Destination Spotlight: Puerto Rico

By: The Tiny Travelers Team

Did you know? The island was formed by an underground volcano, which caused the earth to rise up from the ocean floor. Though Puerto Rico is small, it has a rainforest, mountains, desert, as well as 7 miles of underground caves, not to mention a population of 3 million people.

The second official language is English! Puerto Rican Spanish is distinct, integrating thousands of words from the indigenous Taíno language, and even incorporating some English, which, combined with Spanish is known as Spanglish! An example of Puerto Rican Spanglish is the word “hanguiar” (ang-ee-are) which comes from the English phrase “hang out.”

Known as a symbol of freedom and independence, Puerto Ricans have looked to their flag when times get tough. The blue triangle represents the three branches of Puerto Rico’s government, as well as the water that surrounds the island! The red stripes serve as reminders for those who fought for Puerto Rico’s independence, while the white stripes stand for victory and peace.

You can find all types of birds, reptiles, bats, and spiders, but the Coquí frog is best known as Puerto Rico’s unofficial mascot! Unlike some frogs that go “ribbit” the Coquí frog goes: “Co-kee! Co-kee!” which is how it got its name. In the Puerto Rican rainforest there are 13 known species of Coquí frog. 

Puerto Ricans have many different delicious traditional foods, with common ingredients like plantains, rice, and pork. Popular dishes like MofongoTostones, Pernil, Pasteles, and Arroz con gandules can often be found on many Puerto Rican dinner tables.

The oldest part of the capital city, San Juan, is full of beautiful sights, from the brightly painted buildings, to the endless variety of shops and places to eat! The famous “El Morro” citadel is also a must-see location. And for those Tiny Travelers looking to get some real hands-on fun, Puerto Rico’s Museo del Niño (children’s museum) boasts countless interactive activities for young ones, including a cruise through a mangrove tree forest!

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