Multi-Ethnic Cultures of Puerto Rico
Over the course of Puerto Rico's history the country has been strongly influenced by a number of different cultures. The strongest of these were Spanish and Western, but there are also a number of other cultures which have been merged with these to provide a culture which is unique to Puerto Rico.
Today you will find that not only do the inhabitants of this island enjoy a wonderfully rich and diverse culture, but they are themselves a wonderfully varied people. During the 18th century, Spanish settlers took Indian wives and these intermingled marriages brought about a massive change in the local population. Later African slaves and Chinese, German, Lebanese and French immigrants settled on the island and also became an integral part of the country’s national identity. Today you will find that not only do the people of Puerto Rico bear physical aspects of this mingling of cultures, but their unique culture does too. So come and explore the culture of Puerto Rico and discover a beautiful and colorful corner of the world.
It’s immediately clear to see the Spanish history in Puerto Rico’s architecture. The narrow, winding, cobblestone roads are reminiscent of Andalusia, South of Spain. San Juan is said to be home to over 400 historic sites ranging from examples of classic architecture and old military power.
It is evident that a strong infusion of arts in the history of Puerto Rico has resulted in its people developing artistic flair. Regardless of whether they’re taught to fine tune their skills or whether they’re just born with it, there’s a strong presence and artistic vibe wherever you are in Puerto Rico.
As with most of Puerto Rico’s culture, the country’s cuisine reflects strong Spanish, Mexican, African and American influences. Locally known as Cocina Criolla or Creole Cooking, Puerto Rican traditional cuisine can be traced back to the original inhabitants of the land who feasted on fruit, corn and freshly caught seafood. Later, when Columbus arrived on the scene in 1493, other meat, rice, wheat and oil products were thrown into the mix. These mingled flavors can be tasted in various forms in traditional Puerto Rican cuisine.
Puerto Rican literature and writings are about as old as the country itself. Early settlers would spend many hours picturesquely describing their surroundings and experiences in this newly found country. Spanish writers like Fray Tomas de la Torre and Gonzalo Fernandez are high on the list of noteworthy literates.