Podróż do Puerto Rico. Przenieście się nad czyste morze gdzie jest pyszne jedzenie, rum i niespotykane gatunki zwierząt. Posłuchajcie o Puerto Rico – o wyspie na morzu karaibskim, gdzie można poczuć się jak w raju, jej historii i codzienności. Pobierz kartę pracy ze słownictwem ze strony www.monikapodbielska.com i podróżuj ze mną w piękny rejon!

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Puerto Rico is an island located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is east of the Dominican Republic and slightly west of the Virgin Islands. Roughly speaking it is between the North and South Americas. The capital city is San Juan. In Puerto Rico there live about 3.3 million people, so as many as in Warsaw only. It is a territory of the United States and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and are subject to federal laws. The currency is the U.S. Dollar. Also, U.S. phone cards work normally in the territory of Puerto Rico. As you may imagine, the majority of inhabitants speak English fluently due to close relations with the United States and so the two official languages are Spanish and English. To travel to Puerto Rico you need an American visa, the same as the one to go the United States mainland.

Christopher Columbus discovered the Island during his second trip on November 19, 1493. The place was inhabited with about 50.000 Taino Indians. The Indians showed Columbus plenty of gold in rivers which he was free to take.

Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista after John the Baptist. The first settlement was named Puerto Rico, which means a rich port due to its buoyant natural resources, gold and the location of the island itself.

Later, thanks to one of Columbus’ lieutenants named Juan de León, the settlement became the most important military outpost for the Spanish. So, the names were switched, and San Juan became the name of the port and military outpost and the island became known as Puerto Rico. The port was often attacked by the Dutch, French and English in attempts to conquer the rich island. Forts and castles were built to protect the island, but the really impressive citadels were never defeated and nowadays we can enjoy a walk there.

European arrival in the Carribean would devastate the thriving Taíno community. In less than 100 years, smallpox had killed the vast majority of the indigenous population. Those who survived were ultimately enslaved by Spanish immigrants.

Puerto Rico’s Caribbean location ensures that there is nice and warm temperature all year long.

Puerto Rico is south of the Tropic of Cancer and it has a tropical marine climate. There is no distinct wet or dry season. In summer the average temperature varies at about 33 degrees Celsius and in winter at about 31.

With this nice hot temperature sometimes during the day you get nice showers of light rainfall which is very refreshing!

The island is covered mostly with rainforests on mountainous slopes. The most famous rainforest is called El Younque National Forest and is located in northeastern Puerto Rico.

This rainforest as well as the whole island are home to plenty of animal species, some of them living only in Puerto Rico. Sometimes sitting in the garden in the evening I could admire sounds which made me sure to hear a beautifully singing bird. How much I was wrong! In fact it was a fascinating frog called coqui. Coqui begins its songs as the sun sets and ends in early dawn. So all nights you may enjoy this absolutely amazing sound of a singing frog. There have been many attempts to take this species out of the Puerto Rico island, but it was always dying not long after leaving the island. So to hear it sing you need to visit Puerto Rico.

Also, there is a Puerto Rican parrot. It is a bird up to 30 cm long, green with a red forehead and white rings around the eyes.

Especially at weekends we may admire how people spend their free time. Loads of them ride a small breed of horses called Horse of Paso Fino which was created in 1509 in Puerto Rico. The locals are extremely attached and proud of this breed and spend a lot of time with these horses.

Around the island you find legendary beautiful beaches. The most famous of all is Flamenco Beach, which is frequently voted as one of the best beaches in the world and ranks highest in travel sites like TripAdvisor.

It is never too crowded, just like the whole island. It offers perfect sand and the water is super clear, refreshing and warm.

Puerto Rico is full of history, art and color. Inhabitants remember their roots and highly value its native culture. Often refer to the original name of the place – Borinquen. It is common to hear around traditional music of Borinquen, also on the radio with stories told in the background. Generally Puerto Ricans love listening to Latino music and dance to it especially merengue. And did you know that so popular Salsa originated in Puerto Rico? They all know how to dance it and dance it often just out of nothing, in the middle of the day. So if you want to go dancing it is a good idea to get some steps of Latino dances as then you will have fun all night long.

To get the most of the historic sites you should go to the Old San Juan where you will be able to see UNESCO World Heritage Site with forts protecting the island and admire colorful buildings in the Old Town as well as visit the local museums. Southwest of Puerto Rico may be found a beautiful 1882 lighthouse overlooking the island.

Puerto Rican food is delicious and rather heavy. They enjoy a lot of meat and they also have their own national sausage called Morcilla.  They have a lot of rice and beans with Puerto Rican spices and of course a lot of seafood with fresh Lobster on top! Once I bought in a supermarket a plant which looked exactly like a banana. How much fun the locals had when I peeled it and started eating! In fact it was a platano. Platanos look more or less like bananas, but these are vegetables and you prepare them like our potatoes – you need to boil or roast them. And so many Puerto Rican dishes are based on this vegetable like mofongo or tostones. Or they are just added  for example to soup.

And let’s not forget about rum! This is an area frequented by pirates in the past and nowadays Puerto Ricans also love their rum. (by the way: while snorkeling around the island it is common to see original old wooden pirate ships from XVI and XVII centuries, which is absolutely fascinating). It is worth it to visit Puerto Rico only to step in to Casa Bacardi in San Juan where all the possible rum tastes prevail in multiple of drinks and attractions. And a fun fact: from the top in a helicopter ride you may see a huge Bacardi logo in the swimming pool in front of Bacardi’s owner house.

In the last years though, Puerto Rico has been dealing with economic problems. A lot of people live under the poverty line. In order to deal with it there have been introduced numerous changes. The country declared to switch to clean energy sources. Soon they are planning to eliminate their reliance on coal completely and run on green energy only.