Have a look at Puerto Rico, land of the Rip Curl Search Pro
Rincon : photo Emiliano Gatica
A quick look at Puerto Rico
The Rip Curl Search Pro is taking place in Puerto Rico in early November 2010. What do you know about the place ? Oh yeh, it's in the Caribbean and there's fantatsic waves at Rincon......... and the chicks are cute. There is a bit more to Puerto Rico than that. Read on....
For decades the Island of Puerto Rico has been home for many successful regional and international amateur surfing championships. It's rich culture, warm welcome to visitors, and high quality waves on offer, has been the key for the success of these events, earning the island the title 'Capital of surfing' for the whole of the Caribbean/Atlantic region.
Puerto Rico gets good-quality surf on all coasts during all seasons, even summer. The focal point of Puerto Rico surfing however remains on the north and northwest coasts during winter swells. Aguadilla and Rincon are the two main surfing destinations on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast.
Aguadilla sits at the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico and picks up the majority of north and northwest swell activity. Sitting on the western coast, Rincon surf spots are a little more tucked in and not as exposed as Aguadilla. It takes a bigger swell with a more westerly angle for Rincon to break; but when it does, it produces some of the biggest, best waves in the Caribbean.
The island of Puerto Rico is almost rectangular in shape, and is the smallest and the most eastern island of the Greater Antilles . Its coasts measures approximately 580 km, and if the adjacent islands Vieques and Culebra are included the coast measures approximately 700 km. To the north and south seascapes measure 8.525 m for the Grave of Puerto Rico and 5.000 m for the Grave of Tanner. In addition to the principal island, the Commonwealth includes: Vieques, Culebra, Culebrita, Palomino (known by some by the Spanish Virgin Islands), Mona, Monito and various others isolated islands. Deep oceans waters fringe Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is close to the deepest submarine depression in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Puerto Rico Trench, roughly parallel to the northern coast of the island of Puerto Rico and lying about 75 miles (120 km) to the north. The Puerto Rico Trench is about 1,090 miles (1,750 km) long and 60 miles (100 km) wide. The deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean, the Milwaukee Depth , lies within the Puerto Rico Trench, at a depth of 27,493 feet (8,380 meters) in the western end of the trench, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Puerto Rico.
The origin of the trench can be traced back to the beginning of the Tertiary period. The Puerto Rico Trench appears to be part of a complex system of sinistral strike-slip faults in the north Caribbean; the trench seems to have been opened continuously for about 70 million years. It is partially filled with sediments. The Caribbean's greatest known depth is Cayman Trench (Bartlett Deep) between Cuba and Jamaica, at approximately 25,216 feet (7,686 meters) below sea level.
By way of camparison, Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, younger than the Puerto Rico Trench, was formed 60 million years ago and has a height of 29,035 feet (8850 meters) and was found to be 6' higher in 1999
Before Columbus appeared on the horizon, Taíno Indians inhabited the territory, and called the island Boriken or Borinquen which means: "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords". Today this word used in various modifications, is still popularly used to designate the people and island of Puerto Rico.
The 3.966 million people that inhabit the island of Puerto Rico make it one of the most densely populated islands in the world. There are about 1,000 people per square mile, a ratio higher than within any of the 50 states in the United States. It is estimated that some 2 million Puerto Ricans have migrated to the United States. Had these people remained in Puerto Rico, the island would be so densely populated that there would be virtually no room for people to live.
Because of the massive migration to the mainland, more Puerto Ricans are said to live in New York City than in San Juan. In recent years, many Puerto Ricans have returned to their island home, in large part because of inadequate economic opportunity in the United States. On the island, one-third of the population is concentrated in the San Juan-Carolina-Bayamón metropolitan area.
Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. Plantation sugar production dominated Puerto Rico's economy until the 1940s. Industry has surpassed agriculture as the primary sector of economic activity and income. Encouraged by duty free access to the U.S. and by tax incentives, U.S. firms have invested heavily in Puerto Rico since the 1950s (U.S. minimum wage laws apply). As a result, Puerto Rico's export and import has prospered, nearly doubled between fiscal years 1987 and 1997.
Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with the United States. The chief of state is the President of the United States of America. The head of government is an elected Governor. There are two legislative chambers: the House of Representatives, 51 seats, and the Senate, 27 seats.
Compiled by SV editors