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The island of Puerto Rico (formerly Porto Rico) is the most easterly of the Greater Antilles group of the West Indies island chain.
Located more than a thousand miles southeast of Miami, Puerto Rico is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the Virgin Passage (which separates it from the Virgin Islands), on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the Mona Passage (which separates it from the Dominican Republic).
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The record high and low temperatures recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico's northeastern capital city, are 94 degrees and 64 degrees, respectively. This represents a three-fold increase since 1899—and 810,000 of those new births occurred between the years of 19 alone. Approximately 70 percent of the population is white and about 30 percent is of African or mixed descent.
World War II set the stage for the first major migration wave of Puerto Ricans to the mainland.Among other pro-Puerto Rican activities, María de Hostos founded the League of Patriots to help set up the Puerto Rican civil government in 1900. C., and served as Puerto Rico's ambassador to the States.Although Puerto Ricans began migrating to the United States almost immediately after the island became a U. protectorate, the scope of early migration was limited because of the severe poverty of average Puerto Ricans. Still, by 1920, less than 5,000 Puerto Ricans were living in New York City. By World War II that number soared to over 100,000 soldiers.The name Puerto Rico, meaning "rich port," was given to the island by its Spanish conquistadors (or conquerors); according to tradition, the name comes from Ponce de León himself, who upon first seeing the port of San Juan is said to have exclaimed, "¡Ay que puerto rico! A peaceful agricultural people, the Arawaks on the island of Puerto Rico were enslaved and virtually exterminated at the hands of their Spanish colonizers.Although Spanish heritage has been a matter of pride among islander and mainlander Puerto Ricans for hundreds of years—Columbus Day is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday—recent historical revisions have placed the conquistadors in a darker light.