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Doris M. Vazquez
A timely reason for preparing this unit is that in 1993, Puerto Rico will celebrate the 500th anniversary of its discovery by Christopher Columbus. This unit will therefore serve as cultural and historical enrichment for students in Spanish, Social Studies, and Bilingual classes in the junior and high school levels. Regular Spanish and Social Studies class students will learn about the culture and history of Puerto Rico and students in the Bilingual Program will be able to relate and reaffirm to their historical and cultural roots.
Life on the island of Boriquén, as the Taino Indians called Puerto Rico, was never the same after the arrival of the Spaniards in 1493. The fate of the Indians and their lifestyle was to disappear. They struggled valiantly but in vain to resist the domination by the conquerors.
The Spaniards’ quest to discover, colonize, and Christianize was unstoppable. The Indians were forced to give up many things: their direct communication with nature, their religion, and their homeland. Time proved that they would be extinct by midsixteenth century. They were forced to build homes, roads, and forts for the intruders and spend hours on end panning for gold. The Indians died because of exhaustion, starvation, desperation with their unexplainable situation, and illnesses unknown to them brought by the colonizers.
The process of colonizing, of building forts and towns, and Christianizing was slow at first and often discouraging. The Spaniards were prepared for dealing with the initial stages of discovering and conquering new lands and people. It was the difficulty in dealing with the magnitude of their enterprise in the New World which proved to be the key to the downfall of the Spanish Empire.
The earliest inhabitants, arcaicos or the Archaic Indians, were nomadic fishermen and did not know anything about farming, pottery making, stone carving, boat building, or making bows and arrows. The araucos or Arawaks, on the other hand, were farmers, boat builders, pottery makers, stone, wood, and bone carvers, and had bows and arrows. The Arawaks were better prepared on all counts over the Archaic Indians and either eliminated the Archaic Indians altogether or fused them into their culture.
The Arawaks were described by González Fernández de Oviedo, the first historian of the Indies, as being: “of copper colored skin, with straight but thick hair, high cheek bones, black colored eyes slightly oblique in shape.”1 Because of the climate, they wore little or no clothing and painted their bodies with red and black resins. Only the married woman wore a sliplike skirt called a nagua.
There were two phases of development of the Arawak Indian culture, the igneri and taino. The older of the two, the igneri, excelled in pottery making. The taino phase excelled in stone carving, especially in the elaboration of arrow heads and religious artifacts. The igneri phase has been dated from the year 120 A.D. to around the year 1000 A.D. The taino phase lasted from the year 1000 A.D. until their extinction in the sixteenth century.
The Taino Indians lived in villages called yucayeques. There were two kinds of living quarters, the bohio, which was circular in shape, and the caney, which was larger and rectangular in shape. In this larger structure lived the cacique or the chief and the religious leaders. They had a caste system made of the military noblemen or tainos, the priests and doctors or boitis, and the common folk or naboris. They were very religious and worshipped gods that represented the forces of nature. Yukiyu represented the positive forces and Huracan represented the negative ones. The Indians idolized the cemi, a stone or clay figure that embodied the good and evil forces.
There were twenty or more villages or yucayeques on the island of Boriquén when the Spaniards arrived. These yucayeques were self-sufficient and selfgoverning, but when an emergency or attack arose they united under the command of Agueybana, the Elder, of Guainia, the principal headquarters on the southwestern end of the island. The Tainos were peace loving but were valiant warriors when they needed to defend themselves. When the Spaniards discovered Puerto Rico, the Tainos were at war with another group of Indians, the maneating Caribs, attacking from the Leeward Islands. These were the general conditions on the island at the time of the arrival of the Spanish conquerors toward the end of the fifteenth century.
The term Plateresque is used in architectural decoration to refer to its connection with plateria or silverwork. In Spanish architecture, the Plateresque style first consisted of Gothic motifs applied to Gothic constructions, but later these were applied to Renaissance structures or the Renaissance motifs applied to Gothic structures. The Renaissance Plateresque differed from the Isabelline style in that the ornamentation was more controlled and unified, and it also introduced massive effects which displaced Gothic lightness and articulation. The Isabelline Plateresque was the style of the fifteenth century and the Renaissance Plateresque was in vogue in the sixteenth century. Midway in the six-teenth century, the Italianate style, which was very classical and purist in its statement, was imported into Spain from Italy. Its designs were unadorned, symmetrical, but yet elegant. The emphasis was placed on the building itself and not in the decoration as was the emphasis of the Plateresque styles.
