In this paper I will discuss Puerto Rico and all of its aspects. It will include the

geography, history, economy, government, and basic cultural details of Puerto Rico. I will also

include any interesting or important facts about this most wonderful country.

Puerto Rico is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, and is very close to the Dominican

Republic, and the Carribean Sea.. It is a largely mountainous place, with over 60% of the

terrain being mountains. However, there is great variety in the types of landscapes, with their

rain forests, deserts, beaches, caves, and rivers. Their highest point is at Cerro Punta (4,389 ft.)

and lowest point is at sea level. Puerto Rico's natural resources include fish, copper, nickel, and

crude oil. The climate there is warm and sunny most of the year with a regular temperature of

around 80 F.

The government of Puerto Rico is much like the American government in that they

contain an executive, a legislative, and a judicial branch. The Executive branch is headed by the

main head of all government in Puerto Rico, the Governor. The executive branch is made up of

the governor, a cabinet including 15 ministers, and the secretary of state. The legislative branch

includes 27 Senate members (2 per electoral district), and 53 Representatives. The judicial

branch is directed by the Supreme Court which consists of 7 judges named by the governor, and

the whole judicial branch is made up of all the different courts; Court of Appeals, Superior Court,

District Court, and the Municipal Court. So, unless specifically stated, Puerto Rico is subject to

all laws and regulations of the United States government.

Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. Industry is

now the primary center of economic activity and income, and main industries include electronics,

petrochemical, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and processed foods. Their currency is the same as in

the U.S. in that they use regular American bills and coins. America is the main trading partner of

Puerto Rico, with $23.9 billion in exports, and $21.4 billion in imports. Their per capita income

is reasonably high at $12,761, and 14% unemployment rate as of 1996.

The culture of Puerto Rico is somewhat unique in several ways. They are a huge "melting

pot" of people formed by native Puerto Ricans, Dominican Republicans or Cubans who

immigrated there fleeing from Fidel Castro's Communist state. They mainly practice Cocina

criolla in their cooking, otherwise known as "Creole Cooking." Main dishes include carne

guisada and puertorrique & ntildea which are stews, or carne frita con cebolla, which is fried

beefsteak with onions. Dishes can also include however, such exotic things as sesos empanados,

or "breaded calf brains" in English. Main drinks of Puerto Rico are coffee, beer, and rum.

Though coffee is the most popular taste before, during, and after meals, with beer and rum being

used for more festive occasions.

There are many important people that helped form Puerto Rico's history. They include

people like Juan Morel Campos, who was a huge musical influence of Puerto Rico and composed

countless danzas, which added to Puerto Rico's musical culture. Another famous Puerto Rican

would be Alejandro Tapiacutea y Rivera, who was the father of Puerto Rican literature and a

great playwright and journalist.

I hope that I have given some good background information to the reader about Puerto

Rico in this paper. It is a truly interesting country and I would encourage anyone to study at

least some of Puerto Rico's customs and history. However, I have barely scratched the surface

on what can be learned about this most interesting country.