San Juan

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Posted by pompos 02/26/2009 @ 01:19

Tags : san juan, puerto rico, caribbean, americas, world

News headlines
Resorts on San Juan Islands slashing prices - KCBY.com 11
Yes, Jacobson is paid to promote the San Juan Islands, but it might pay to listen this month. "Roche Harbor in summer is often sold out and they have some really low deals for May and for June," she said. The Roche Harbor Resort is offering a sweet...
Shrimp fisheries to close in most of Puget Sound - Seattle Times
The north/central portion of Marine Area 7, which includes all waters north of a line from the Initiative 77 marker on Fidalgo Island to Point Colville on Lopez Island, then north of a line from Davis Point on Lopez Island to Cattle Point on San Juan...
International Real Estate For Sale in... Nicaragua - New York Times
The popular beach town of San Juan del Sur is an hour and a half away. Volume has slowed since the market peaked in 2008, according to Brooke Rundle, a broker with Coldwell Banker Nicaragua. She estimated that the number of transactions has decreased...
Manti rallies to beat San Juan - Salt Lake Tribune
By Jennifer Gustavson Spanish Fork » After Manti pitcher McKenzie Hatch watched as San Juan erased a 2-0 deficit with a three-run homer by Kelsey Meyer, all of the feelings of disappointment and defeat she felt following last year's third-place finish...
San Juan Basin Royalty Trust Reports Operating Results (10-Q) - GuruFocus.com
San Juan Basin Royalty is an express trust created under the laws of the state of Texas by the San Juan Basin Royalty Trust Indenture. The Trustee Bank One Texas NA has the primary function of collecting monthly net proceeds attributable to the Royalty...
Sunnyvale police: Man high on drugs made hoax hostage call - San Jose Mercury News
A number of patrol officers were the first to arrive at a location near the intersection of East Duane Avenue and San Juan Drive. After investigating the situation, officers determined there was no need to call in the tactical unit....
Southeastern Utah's billion dollar bonanza - San Juan Record
This billion-dollar event is important to San Juan County because many of the hundreds of workers who will toil there live in San Juan County. While Grand County is obviously the major beneficiary, San Juan will realize millions of dollars in wages...
Cortes, Arroyo Fernando, 1958, San Juan to Noemi Concepcion, 1973 ... - The Ledger
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. Only moderator-approved comments are shown on this page. To see all comments, please visit the forum. We at TheLedger.com created these...
Artists' Studio Tour 2009 on San Juan Island - Examiner.com
On June 6th and 7th residents and visitors to San Juan Island will have an opportunity to visit the studios of seventeen San Juan artists as they once again open their studios to the public for the 18th annual springtime Artists' Studio Tour....
Silvers on the diamonds - San Juan Record
The San Juan High School Broncos brought home a silver trophy after a great run through the state baseball tournament. Team members include- (back row, left to right) Kyle Johnson, Nathan Einerson, Kohler Black, Dakota Hatch, Nache Nielson,...

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Official seal of San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan (IPA: ) (from the Spanish San Juan Bautista, "Saint John the Baptist") is the capital and largest municipality in Puerto Rico. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 433,733, making it the 42nd-largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States. San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico ("Rich Port City"). Puerto Rico's capital is the second oldest European-established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo, now in the Dominican Republic. Several historical buildings are located in San Juan; among the most notable are the city's former defensive forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobál, and La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas.

Today, San Juan serves as one of Puerto Rico's most important seaports, and is the island's manufacturing, financial, cultural, and tourism center. The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area, including San Juan and the municipalities of Bayamón, Guaynabo, Cataño, Canóvanas, Caguas, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Carolina and Trujillo Alto, is about 2 million inhabitants; thus, about half the population of Puerto Rico now lives and works in this area. San Juan is also a principal city of the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area. The city has been the host of numerous important events within the sports community, including the 1979 Pan American Games, 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games, 2006 World Baseball Classic and the Caribbean Series.

Originally, the city of San Juan was called Puerto Rico meaning "rich port", and the entire island was called San Juan. The capital and the island's names were later accidentally switched.

In 1508, Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement Caparra (named after the province Caceres, Spain, the birthplace of then-governor of Spain's Caribbean territories Nicolas de Ovando), which today is known as the Pueblo Viejo sector of Guaynabo, just to the west of the present San Juan metropolitan area. A year later, the settlement was moved to a site then called Puerto Rico, Spanish for "rich port" or "good port", after its similar geographical features to the island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. In 1521, the newer settlement was given its formal name, San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, in honor of John the Baptist, following the tradition of christening the town with both its formal name and the name which Christopher Columbus had originally given the island.

