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The Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico’s Oldest Park

A forest doesn’t immediately come to mind when thinking of the islands of the Caribbean Sea, so the name “Caribbean National Forest” may sound somewhat odd. Get past this impression, however, and you’ll find that you CAN see the forest for the trees! Puerto Rico’s Caribbean National Forest is indeed a very special place, and the world owes Spain’s King Alfonso XII a debt of gratitude for establishing the park in 1876. It was only 12 years earlier, in 1872, that the very first national park in the United States (Yellowstone National Park) was created by an act of Congress.

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Features

The Cultural Melting Pot of Puerto Rico

How can such a melting pot have a culture of its own? Puerto Rico may be the meeting point for so many different races, but it is able to retain a flavor all of its own. It started with the Spanish and the Taino Indians, and continues between various people from Latin America and the U.S. mainland until today. European, Africans, Chinese, and Cubans have all landed on the territory’s shores, only to be swamped by the distinctive force of Puerto Rico culture. The land neither imposes its own style on any settler, nor allows any colonial influence to overpower it.

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The Governance Template of Puerto Rico

There is very little recorded history of Puerto Rico before the Spanish colonialist arrived. It is therefore difficult to understand why the people of this land accept foreign rule without any murmur of protest. Medieval cruelty can explain why Europeans were able to subjugate Aleutian and other native communities in the Americas, but why do people of Puerto Rico accept their subservient status with the United States in this day and age?

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Features

Dining Delights of Puerto Rico

Food in Puerto Rico is a delight with ample choice to delight all palates, and to suit all budgets as well! No vacation is complete without memorable dining experiences, and Puerto Rico excels in this respect. Native Indians, Spanish colonialists, farm workers from Africa, and folk from neighboring islands of the Caribbean, have all lent their special touches to the eclectic cuisine of this U.S. territory.

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Features

Puerto Rico: More Than a Coat of Arms

Most former colonies have lost little time after independence in erasing obvious signs of their past. Puerto Rico is different in this respect, for it succeeds in making its present allegiance clear, with no attempts to obliterate its medieval background.

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Features

Puerto Rico: The Spirit of Aguadilla

The ubiquitous connection between Puerto Rico and the Atlantic truly sets this territory apart from all the other natural assets of the United States. No part of the country’s Eastern seaboard and not even sunny Florida can quite muster the surf with which Aguadilla Puerto Rico is blessed. This small fishing village, on which Christopher Columbus chanced in the 15th century, is a bustling industrial center today, replete with malls, theme parks and all the other trappings of a delightful vacation destination. However, Aguadilla for all its terrestrial attractions remains a city dominated by the ocean. The city is known by a variety of names such as “Village of the Eye of the Water”, “Town of Sharks” and “Atlantic Garden”, amongst its lovers, and they all celebrate Aquadilla’s eternal affair with the Atlantic Ocean!

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Features

The Architecture of Puerto Rico

It is not true that all Puerto Rican architecture is Spanish, though the styles from across the Atlantic are quite remarkable. Puerto Rico also has an architectural character of its own, and it has a modern and distinctive outlook. For example, the Caribe Hilton Hotel is a fine example of conventional Caribbean genius for design. Even a guest in a hurry cannot but stop to admire the bold lines and striking colors of the structure and its large murals. You may associate Puerto Rico with Spanish architecture, and every Hilton property with uniform luxury, but the Caribe makes you think again.

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Features

Shopping in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s intimate links with the mainland United States are both a plus and a drag at the same time! Those of us who love the islands and the Puerto Rican people long for artifacts to remind us of this place in the sun, and our bonds with the land. Trinkets and fakes abound, nowhere more than on the streets of Manhattan, and you may worry that your carefully assembled collection of Puerto Rican handicrafts could be dismissed as a madness of collecting junk! This is where the San Juan Puerto Rico International Fashion Center comes to our rescue!

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