The Isabelline and Renaissance Plateresque styles and to some extent the Italianate, were transplanted from Spain to the colonies. On the islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, the architecture was not influenced by any Indian or native element. The buildings were designed and built by Spaniards. The tendency, however, was to simplify the Plateresque style rather than add to it, partly due to the materials available and to economic restraints.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the islands became strategic watchpoints in the Atlantic as Spain obtained more riches from its colonies. The new cities were under attack constantly. Massive fortifications were needed to protect the shipments from the Mexican silver and Peruvian gold mines. While the building of the forts went on, little attention was paid to the construction of churches, public buildings, and private homes. The structures within the forts were usually wooden houses and huts.
In 1516, Franciscan friars built their monastery in Espinar, a sector of Aguada. This monastery was destroyed in 1528 and the five friars living there were killed by the Indians. The friars rebuilt the monastery in 1590, and in 1639 they built a Chapel on the very spot where the five friars were killed.
Aguada was a stopover for ships on their way to Spain from South America. Here they would rest and get new supplies of food and water for the remainder of their trip. Like other coastal towns, Aguada was attacked by English, French, and Dutch enemies.
Agueybaná agreed to let Ponce de León select any spot on the island to build a Spanish stronghold in exchange for assistance in fighting against the Carib Indians. Ponce de León selected Caparra, on the northern coast of the island near to what is now San Juan. The bay that was close to Caparra was one of the best that Ponce de León had seen and he named it Puerto Rico, which means rich port. In time, however, the island came to be called Puerto Rico and the city, San Juan.
Caparra turned out to be a bad choice not only its location, as it was difficult to reach from the bay, but also because of the mosquitoes that abounded there. Ponce de León remained in Caparra for about twelve years after which the city was moved to a place closer to the bay and with a more advantageous location in case of an attack from the sea.
The Bishop Alonso Manso chose the location for the Cathedral of San Juan and work on it began immediately. After his death in 1539, a hurricane destroyed it completely. In 1540, reconstruction of the building was begun but this time with stronger construction materials. It was a grand undertaking and one of the few examples of medieval architecture in America. The reconstruction was interrupted when Bishop Bastidas, the director of the task, left for Santo Domingo. The next bishop, Diego de Salamanca, ordered further work but changed the style to Gothic Plateresque. It was not until halfway into the nineteenth century that the Cathedral was finally completed.
In 1523, the Church and Monastery of Saint Thomas Aquinas was begun. Ponce de León gave the friars the land where they were to build their monastery. The actual building of the church now called San Jose began in 1532, even though it took many years to complete. The section erected in 1532, The Main Chapel or Sanctuary, is an example of Isabelline Gothic style, especially in its stelliform dome of stone blocks. The Sancturay was finished in 1539. This church was destined to be the burial place for Juan Ponce de León and all of his descendants. Ponce de León remained buried in the crypt at San José from 1559 to 1836, when his remains were exhumed and later transferred to the Cathedral.
Because of the increasing interest on the part of Spain’s enemies, England and Holland, Puerto Rico became a target of attacks of these two countries. The Mexican Situado, which was the shipment of great treasures from Mexico, was brought to San Juan periodically. The city was subsequently attacked in 1595 by Francis Drake and in 1598 by George Clifford; both attacks were unsuccessful. Things were different when Boudoin Hendricks bombarded the city in 1625, with seventeen ships. This was the worst attack the city had ever experienced and it was followed by others on a smaller scale.
The attacks on the city prompted the building of huge walls that connected the two main forts, El Morro and La Fortaleza, and also enclosed what was the city of San Juan in 1630. The city at the beginning of the seventeenth century was composed of three hundred houses, one hundred and twenty huts or bohios, sixteen hundred Spaniards and two thousand mulattoes. The walls were finished in 1639, and with the completion of the walls, the city became a fortress and a Spanish watchpoint in the Atlantic, even if Spanish supremacy on land or sea was on the decline. The walls were made of limestone, mortar, and sand. The thickness of the walls varied from twenty feet at the base and twelve feet at the top. Engineers and architects were brought from Spain to design and direct the huge undertaking.