The ambiguous use of San Juan Bautista and Puerto Rico for calling both the city and the island led to a reversal in practical use by most inhabitants: by 1746, the name for the city (Puerto Rico) had become that of the entire island, while the name for the Island (San Juan Bautista) had become the name for the city.

San Juan, as a settlement of the Spanish Empire, was used by merchant and military ships traveling from Spain as the first stopover in the Americas. Because of its prominence in the Caribbean, a network of fortifications was built to protect the transports of gold and silver from the New World to Europe. Because of the rich transports, San Juan became a target of the foreign powers of the time.

The city was witness to attacks from the English led by Sir Francis Drake in 1595 and by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, in 1598. Artillery from San Juan's fort, El Morro, repelled Drake; however, Clifford managed to land troops and lay siege to the city. After a few months of British occupation, Clifford was forced to abandon the siege when his troops began to suffer from exhaustion and sickness. In 1625 the city was sacked by Dutch forces lead by Boudewijn Hendricksz, but El Morro withstood the assault and was not taken. The English attacked again in 1797, during the French Revolutionary Wars, led by Sir Ralph Abercromby (who had just conquered Trinidad). His army laid siege to the city but was forced to withdraw in defeat as the Puerto Rican defenses proved more resilient than those of Trinidad. Various events and circumstances, including liberalized commerce with Spain, the opening of the island to immigrants as a direct result of the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815, and the colonial revolutions, led to an expansion of San Juan and other Puerto Rican settlements in the late 18th and early 19th century.

In May 1898, United States Navy ships, among them the USS Detroit, USS Indiana, USS New York, USS Amphitrite, USS Terror and USS Montgomery, commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, bombed San Juan during the Spanish-American War, though the city was not occupied. On July 25, General Nelson A. Miles landed at Guánica (in southwestern Puerto Rico) with 3,300 soldiers and took over the island with little resistance. Spain ceded the island to the United States later the same year by signing the Treaty of Paris.

Camp Las Casas, located in the district of Santurce, served as the main training camp for the Puerto Rican soldiers prior to World War I and World War II; the majority of the men trained in this facility were assigned to the 65th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army. This regiment has been active since 1898, and it is still active today. Camp Las Casas was eventually closed down, and in 1950 a public housing project by the name of Residencial Fray Bartolome de Las Casas was constructed on its former location.

Lieutenant Teofilo Marxuach (Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel), a native of Arroyo, Puerto Rico, was responsible for the first bullet shot by the American military during World War I, when he ordered the "Porto Rico Regiment of Infantry" to open fire on the Odenwald, an armed German supply vessel, when it was trying to force its way out of San Juan's bay. This event occurred on April 6, 1917, the day that the United States declared war on Germany.

San Juan is located at18°27′0″N 66°04′00″W / 18.45°N 66.066667°W / 18.45; -66.066667, along the north-eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It lies south of the Atlantic Ocean; north of Guaynabo and Trujillo Alto; east of and Bayamón; and west of Carolina. The city occupies an area of 76.93 square miles (199.2 km²), of which, 29.11 square miles (75.4 km²) is water. The majority San Juan's water territory is composed of San Juan Bay and two natural lagoons, the Condado and San José.

San Juan's climate is classified as tropical marine. San Juan enjoys an average temperature of 82 °F (28 °C) during the year, although 90 °F (32 °C) or higher temperatures are often felt during the summer, especially if the winds come from the south. In the winter, temperatures can drop to the 60s, though the average winter low is 71 °F (22 °C). The coldest temperature ever recorded was 60 °F (16 °C) on March 3, 1957, and the hottest was 98 °F (37 °C) on October 9, 1981. Rainfall is well-distributed all year, but the months of February, March and April are the driest.

Old San Juan occupies the western end of a rocky islet at the mouth of San Juan Bay. During the 20th century, the main population centers surged well beyond the walls of the old city and onto Puerto Rico's main island, and merged with the existing settlements east and south of Old San Juan. As a result, the city is now composed of a variety of neighborhoods.

