Commemorative issue Columbus landing in Puerto Rico
Columbus landing in Puerto Rico
Issue of a stamp noting Christopher Columbus's historic landing on the western coast of Puerto Rico also celebrated the island quincentennial. The island was named Borinquen by the Taino Indians and was settled by several Indian groups before Columbus visited. Columbus named the area San Juan Bautista. Puerto Rico, meaning "Rich Port," was given its present name by Juan Ponce de Leon when he established a settlement inland from San Juan at Caparra in 1508. Spaniards introduced sugar cane in 1511 and the first black slaves in 1518. The colony grew slowly in the following centuries because the Spanish concentrated on the richer colonies of Mexico and Peru.