What Does Puerto Rico Mean In Spanish and How Did San Juan Get Its Name?

San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, is named for San Juan Bautista, or Saint John the Baptist.

This was the name Christopher Columbus gave the island when he first landed there in 1493. Conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon gave it its present-day name of Puerto Rico, or “Rich Port.”

There is yet another name for Puerto Rico: Borinquen. Meaning “land of the brave lord,” this was what the original Arawak natives called their island. To this day, Borinquen is an informal name for Puerto Rico, and Boricua is another name for a Puerto Rican.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (1887-1944), son of the U.S. president of the same name, was governor of Puerto Rico from 1929 to 1932.

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