During the Spanish colonial times most of the urban population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan. This sector is located on the western half of a small island called the Isleta de San Juan, which is connected to the mainland by two bridges and a causeway. The small island, which comprises an area of 47 mi² (122 km²), also hosts the working class neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra and most of Puerto Rico's central government buildings, including the Commonwealth's Capitol. The main central part of the city is characterized by narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque colonial buildings, some of which date back to the 16th and 17th century. Sections of the old city are surrounded by massive walls and several defensive structures and notable forts. These include the 16th century Fort San Felipe del Morro and 17th century Fort San Cristóbal, both part of San Juan National Historic Site, and the 16th century El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, which serves as the governor's mansion. Other buildings of interest predating the 20th century are the Ayuntamiento or Alcaldía (City Hall), the Casa Rosa, the San José Church (1523) and the adjacent Hotel El Convento, the former house of the Ponce de León family known as Casa Blanca, the Teatro Tapia, the former Spanish barracks (now Museum of Ballajá), La Princesa (former municipal jail, now a history museum), and the municipal cemetery of Saint María Madgalena of Pazzis, located just outside the city walls. The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (construction began in the 1520s) is also located in Old San Juan, and contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer and settlement founder Juan Ponce de León. Old San Juan, also known as the "old city", is the main cultural tourist attraction in Puerto Rico; its bayside is lined by dock slips for large cruise ships.

San Juan is subdivided into 18 wards (barrios), 16 of which fall within the former (until 1951) municipio of Río Piedras. Eight barrios are further subdivided in to sub-barrios, including both barrios of the former municipio of San Juan.

East of Old San Juan lies the upscale tourist oriented neighborhood of Condado, which occupies land that used to be owned by entrepreneur Pablo Ubarri Capetillo, a Spanish railroad developer and Count of San José de Santurce under the Spanish colonial period. Beaches such as nearby Ocean Park, popular with swimmers, surfers and kitesurfers, are found all along the district's Atlantic coastline which is also the locus of numerous hotels.

Near Condado are two separate business districts, Santurce and Miramar. Miramar is mainly a residential area rising south of the Condado Lagoon. It comprises the former barrio of Miraflores, as well as drained marshland and landfill over which was built San Juan's first airport, the Isla Grande airport, which was renamed Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airportin honor of Major Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci (USAF). Miramar now hosts the Puerto Rico Convention Center as well as some of San Juan Harbor's cruise ship piers. In 2005 Miramar was designated an historical district of Puerto Rico.

Santurce, originally named San Mateo de Cangrejos (Saint Matthew of the Crabs), was a settlement for freed African slaves during the early days of the city. After Pablo Ubarri sought permission to link San Juan with Río Piedra proper via steam tramway in 1878, the time it took to travel between both points were shortened and thereby stimulated the colonization and growth of the district. At the beginning of the twentieth century an electric trolley was installed, the township was split into three parts, and its main settlement, merged with the city, was renamed using the Spanish spelling of Santurtzi (Saint George in Basque), Ubarri's birthplace in Vizcaya, Spain. The "Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico" (Puerto Rico Museum of Art) and other important cultural venues are located in Santurce.

South of Santurce is Hato Rey, part of the former municipality of Río Piedras. Hato Rey was grazing ground for cattle owned by the royal government (hence its name, the King's Herd in Spanish) as early as the 16th century, and is now considered the financial center of the island. A section of this district is often referred to as the "Golden Mile" (actually 0.47 miles/0.76 kilometres long) due in part to the many banks and businesses located there.

In the southern part of the city is the socially diversified community of Río Piedras. Founded in the mid 1850s, Río Piedras was a separate town which hosted sugar cane plantations and the estates of some of San Juan's wealthiest inhabitants (as well as their working class staff). The Spanish colonial governors also had their summer home there on land which eventually gave way to the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico. In 1951 the municipalities of San Juan and Río Piedras were merged to redefine San Juan's current city limits. Today Río Piedras comprises the largest area of the municipality of San Juan. and is home to the renowned, traditional "Plaza del Mercado" (Río Piedras Marketplace), the main campus and the Medical Sciences campus of the University of Puerto Rico and the San Juan Botanical Garden.

San Juan is the largest city in Puerto Rico in population. From 1899 to 1950 the municipality of San Juan excluded the township of Río Piedras. For this reason, population data and land area for the period make reference only to the Antiguo San Juan and Santurce barrios, or subdivisions, of San Juan. The old municipality of Río Piedras constituted the third most populated city of Puerto Rico at the time of its annexation in 1951. Its strategic location south of the capital served as a junction for all the principal ways of transportation of the Island and as a geographical entry to San Juan, which are factors that prompted Río Piedras's dramatic urban development in the 20th century.