San Felipe del Morro, named in honor of King Phillip II, provided little protection to the city in 1540 when construction began. In 1591, major defense work was undertaken to protect the fort from inland attack. It proved unpenetrable to the attack by Sir Francis Drake in 1595. It fell to Earl of Cumberland in 1598, who approached the fort by land but was driven out by an epidemic of dysentery. In 1625, the Dutch under the command of Boudoin Hendricks took over, ransacked, and burned the city but could not enter the fort and consequently left.
The other fortress, La Fortaleza, was authorized to be built by Charles I as a defense against raids by Carib Indians. It was completed in 1540. The fortress proved to be of little value as a defense post, and it became the official residence of the governors and their families. It was twice occupied by invaders, the Earl of Cumberland in 1598 and the Dutch General Boudoin Hendricks in 1625. La Fortaleza is the oldest executive mansion still in use in the New World.
Just to the north of La Fortaleza is the San Juan gate. This gate opened to La Caleta de San Juan, a narrow street which led up to the Cathedral from the harbor. Travelers of the sixteenth would walk up La Caleta to the Cathedral to give thanks for a safe journey. There were a total of six gates originally but only two remain today after the walls were torn down allowing for the city to grow.
Facing the Plaza de Armas, one of many in the city, the alcaldia or city hall, was constructed in stages beginning in 1604 and ending in 1789. The city hall resembles Madrid’s city hall with its double arcade. The Plaza de Armas was planned as the city’s main square. Here the soldiers would practice defense drills. The plaza fulfilled the Spanish sixteenth century requirements in size and purpose.
The town of San Germán was founded officially after several attempts in 1573. This town was not built on the coast as were the other original settlements. Rather, it was built twenty kilometers inland, but the attacks from pirates persisted. Drake attacked in 1595 and in 1625 the Dutch attacked. Both enemies were driven away.
The Church of Porta Coeli was begun under the direction of the Priest Antonio Mej’a in 1606. It was built high on a hill overlooking the town of San Germán. The building itself is small and simple in structure and native woods mark a deep contrast with its white walls. The church now serves as a museum of religious art. There is another church in San Germán, which is larger and more elaborate in construction and style. Each church has a plaza facing it and both are within walking distance of each other. The two plazas are separated by the cabildo or police headquarters. Records state that there was a hospital in San Germán in 1531, and in 1606 it was housed in the alcaldia or town hall.
The town was built on a penninsula and in 1616 had eighty families living there. The church and the plaza were in place with two main streets on either side of the plaza, as was the typical format of the newly built towns of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In the last decades of the sixteenth century, Lo’za became a sugar cane center. To provide hand labor, many black slaves were brought to work at the mills and plantations. There were repeated attacks from the Carib Indians, English, and French but the sugar plantations kept growing and so did the negro population. Lo’za was proclaimed a town officially in 1692, among the first on the island. Descendants of the slaves still live in Lo’za and the town is famous for its blend of African and Christian heritage and traditions. The town is of humble origins and its church, plaza, and alcald’a are simple, unadorned pieces of architectural design.
Friar Diego de Salamanca founded the hermitage of San Blas and lived there until 1618 aided by the economical support of the families of the town. The church in 1616 was made of brick and thatch, and its architecture had the simple characteristic lines of the construction done on the island.
Coamo is famous for its thermal springs. They are noted for their healing and therapeutic waters. Long before the Spaniards arrived on the island, the Indians bathed in these waters, and according to legend, this was the fountain of youth that the Indians spoke to Ponce de León about which he mistakenly went to search for in Florida, and unfortunately for him the search would end in his death.
In 1670, a small chapel was built in the area where the actual plaza is now located. Ponce de León y Loaiza was the town’s most enthusiastic colonizer; it was his main interest to have this area settled and unified into a town. These were the humble beginnings of what would become a very important and aristocratic city. The spacious plaza is the home of the Cathedral of Lady of Guadalupe which is located on the plaza instead of facing it. The alcaldia or town hall faces the plaza as do fine homes, commercial buildings, and banks.
