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The Spanish word huracán originated from the Taíno juracán, the sacred name for this phenomenon.Spain turned Puerto Rico into a military stronghold.Taínos were Amerindians who occupied the island before European domination.Then estimated at thirty thousand, they were reduced to two thousand by the seventeenth century through exploitative labor, disease, native uprisings, and emigration to the other islands.The two names were switched over the centuries: the island became Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan. This sense of uniqueness also shapes their migrant experience and relationship with other ethnoracial groups in the United States.The United States anglicized the name to "Porto Rico" when it occupied the island in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans are a Caribbean people who regard themselves as citizens of a distinctive island nation in spite of their colonial condition and U. However, this cultural nationalism coexists with a desire for association with the United States as a state or in the current semiautonomous commonwealth status. Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south. It was thus a valuable acquisition for European powers and the United States. Navy has used its offshore islands for military maneuvers that have damaged their ecology, economy, and quality of life.

In 1519 Caparra had to be relocated to a nearby coastal islet with a healthier environment; it was renamed Puerto Rico ("Rich Port") for its harbor, among the world's best natural bays.The nineteenth century also brought Corsican, French, German, Lebanese, Scottish, Italian, Irish, English, and American immigration. Many Dominicans immigrated in search of economic opportunities; some use Puerto Rico as a port of entry into the United States.Tension and prejudice against these two groups have emerged.San Juan was walled and fortified to house military forces, but the other settlements were neglected until the eighteenth century; isolated by the scarcity of roads, they subsisted on contraband, with little official management. Census projections for 2000 place the population at 3,916,000, not including the estimated 2.7 million Puerto Ricans in the mainland United States.The impenetrable highlands became a refuge in which settlers, runaway slaves, Taínos, and deserters produced a racially mixed population. Almost 70 percent of the island is urban, in contrast to its rural character up to the 1940s.

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