As a whole, Puerto Rico is comprised mainly of people from a Creole (born on the Island of European descent) or Spanish and European descent, with small groups of African and Asian people. Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 72.7% of Sanjuaneros have Spanish or White origin, 11.9% are black, 0.5% are Amerindian etc..

San Juan experienced significant economic growth following World War II. During this period the city underwent an industrial revolution. The city's economy relies mostly on companies dedicated to the manufacture of several products, including: Chemical substances (bleach and house cleaning products); medicines; rum and other beverages; fertilizers; electric tools; electronic devices; plastics, textiles, and food-based products. Tourism is also a key industry, based on San Juan's proximity to Puerto Rico's main airport, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The tourism focus of the city is located in the district of Condado Beach where there are numerous luxurious hotels. Historical locations such as El Morro, Old San Juan and El Cuartel de Ballaja are promoted in tourism campaigns. The district of Hato Rey contains a corporate sector known as "La Milla de Oro," which serves as the headquarters of numerous local and international banks. San Juan is often referred to as the "Wall Street of the Caribbean," due to the influence of the area on the city's economy.

Due to technological advances after World War II in the development of the airliner coupled with the island's climate and natural setting, has transformed San Juan into the springboard for tourism around the island, and has made the rest of the Caribbean known throughout the world during the last fifty years. Today the capital boasts numerous hotels, museums, historical buildings, restaurants, beaches and shopping centers. In San Juan there are a lot of attractions, for example: Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Isla Verde and Condado.

Places and monuments emphasized in tourism campaigns consist of: Old San Juan, promoting the historic nature of its colonial buildings and narrow streets covered by adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over as ballast on Spanish ships. This includes the city's ancient defensive wall and forts, most notably El Morro and the Castle of San Cristóbal. On January 23, 1984 both of these edifications were catalogued as being part of humanity's cultural patrimony. The numerous restaurants and art galleries in the zone are frequently visited by visitors. The local universities are promoted as historic places, most notably the campus of University of Puerto Rico located in Río Piedras, which is the oldest university in the island being founded in 1903.

San Juan is the birthplace of numerous artists and musicians, locally known as Sanjuaneros, who have significantly influenced the Puerto Rican culture. During the 20th century the musical aspect of the city was influenced by performers including Afro-Caribbean dancer and choreographer Sylvia del Villard and José Enrique Pedreira who became a renowned composer of Puerto Rican Danzas. International musicians such as renowned opera singer Justino Díaz and Grammy Award winners Raymond Ayala and Ricky Martin were born in the city. Other notable residents include writers Manuel A. Alonso and Tomas Blanco, award-winning actors Raúl Juliá and Benicio del Toro, and comedian José Miguel Agrelot. Rafael Cordero (1790–1868), was influential in the development of Puerto Rican education and is renowned as " The Father of Public Education in Puerto Rico." The city is also the home of numerous contemporary and classic art museums. The Puerto Rico Arts Museum owns the largest collection of contemporary art in Puerto Rico, housing over 1,100 permanent art pieces and displaying numerous temporary exhibitions containing artwork from various locations trough Latin America.

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, located in Santurce, specializes in contemporary artwork from locations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paintings displayed in the permanent exhibition are either acquired by the museum's administrative personnel or donated by Latino artists and collectors. They are judged by a panel of painters, art critics, and scholars before being displayed.

Other museums such as the Pablo Casals Museum, the Book Museum, Americas Museum and the National Gallery display historic items and artwork alongside contemporary art. Miscellaneous museums such as the Children's Museum and the Bacardi Distillery (also known as the "Rum Cathedral") in nearby Cataño appeal to different audiences through interactive exhibitions.

As one of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities, San Juan's government is compromised of two branches, the executive and the legislative. Those citizens eligible to vote, directly elect a mayor and the municipal assembly for four-year terms. The municipal government is housed in City Hall or Casa Alcaldia, which is located at 153 San Francisco Street, facing the Plaza de Armas or Military Square at the center of Old San Juan. City Hall was constructed based on Madrid's City Hall starting in 1604 and finally conpleted in 1789.

The executive branch is headed by a popularly elected mayor. The office is currently held by the Honorable Jorge A. Santini. In addition to running the city's day-to-day operations and supervising associated departments, the mayor is also responsible for appointing a secretary-auditor and a treasurer.

