico and the Spanish republican movement prevented him from pursuing his law degree. In Spain, he associated with liberal, anti-monarchic political groups.

From Spain he went to New York, where he spent almost a year and fought alongside the Cubans in their struggle for independence.  Later, he undertook a journey throughout South America for more than three years to plead for the Cuban cause.  Wherever he went, he was regarded as a man of integrity, devoted to the service of humanity.

In Perú, he denounced the exploitation of the numerous Chinese laborers who had immigrated to that country.

In Chile, he advocated for the right of women to obtain a scientific education.  He was a member of the Academy of Letters of Santiago de Chile and published various writings, among them: a historical report on Puerto Rico; an essay on Hamlet, by English playwright William Shakespeare (considered one of the best on this work in Spanish); and a critical biography of Plácido, the Cuban poet.

In Argentina, he campaigned for the construction of the first railway route across the Andes, and the first train that crossed that mountain range bore the name Eugenio María de Hostos.

He established his residence in Santo Domingo in 1879. There he founded the first teachers school in 1880.  During the following nine years, he undertook an intense program of educational reforms in that country.  After the United States invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, he returned to the island.  He wanted to stir the spirit of his compatriots so that they could demand their rights; he founded the League of Puerto Rican Patriots and headed the first commission that went to Washington to seek recognition for the rights of Puerto Rico.  Nevertheless, all these efforts failed in the face of the firm decision by the North American government to retain the island as a colony and the lack of support from his compatriots.

It could be said that although Hostos published treatises, essays, two novels and numerous journalistic articles that were successful, his best work was his extraordinary life, clean, just, humanitarian and patriotic, that has placed him high among the great men of Latin America.  Eugenio María de Hostos died in 1903 in Santo Domingo, where he is buried.

Biographical Data of Eugenio María de Hostos

Institute of Hostosian Studies – University of Puerto Rico

Adapted and translated for use in this website



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