To the north of the city are the grounds of the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center. It is the oldest Indian cemetery uncovered up to date. According to Juan Gonzalez Colon in his thesis : “ . . . we have proven that the plazas and bateyes in Tibes were made between 700 and 1200 A.D., a time when preTaino groups were in full development, and which were the origin of the wellknown Taino Indian group . . . ”3
This archeological discovery affirms that the Igneri Indians (pre-Taino) did not completely disappear without leaving traces of their existence other than samples of ceramic pottery. At Tibes, there is proof that the Igneris were farmers, fishermen, and hunters of birds and small animals. The plazas and bateyes vary in size and shape, with one being circular and bordered by triangular stone forms. This dance ground resembles a rising sun; its stone triangle points line up with the sun during equinoxes and solstices, making Tibes a possible astronomical observatory from preColumbian times. Further studies and investigations are being done presently on Tibes.
At this point I would like to thank everyone who, in one way or another, went out of their way to give me information on this topic. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, which is housed in the Dominican Convent in Old San Juan, provided much of the information about the old city. The library at E1 Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, housed in the Casa Blanca, proved to be a wonderful reference center. In San Germán, I spoke to a man who has taken it upon himself to build a historical park behind the Porta Coeli Church. Everywhere I went on the island, the sights and history were fantastic. This is one unit that I have truly enjoyed preparing for the Teachers’ Institute. I hope it proves useful to those who use it in their classrooms.
Two other units that I have written, La Nueva Canción de Puerto Rico and The Art of the Puerto Rican People may also prove very useful and interesting when teaching about the Indians and Spaniards in Puerto Rico. The first unit deals with a musical movement of the late seventies and early eighties which exhalted the legacy left to the Puerto Ricans by the Tainos. The second unit, accompanied by slides and art reproductions, covers the artistic contributions starting with the Igneri phase of the Arawak Indians and concluding with some contemporary artists. Both units complement this unit and provide a more complete picture of Puerto Rico and its culture.
The lesson plans for this unit will divide the information presented into three separate sequels, each of which may last from one to several days. The first lesson will deal with the Indians and Boriquén. The second lesson will be on the discovery and conquerors and the city of San Juan. Lesson three will cover the rest of the towns presented; each lesson will have slides to accompany it.
Objective This lesson will provide a historical background on the Pre-Columbian conditions on the island of Puerto Rico.
- yucayeque—Taino word for town or village
- cacique—Tribe chief
- Aqueybana—The most powerful of the Indian caciques, his yucayeque was Guainia
- Yuisa—Woman cacique of the yucayeque Haymanio
- bohio—Circular hut made of palm trees and twig
- caney—Rectangular hut, home of the cacique or religious leaders
- Ta’no—Military noblemen
- Boit’s—Religious priests and doctors
- Hamaca—Indian hanging bed made of cotton strings or fibers from the Maguey plant; a hammock
- Dujos—Short legged seats used by the caciques, made of wood or stone
- Casabe—A type of bread made of yucca
- nagua—An apronlike skirt used by married Indian women
- Guan’n—A round gold amulet worn by the cacique
- Cemi—Idols or amulets, triangular in shape; with a face of a man or an animal on one point, the extremities on another end, and a cone-shape on the third point. It was worshipped by the Tainos.
- Caribes—Maneating Indians from the Leeward Islands.
1. Introduce the vocabulary. 2. List the yucayeques on Boriquén with their caciques. a. How many yucayeques were on the island of Boriquén when the Spaniards arrived? b. What is the name of the yucayeque where Agueybana lived? c. Compare the two maps. (They may be reproduced) Which of the towns established by the Spaniards coincide in location with Taino yucayeques? The first town built was Caparra, which yucayeque was located near it? 3. According to the definitions of vocabulary identify the following illustrations.
4. Fill in the blanks. a. The Ta’no Indians called the Indians from the Leeward Islands b. _____ was the home of the cacique. c. _____ was a woman cacique. d. _____ was an Indian town or village. e. A bread made of yucca was called _____. f. A married Indian woman wore a _____. g. The military noblemen were called _____. h. The most powerful of the Indian caciques of Boriquén was _____. i. The _____ were the religious priests and doctors. j. The word _____ comes from the Indian word hamaca. 5. Independent projects: a. Make a scale model of a Ta’no yucayeque. b. Write a report on the caste system of the Ta’no Indians. c. Write a report on the religious beliefs of the Ta’no Indians.
Objective This lesson will describe the establishments of Caparra and the city of San Juan, and the important Spanish architectural contributions.