San Juan's Municipal Assembly is made up of 17 officials which represent the city's various districts.

Law enforcement in San Juan is the joint responsibility of the Department of Police and Public Safety also known as the San Juan Municipal Police Department and the Puerto Rico Police Department. The Municipal Police was created in 1521 and was originally known as the "San Juan Municipal Guard" which had both active military and law enforcement functions. It currently employs about 1,900 sworn officers plus civilian staff.

San Juan is influential in the educational aspect of Puerto Rico, serving as location to many universities and colleges. The most prestigious university in the area, the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus is located in San Juan, along with the University of Puerto Rico's Medical Sciences Campus. Other colleges located in San Juan are the University of the Sacred Heart, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, the Ana G. Méndez University System's Metropolitan University, the Metropolitan Campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, the Carlos Albizu University, the Evangelic Seminary of Puerto Rico and the Center for Advanced Studies on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. There are numerous minor colleges located in the city, including the ICPR Junior College, the "Instituto de Banca y Comercio" and the International Junior College, located in Santurce. There are several technological campuses located in San Juan, such as the Technological College of San Juan, the "Liceo de Artes y Ciencias", Ramirez College of Business and Technology and the Puerto Rico Technical Junior College. The Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and the School of Plastic Arts in Old San Juan are specialized in education that promote the fine arts and music.

In addition to dozens of state-run elementary, junior- and senior-high schools, the San Juan City Government now operates two bilingual schools, including one sports-magnet school, the first municipal-run schools in Puerto Rico.

Most of Puerto Rico's best private schools are located in San Juan, including Robinson and St. John's in the Condado, Commonwealth High School in Hato Rey, Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, St. John's Episcopal and Santa Mónica in Santurce, La Merced and Espíritu Santo in Hato Rey, San Antonio, San Ignacio, and San José in Río Piedras and Cupeyville in Cupey.

The Port of San Juan is the fourth busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, ranked among the top 17 in the world in terms of container movement. It is also the largest home-based cruise port in the world with over a dozen cruise ships. It is the second busiest port in cruise volume after Miami.

The Metropolitan Area is served by two airports. The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan's primary commercial airport, is located eight miles (12.7 km) from Old San Juan in the neighboring municipality of Carolina. The airport accommodates more than 30 domestic and international airlines and is the busiest airport in the Caribbean. It is often referred to as "The Gateway to the Caribbean" because it serves as the main connection to the island and the rest of the Caribbean for the United States and vice versa. The area's secondary airport is the Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport, which is located directly across the San Antonio Creek or Cano San Antonio from Old San Juan in the Isla Grande district. Dominicci Airport is used mainly by general aviation aircraft, charter flights, and some domestic commercial flights. It used to be the city's and also the island of Puerto Rico's main international gateway until the opening of Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. It is now also widely used by the Isla Grande Flight School and Caribbean Flight Center, the only flight school on the island.

Increased investment in public transportation has not changed the fact that San Juan is an automobile reliant city and its fast growth has sparked urban sprawl. It is currently served by five limited-access expressways and highways and numerous arterial avenues and boulevards and suffers from severe traffic congestion.

In an attempt to decrease vehicle dependency and road congestion, the City constructed a metro system dubbed "Tren Urbano" ("Urban Train"). The 10.7 mile (17.2 km) line connects to sixteen stations. The project, which opened in late 2004, cost 2.25 billion dollars and was more than $1 billion over budget and four years late. The Tren Urbano has received less than expected ridership than was originally projected and has not significantly reduced the city's automobile traffic, despite a reported 7.5% ridership increase in 2006 over 2005.

Metropolitan Bus Authority ("Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses" or AMA in Spanish) provides daily bus transportation to residents of San Juan, Guaynabo, Bayamón, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Cataño and Carolina through 30 fixed routes. Its fleet consists of 277 regular buses and 35 buses for handicapped persons. AMA's ridership is estimated at 112,000 on work days.

A daily ferry service known as the Cataño Ferry, ("La Lancha de Cataño" in Spanish) which operates a route across San Juan Bay between Old San Juan and the municipality of Cataño.

There is a planned project to build a "interurban light rail system" connecting the cities of San Juan and Caguas.

