Tomorrow we move to a country I’ve only been to for three days before.
We move to a city I’ve only spent about 4 hours in.
To a house I’ve only seen photos of.
To a language I’ve studied for years and years but never mastered.
I have questions that seem kinda elementary, that I really should know before moving.
Like, since they are part of the USA and use the USPS, do they celebrate/have off the national holidays? What’s the national anthem? Do they have public alert sirens (my son wants to know that)?
I’m so excited to jump right in! It’ll be surreal when I actually get there.
I learned a lot looking up some of these answers for you and realized that what I thought I knew wasn’t always right.
Yes, Puerto Rico is a US possession, one of our territories, but it operates under its own territorial constitution. The people are US citizens. Their Head of State is the US President. When a Puerto Rican resides in a US state, he/she can vote in US elections.
The P.R. Commonwealth is a non-voting member of Congress and is exempt from paying US income taxes. Most other US laws apply to the territory: “The United States Congress legislates over many fundamental aspects of Puerto Rican life, including citizenship, the currency, the postal service, foreign affairs, military defense, communications, labor relations, the environment, commerce, finance, health and welfare, and many others.”.
Yes, they use the US postal service, but I don’t know what their stamps cost.
There are 3 political parties. One wants the country to remain a commonwealth under its own constitution, the second wants it to become a state, and the third wants the island to become an independent nation. “After several failed tries dating back to 1967, Puerto Ricans voted for the first time to become a state in 2012 in a non-binding plebiscite sponsored by the territorial government.”
“On December 11, 2012, Puerto Rico’s Legislature passed a concurrent resolution to request to the President and the U.S. Congress action on the November 6, 2012 plebiscite results. But on April 10, 2013, with the issue still being widely debated, the White House announced that it will seek $2.5 million to hold another referendum, this next one being the first Puerto Rican status referendum to be financed by the U.S. Federal government.”
The island is 110 miles wide by 40 miles long. It’s the smallest island in the chain called the Greater Antilles. In the Southwest, south of Mayaguez, there are rocks formed in the Jurassic Period 190 millions years ago.
Here’s a link to their holidays, which are about the same as those celebrated in the states: http://welcome.topuertorico.org/reference/holi.shtml
Good to know about police vehicles: Quote from a new resident:
“My hubby and I have lived here in PR for 2 years now. I am not from here, when I first moved here, I had NEVER been here before (hubby is from here). The police and emergency vehicles (including tow trucks) ALWAYS have their lights on. Usually when it’s a real emergency, then they turn the sirens on. I think that they do it to create awareness. Next time you come, if you don’t hear sirens, don’t bother to move over; just be aware, and keep on driving!”
It’s hard to find out the answer to D’s question, but there are warnings in place for emergencies. In 2010, this tsunami bulletin showed that warning system, but I’m not sure how the color warnings operate. It’s a good thing to ask about this when you have a chance: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/srh/ctwp/GermanClubSanJuan.pdf
Hope this information helps. Within a matter of weeks, you’ll have lots of answers at your fingertips. Enjoy your first trips to the beaches, markets, and other special places.
It’s all Spanglish here.