Iglesia San José—El Convento
La Catedral de San Juan
La Casa Blanca
La Alcaldia-Plaza de Armas
1. Define the vocabulary. 2. Using the map of Old San Juan, trace a route of the places described on the slide presentation. Color the map. a. walls-brown b. San Jose Church-yellow c. all plazas-green d. Catedral de San Juan-pink e. La Fortaleza-gray f. La Alcaldia-orange g. La Casa Blanca-blue h. E1 Convento-beige 4. Using another map of San Juan, fill in the names of the streets without names. 5. Write a report on one of the landmarks in San Juan.
- Océano Atlántico
- El Viejo San Juan
Objective The lesson will describe the six towns established on the island of Puerto Rico in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
- Aguada-On the Northwest coast of Puerto Rico, claims to be the landing place of Columbus on his second voyage.
- San Germán-About twenty kilometers inland on the Southwestern end of Puerto Rico; home of Porta Coeli; town with two plazas; second town founded by the Spaniards.
- Arecibo-On the Northern coast, west of San Juan, known as the Villa of Captain Correa, a local hero; built on a penninsula; famous for its radar/radio telescope, the largest in the world.
- Lo’za-On the Northern coast, east of San Juan; has one of the highest percentages of African descendants on the island; famous for its festival and coconut crafts.
- Coamo-Located northeast of Ponce; considered the third town on the island; famous for its thermal springs, Los Banos de Coamo.
- Ponce-Located in the southern part of Puerto Rico; also known as La Perla del Sur.
- plaza—town square
- alcaldia—town hall
1. Using a detailed map of roads and highways of Puerto Rico, trace the routes to each town with San Juan as a starting point. 2. Imagine a threeday visit to Puerto Rico, and you wanted to see all of six towns; how could you group these towns to be able to visit all of them? 3. Select one of the six towns, and write a detailed report on its founding. 4. Research the names of each town, and state whether its origin is Indian or Spanish. 5. After viewing the slide presentation, what do all the towns have in common?
Slides to be used with Lesson One.
- 1A—Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center in Ponce. Igneri burial grounds and museum.
- 1B—Tibes River
- 1C—Bohio Taino
- 1D—Yucayeque Taino
- 1E—Path to dance or game grounds
- 1F—Indian batey or plaza
- 1G—Petroglyph or stone carving
- 1H—Circular dance grounds, resembling a rising sun, it is possibly an astronomical observatory
- 1I—Paths to grounds
- 1J—Rectangular batey, probably used to play ball, a game similar to soccer where the players could not use their hands. Teams of men and/or women played against each other.
Slides to be used with Lesson Two
- 2A—Plaque on site of remains of Ponce de León’s house in Caparra, first settlement in Puerto Rico
- 2B—Part of the ruins; the house was made of wood with a stone base
- 2C—Plaque on site of first chapel in Puerto Rico
- 2D—Site of first chapel, no ruins, it was made of wood and thatch
- 2E—Museum at Caparra which has collection of items found at the ruins
- 2F—El Morro, fort on the northern tip of San Juan
- 2G—Grounds within El Morro, the walls which surrounded the city are visible
- 2H—Sentry box or garita—El Morro
- 2I—Ramp on second level of El Morro, the fort has a total of four levels
- 2J—View from the second level
- 2K—Entrance to Casa Blanca, second home for Ponce de León and his descendants, Ponce de León never lived there.
- 2L—Storerooms at Casa Blanca
- 2M—Casa Blanca, two story home for the governor
- 2N—San Jose Church, formerly Saint Thomas Aquinas. It is the oldest church in the Americas
- 2O—El Convento, adjoining San Jose Church, now the home of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena
- 2P—Calle del Cristo in Old San Juan, Cathedral of San Juan in the distance
- 2Q—The Cathedral of San Juan
- 2R—Side view of Cathedral and the lanterns on top of domes
- 2S—La Caleta de San Juan, narrow street from the San Juan gate which leads to the Cathedral
- 2T—La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in the New World. Main Entrance.