The main hospital and medical school in the city of San Juan is "El Centro Medico de Río Piedras" (Río Piedras Medical Center). The Medical Center is a conglomaration of Hospitals located in the same place. It has various helicopters in service, allowing patients and people in need of medical attention to be carried to the center from many places around the island.

The recently-built $28-million San Juan Natatorium is beginning to attract islandwide and regional swim meets, as well winter training by top-rated mainland U.S. colleges and universities, including the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

In July 2007, the San Juan Golf Academy and its golf driving range began operating atop the city's former sanitary landfill in Puerto Nuevo and will eventually include the city's first and only 9-hole golf course.

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San Juan River (Nicaragua)

The San Juan River (Spanish: Río San Juan) is a 192.06km (119.7mi) river that flows east out of Lake Nicaragua into the Caribbean Sea. The river forms part of the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It was part, with the lake, of a proposed route for a Nicaragua Canal in the 19th century. The idea of the project has been revived in the last decade, including the possibility of other routes within the country. The Ecocanal project has obtained a Concession from the National Assembly of Nicaragua to re-open the San Juan River to commercial barge traffic.

Prior to the Panama Canal, the San Juan river was frequently used to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, many people, including African slaves, were transported through this means. During the California Gold Rush many people from all over the world traveled to California to mine for gold, tens of thousands of which took a steamboat that was operated by the Accessory Company of Transit and was directed by commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The boat then took the path through the river. As a result of these transportation means many afro-Nicaraguans (Nicaraguans with African descent; particularly Jaimaicans) are a result of slaves who escaped. Also, what is thought to be the first presence of the Chinese on the American continent.

The San Juan River is home to freshwater bull sharks that also go into Lake Nicaragua. Along with being a home to many different types of marine life, the San Juan River is abundant in biodiversity.

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Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan's famous cobblestones.

Old San Juan (Spanish: Viejo San Juan) is the oldest settlement within the territory of the United States and it is the historic colonial section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is one of the two barrios, in addition to Santurce, that made up San Juan prior to 1951, in which the former independent municipality of Río Piedras was annexed.

Old San Juan is located on a small island connected to the mainland of Puerto Rico by two bridges and a causeway.

The city is characterized by its narrow cobblestone streets and colorful buildings which date back to the 16th and 17th century when Puerto Rico was a Spanish possession.

In 1508, Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement, Caparra (named after the province Caceres, Spain, birthplace of the then-governor of Spain's Caribbean territories, Nicolas de Ovando). The ruins of Caparra are known as the Pueblo Viejo sector of Guaynabo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present San Juan metropolitan area. In 1509, the settlement was abandoned and moved to a site which was called at the time "Puerto Rico" (meaning "rich port" or "good port"), a name that evoked that of a similar geographical harbor in the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. In 1521, the name "San Juan" was added, and the newer settlement was given its formal name of "San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico", following the usual custom of christening the town with both its formal name and the name which Christopher Columbus had originally given the island, honoring John the Baptist.

Old San Juan along with La Fortaleza were declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.

The district is also characterized by numerous public plazas and churches including the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, which contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. It also houses the most ancient Catholic school for Elementary education in Puerto Rico, the Colegio de Párvulos, built in 1865.

With its abundance of shops, historic places, museums, open air cafés, restaurants, gracious homes, tree-shaded plazas, and its old beauty and architectonical peculiarity, Old San Juan is a main spot for local and internal tourism. A free tourist trolley serves the city.

The slum neighborhood of La Perla outside of the historic city wall on the rocky north coast belongs to sub-barrios Mercado and San Cristóbal.

The oldest parts of the district of Old San Juan remain partly enclosed by massive walls. Several defensive structures and notable forts, such as the emblematic Fort San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Cristóbal, and El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, acted as the primary defenses of the settlement which was subjected to numerous attacks. La Fortaleza continues to serve also as the executive mansion for the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Many of the historic fortifications are part of San Juan National Historic Site.

Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, next to El Morro Fort.

Back portion of La Fortaleza, San Juan's wall and sea-side gates to the city.

San Juan cathedral, built in the 1520s.

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San Juan Province (Argentina)

Flag of San Juan province in Argentina.gif

San Juan is a province of Argentina, located in the western part of the country. Neighbouring provinces are, moving clockwise from the north, La Rioja, San Luis and Mendoza. It borders Chile on the west.

The province has an area of 89,651 sq km, within which highlights a mountainous little vegetation, fertile oases, turbulent rivers of melting mountain range, mountain ranges and major mining sites and paleontological.

