The island is
also popularly known in Spanish as "La Isla del Encanto" which means
"The Island of Enchantment" in English.
Puerto Rico is
an "unincorporated territory" of the United States, located in the
northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west
of the Virgin Islands.
It is "a
territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a
part of the United States." However, President Obama's Task Force on
Puerto Rico's Status issued a report on March 11, 2011 which
suggests that the task force considers Puerto Rico is already a part
of the United States, notwithstanding the 111 year-old Downes case.
Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") comprises an archipelago that
includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller
islands. The main island of Puerto Rico is the smallest by land area
of the Greater Antilles. It, however, ranks third in population
among that group of four islands, which also include Cuba,
Hispaniola, and Jamaica.
Municipality of Puerto Rico is located in the northeast coast
Luquillo is known as "La Capital del Sol" (sun capital) and "La
Riviera de Puerto Rico" (Puerto Rico's riviera). Luquillo was
founded in 1797 by Cristóbal Guzmán. The town was named after the
Indian cacique Loquillo, who died a few years after the last Indian
rebellion in 1513.
If you return to or stay on the coastal highway, you'll soon reach
Luquillo Beach. This huge plantation of majestic coconut palms
shades more than a mile of fine and shimmering sand. It is one of
the most popular and nicest public beaches in the San Juan area. It
offers cafeterias, public bathrooms with showers, access for
disabled people, and an ample parking lot. Monserrate Beach is one
of the public beaches most frequented by the locals.
PASO FINO HORSE
The Paso Fino, the mount of the Spanish conquistadors, has proud
ties to a glorious past and closely connected with Puerto Rico. It
is the oldest true native breed of horse in the Western Hemisphere.
The Conquistadors and The Paso Finos
The Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino (PPR), originated in Puerto Rico.
The history of the beautiful Paso Fino began with the exploration of
America by the Conquistadors. America had no horses, so these
Spanish explorers brought Andalusians, Spanish Barb and Spanish
Jennets (an extinct breed) over on their ships. These horses were
bred together, creating the foundation stock of the Paso Fino breed.
The offspring of these horses exhibited a very smooth gait as well
as a graceful carriage. Over the next 500 years, the breed was
refined to create a small to average sized horse with stamina, an
unusually smooth gait and a beautiful look.
The Paso Fino was developed in many areas of Latin America,
expecially in Puerto Rico, Today, a large population of these
refined mounts can be found outside of
Latin America. The Paso Fino was virtually unknown until after World
War II. American military personnel were stationed in Puerto Rico in
the mid-1940s, and were amazed when they saw the incredible Paso
Finos. They began importing them into the United States. By the
1960s, horses from Colombia were also being imported.
There was some controversy for awhile as to which country bred the
"true" Paso Fino. While it is true that there were some differences,
the horses were still remarkably similar. Horses from Puerto Rico
had a lighter frame and they were bred to execute an even footstep
with no sign of diagonal movement like the trot.
A mixture of three European breeds - the Andalu-sian, the Barb and
the now extinct gaited horse the Spanish Jennet - the descendants of
today's Paso Fino
were transported to the New WorId on the second voyage of
Over times these horses came to be known as Los Caballos de Paso
Fino, "the horse with the fine step." "The Paso Fino"