- 2U—Interior patio of La Fortaleza
- 2V—La Torre del Norte—Watchtower
- 2W—Fountain—Arabic style
- 2X—One of many sentry boxes at La Fortaleza
- 2Y—Narrow street in the city, street paved with adoquines
- 2Z—Tanca Street South, Spanish style two-story homes
- 2AA—Spanish balcony
- 2BB—Step Street
- 2CC—La alcaldia or town hall, still in use, Plaza de Armas is in front
- 2DD—Towers on either side of the alcaldia, Spanish coat of arms in the center
- 2EE—Arched walkway at the alcaldia
- 2FF—Statue in honor of Christopher Columbus—Plaza de Colon
Slides to be used with Lesson Three
- 3A—Monument, Cruz de Colon, in Aguada, on spot where Columbus landed
- 3B— View of the Atlantic Ocean from Aguada
- 3C—Sunset in Aguada
- 3D—Church, Parroquia de San Francisco de Asis, and plaza in Aguada
- 3E—Alcaldia or town hall of Aguada
- 3F—Porta Coeli Church, San Germán, built in 1606
- 3G—Detail of building materials of Porta Coeli
- 3H—Plaza in front of Porta Coeli
- 3I—Alcaldia of San Germán
- 3J—Church of San Germán
- 3K—Plaza and church of San Germán
- 3L—Iglesia de Felipe Apostol
- 3N—Spanish architecture
- 3O—Street off plaza
- 3P—Street off plaza
- 3Q—Catholic church—Iglesia de San Patricio
- 3T—Another view of the plaza
- 3U—Plaque of Coamo
- 3V—Catholic church—Iglesia de San Blas
- 3X—Parador Banos de Coamo
- 3Y—Thermal springs
- 3Z—Chemical analysis of thermal waters
- 3AA—Towers of Cathedral Our Lady of Guadalupe
- 3BB—Parque de Bombas—found in back of the Cathedral
- 3CC—View of plaza and buildings
- 3DD—Spanish gas light
- 3EE—Main fountain on plaza and alcaldia
- 3FF—Interior patio in alcaldia
- 3GG—Street facing alcaldia
- 3HH—Banks and other commercial buildings facing plaza
1. Figueroa, Breve Historia de Puerto Rico, p. 31. 2. Caro Costas, Antologia de Lecturas de Historia de Puerto Rico, pp.2324.
- 3. González Colón, “Tibes, Un Centro Ceremonial Indigena”, p.7.
1. Bevan, Bernard, History of Spanish Architecture, B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1938. 2. Brau, Salvador, Historia de Puerto Rico, Editorial Edil, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1978. 3. Buschiazzo, Mario J., La Arquitectura Colonial en Hispano America, Buenos Aires, 1940. 4. Caro Costas, Aida R., Antolog’a de Lecturas de Historia de Puerto Rico (Siglos XVXVIII), Editorial Universitaria, Rio Piedras, 1977. 5. Castro Pereda, Rafael, España en América, cinco siglos en perspectiva, Centro Grafico del Caribe, Capparra Heights, Puerto Rico, 1985. 6. Damaz, Paul F., Art in Latin American Architecture, Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1963. 7. Fernández Méndez, Eugenio, Crónicas de Puerto Rico (1493-1955), Editorial UPR, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1969. 8. Figueroa, Loida, Breve Historia de Puerto Rico, Volumen I, Nueva Edicion Revisada, Editorial Edil, Rio piedras, Puerto Rico, 1979. 9. González Colón, Juan, “Tibes, Un Centro Ceremonial Indigena”, Editorial Kinder Printing, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1985.
- 10. Kubler, George; Soria Martin, Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and Their American Dominions, 1500 to 1800, Penguin Books, Great Britain, 1959.
- 11. Reynal, Vicente, Diccionario de Hombres y Mujeres Ilustres de Puerto Rico y de Hechos Historicos, Editorial Edil, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1985.
- 12. Toro Sugrañes, Jose A., Almanaque Puertorriqueño, Editorial Edil, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1985.
- 1. Alegria, Ricardo E. , Discovery , Conquest, and Colonization of Puerto Rico 14931599, Barcelona, Spain, 1974.
- In English and Spanish. This is a wellillustrated and informative book on the fifteenth and sixteenth century.
- 2. ___, History of the Indians of Puerto Rico, Barcelona, Spain. 1970.
- In English and Spanish. This is detailed book on the Indians of Puerto Rico.
- 3. Masters, Robert V. , Puerto Rico in Pictures, Sterling Publishing Co. , Inc. , New York, 1979.
- This book brings the history of Puerto Rico through pictures and chapter explanations, from its discovery to the present day.
- 4. Perl, Lila, Puerto Rico, Island Between Two Worlds, William Morrow and Company, New York, 1979.
- This book would be a terrific textbook for junior or high school students. It is very well illustrated and the information is well researched and attractively presented.
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