Christopher Columbus arrived at Puerto Rico in 1493. He originally called the island San Juan Bautista, but thanks to the gold in the river, it was soon known as Puerto Rico, or "rich port;" and the capital city took the name San Juan. Soon, Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony on its way to becoming an important military outpost.
Puerto Rico began to produce cattle, sugar cane, coffee and tobacco, which led to the importation of slaves from Africa. As a result, Puerto Rican bloodlines and culture evolved through a mixing of the Spanish, African, and indigenous Indian races that shared the island.
In 1898 during the Spanish American War the United States defeated Spain and got control of Puerto Rico. The United States viewed Puerto Rico as a profitable site for tropical agriculture, but its main purpose in seizing the island was to have a secure coaling station for its warships. This would guarantee a strong U.S. naval presence in the Caribbean.
On March 2, 1917, President Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act, under which Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans were granted statutory citizenship, meaning that citizenship was granted by an act of Congress and not by the Constitution
Today Puerto Rico remains a US Territory and is ran by a Governor and State Government. Right now there is much turmoil politically cause the former Governor and his administration were proven to be corrupt so corrupt this past July he was forced out of office.
Lighthouse ruins of Aguadilla
Even on the West Coast of the island. You can see the spanish influence over the city by the town plazas and how they are designed. In every town plaze there is the Catholic Church in the center with the seperate corners housing the bank, the police station, the Mayors office, and finally the fire station.
Home to some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, the west coast has some of the best surfing beaches, some amazing sunsets and even whale migration can be seen in the winter. Temperatures are generally cooler here than anywhere esle on the island and there is usually a ocean breeze if you are by the coast. Due to an Old Air Force Base that is still used by the Coast Guard and National Guard, there is a strong Amerian presence on the west coast. There is a definite different feel on the west coast where everyone and everything seems to slow down more compared to busy San Juan.