Basque Roots in Puerto Rico
Basque names run throughout Puerto Ricos history. Indeed, Basques played a significant role in Spanish rule of the island. At least seven governors carried Basque names during the 1800s. But unlike today, where Basques embrace their cultural identity, Basque officials in colonial Puerto Rico were beholden to the Spanish crown and considered themselves Spaniards, says longtime resident Javier Arzuaga, originally from Oñate in the Basque Country.