Puerto Rico - MC Grecof

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Puerto Rico





Discovered by Columbus in 1493, the island was ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. A popularly elected governor has served since 1948. In plebiscites held in 1967 and 1993, voters chose to retain commonwealth status



Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic

Geographic coordinates:

18 15 N, 66 30 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 9,104 sq km
land: 8,959 sq km
water: 145 sq km

Land boundaries:

0 km


501 km

Maritime claims:

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM


tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation


mostly mountains, with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Cerro de Punta 1,338 m

Natural resources:

some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil

Land use:

arable land: 4%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 26%
forests and woodland: 16%
other: 49% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land:

390 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; hurricanes

Environment - current issues:

erosion; occasional drought causing water shortages

Geography - note:

important location along the Mona Passage - a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal; San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean; many small rivers and high central mountains ensure land is well watered; south coast relatively dry; fertile coastal plain belt in north



3,937,316 (July 2001 est.)


noun: Puerto Rican(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Puerto Rican

Ethnic groups:

white (mostly Spanish origin) 80.5%, black 8%, Amerindian 0.4%, Asian 0.2%, mixed and other 10.9%


Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%


Spanish, English


Country name:

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
conventional short form: Puerto Rico

Dependency status:

commonwealth associated with the US

Government type:



San Juan

Flag description:

five equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears a large, white, five-pointed star in the center; design influenced by the US flag, but based on the Cuban flag


Economy - overview:

Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. A diverse industrial sector has surpassed agriculture as the primary locus of economic activity and income. Encouraged by duty-free access to the US and by tax incentives, US firms have invested heavily in Puerto Rico since the 1950s. US minimum wage laws apply. Sugar production has lost out to dairy production and other livestock products as the main source of income in the agricultural sector. Tourism has traditionally been an important source of income, with estimated arrivals of nearly 5 million tourists in 1999. Prospects for 2001 are clouded by a probable slowing down in both the construction and tourist sectors and by increasing inflation, particularly in energy and food prices; estimated growth will be 2%.


US dollar (US)

Currency code:


Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used



total: 96 km
narrow gauge: 96 km 1.000-m gauge, rural, narrow-gauge system for hauling sugarcane; no passenger service


Yauco Selecto is the latest expression of Puerto Rico's well developed coffee tradition. The history of coffee is closely tied to the history of this Caribbean island. First brought in 1736, the Spanish immigrants who settled on the island relegated coffee to a secondary role for the most part of the 18th century. At the time, the fertile valleys were their main concern and sugar and the crops were the order of the day. During the early part of the 19th century, events in Europe forced a migration of residents from the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. They arrived to Puerto Rico and were quickly told that if they wanted to farm, they would have to go to the highlands for all the valleys were taken by the Spanish immigrants. They settled in the Southwestern Mountains of the island, mostly around a town called Yauco. Hard work and determination was rewarded when they brought forth the idea of growing coffee in these high mountains. By the 1860s they dominated the coffee industry on the island and then made two important decisions that would affect the course of their history. Puertorrican coffee, particularly from the Yauco region, received a premium price all over Europe and by the 1890s represented a standard of excellence in production that many other countries sought to imitate. The island's production was the sixth largest in the world, and the fruit of those high lands that the Corsicans brought to life, was the pick of the crop. Yauco Selecto's owners trace their origin to this period. Two devastating hurricanes hit Puerto Rico during 1898. The hurricanes destroyed the coffee industry. Farmers needed to wait two years to begin seeing the crop return to its normal level. During this time, it was evident that the United States was interested in Puerto Rico (along with Cuba and the Philippines) for its sugar production. Tariffs gave coffee in Puerto Rico a severe blow as European nations no longer allowed our coffee to come in as a colonial product. The United States had a long standing agreement to buy the bulk of its coffee from Brazil. Market opportunities for our coffee were quickly drying up and all production efforts were directed toward sugar. Due to the close ties to the United States, growing coffee in Puerto Rico is a high cost operation. Just like Hawaii Kona, Puerto Rico's labor cost reflect U.S. Government standards. Environmental policies in effect in Puerto Rico also increase production costs

Cup taste:

The coffee from Puerto Rico is mild by nature, rich and has a full body. The taste is fruity with a slight spiciness, the acid is tender. The taste is complemented by a touch of dark chocolate.

The main customers:

USA, Frankreich, Japan


washed Arabica


mounting height


September bis March

Port of Export:

San Juan


45.000 Säcke (à 60 kg)

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