Essay on Everyday Life in Puerto Rico

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Everyday Life in Puerto Rico

The commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), known to most Americans as simply Puerto Rico, exists as one of two territories owned by the United States1. Being a territory of the United States, Puerto Ricans possess common citizenship, currency, and defense. However, even though Puerto Ricans are United States citizens they do not pay any kind of federal income taxes. Therefore, they cannot vote in presidential elections. Puerto Rico is under the jurisdiction of the United States customs, and are allowed free movement of people and merchandise with the United States. They have established their own constitution, and have a greater amount of independence than possessions. Although
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In fact, the racial composition of Puerto Rico is 80% white and 20% black. In earlier times, slaves, imported from Africa and other ethnic groups, were brought to work on plantations, and introduced this racial diversity. Slavery, started in Puerto Rico by the Spanish, forced the island into becoming a large agricultural area. Some of the agriculture that still exists includes sugar production and dairy production. Today however, most Puerto Ricans hold jobs that are industrial and exist in the metropolitan areas. Important industries of the island include pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, petrochemical, and processed foods. Tourism has also been an important source of income for the island2.

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Since the last part of the 19th Century, the official language of Puerto Rico has stirred debate. Until the early 1900’s United States authorities insisted that the official language should be English, at least for the instruction in schools. Their reasoning was to produce English speaking students that were enriched in American culture, in the same way that was conducted by schools in the United States. However, objection to this policy brought a change in a sense that Spanish overcame English as the official language in schools. Later, in 1991, the governor of Puerto Rico, Rafael Hernandez Colon, endorsed a bill that made Spanish the official speaking language of the

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