Posts Categorized: Archives

Understanding Puerto Rico: Classroom Discussion Questions – History

In our continuing series of classroom discussion questions, we examine the history of Puerto Rico, particularly focusing on its political status. Q: When was Puerto Rico first inhabited? A: Puerto Rico was inhabited by the Taino people perhaps as early as 900 BC. Q: When was Puerto Rico first visited by Europeans? A: Columbus landed… Read more »

How Does a Territory Become a State?

Thirty-two U.S. territories have already become states. How did they do it? What is the process for a territory to become a state? The U.S. Constitution has the simple answer: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any… Read more »

Governor Rossello’s Letter to Congress

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, Speaker Paul Ryan, and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, emphasizing the need for continued support in Puerto Rico. The letter began with a reminder of the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and a claim… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Colonial Heritage

In Puerto Rico, Thanksgiving Day is observed with a lavish turkey dinner. Just as that turkey is served with different flavors and side dishes in Connecticut and Georgia, a Puerto Rican Thanksgiving includes special elements like plantains and rice with pigeon peas. But Thanksgiving is one of the few times each year when people throughout… Read more »

The Arecibo Message and the Google Doodle

Over forty years ago today, in 1974, a message was sent from the observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to … well, any life forms out in space that might be available to receive a message. A spokesperson for the observatory emphasized that it was a “symbolic” event rather than the beginning of a conversation. The… Read more »

Will Puerto Rico’s Population Stabilize?

El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s major newspaper, has been polling the Island population for thirty years. The most recent poll found that 25% of respondents expect to leave Puerto Rico in 2019. This percentage shows no change since the last survey, in March. The number of people planning to leave is always larger than the… Read more »

Boricuas United:  Puerto Ricans from Across the Nation Gather in DC

After an initial delay due to weather concerns, Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies, “Centro”, held the second annual Puerto Rico Diaspora Summit on October 26th, 2018 at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. The focus of the event was to gather Puerto Ricans from across the nation, of all… Read more »

Independence for New Caledonia?

New Caledonia, a South Pacific archipelago, has belonged to France since 1853. Last week, a referendum on independence brought out more than 80% of the voters, and they chose to stay with France. There are similarities between this case and that of Puerto Rico, which has belonged to the United States nearly as long as… Read more »

Medicaid Inequity in Puerto Rico Continues

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) wrote to the PROMESA Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) last month, expressing concern over the unequal treatment Puerto Rico receives under Medicaid. The Board responded, thanking Soto for advocating for Puerto Rico and providing a list of proposed solutions to the problem. Puerto Rico, like States, is responsible for the… Read more »

Alex Cora, First Puerto Rican Manager to Win the World Series

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series for the 9th time in their history. Naturally, Boston is excited. But manager Alex Cora, who hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has created excitement on the Island, too. Cora asked for a plane load of supplies for Puerto Rico disaster relief last year when he negotiated… Read more »