How economic activity stands agriculture, stressing first the wine, with many plantations vid is, has a remarkable production of oil and industry olivícola partner and also a good variety of fruit and vegetables That are produced in the fertile valleys irrigated by artificial channels at the foot of the Andes. As the industry stands of the came, this being the second province in volume production at the national level and in South America, in turn possess outstanding varietal wines. It also highlights an important activity by Mining and the search for oil, in recent years.

Huarpes, Diaguitas, Capazanes, Olongastas and Yacampis, with influences of the Inca empire, inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores.

The city of San Juan de la Frontera was founded by Juan Jufré y Montesa in 1562 and relocated 2 kilometres south in 1593 due to the frequent flooding of the San Juan River.

In 1776, the year in which San Juan passed to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, an earthquake almost completely destroyed the city.

The father of Argentine independence, Gen. Jose de San Martin, was appointed Governor of Cuyo in 1814 (at the time, the area included San Juan). From there, San Martin began his legendary crossing of the Andes, one of military history's great tactical decisions. San Juan, then a small town, was a great supporter of 's expedition to cross the Andes, supplying gold, men and mules.

In 1820, San Juan was granted autonomy from the Province of Cuyo, thereby becoming a province, itself. The remainder of Cuyo became Mendoza Province.

Following an era of international isolation for Argentina, the advent of new, more liberal government in 1853 attracted a number of exiled intellectuals back into Argentina. Among these, was a San Juan military officer and novelist named Domingo Sarmiento. Sarmiento was eventually elected governor in 1862, pursuing sorely needed public works investments and enacting Argentina's first laws mandating compulsory, modern education (something which, according to a census in that era, about 80% of the adult population lacked). Elected President of Argentina in 1868, these policies became national law.

In 1944 a moderate, yet highly destructive earthquake near the capital destroyed most of the city and killed 10,000 people. A fundraiser to benefit the victims of the quake was instrumental in the meeting of Colonel Juan Perón and his eventual wife and political companion Eva Duarte.

A more powerful earthquake stuck the same city in 1977; but, new construction codes put in effect following the 1944 incident kept damage to a relative minimum. The most noteworthy loss following this event was that of the Cathedral of San Juan (image, at top). A new, modernist house of worship was quickly put up in its place and inaugurated in 1979.

Among the most rapidly growing provinces in Argentina after 1945, the national government appropiated funds for the construction of the National University of San Juan, which opened its doors in 1973. Congress further responded to the needs of San Juan's growing agricultural sector by breaking ground in the mid '70s for the largest hydrostructural project in the province up to that point, the Ullum Dam and Reservoir. On line since 1980, it's contributed to the province's becoming an rival to larger, neighboring Mendoza Province in the production of irrigated desert crops, like olives, figs and, most importantly, wine grapes. San Juan is now Argentina's second largest producer of these three valuable crops.

In 2005, Barrick Gold Corporation, one of the world's largest gold-mining concerns, announced the purchase of large tracts in the San Juan andes. These have, so far, been yielding over 11,000 ounces of gold yearly, though evidence suggests these activities may be having an adverse impact on San Juan's glaciers.

In 2007, Barrick Gold installed the world's highest-situated wind turbine at the Veladero mine in San Juan Province at nearly 4,200m elevation.

The province is part of the continental semi-desert Cuyo region. The arid plains on the east, with a few low sierras (hills), swiftly turn into 6,000-meter-high mountain peaks towards the west. Both areas are subject to the dry hot Zonda (a kind of foehn wind). Most of the precipitations take place during the summer, often as storms.

The hot wind has modeled the clay-rich red soil into Pampa del Leoncito (Reserva Natural Estricta El Leoncito) and Valle de la Luna (Parque Provincial Ischigualasto) 200 million year old geological formations.

The Jáchal and San Juan rivers, both part of Desaguadero River system, are the source of fertile valleys and centre of the province's economy. The San Juan River finishes in the Huanacache lagoons (sometimes called Guanacache), on the southeast.

San Juan concentrates most of its population in the oases or central valleys, Tulum Valley, Zonda, Ullum and Jáchal, Containing nearly 80% of this population. In the minority the rest of that percentage is located in the oasis located at the foot of the Andes in Church and Calingasta, where small towns are viewed mainly dedicated to agriculture and tourism in recent times. Another concentration is in Fertile Valley, in a little organized in small villages scattered.

San Juan focuses its economy in agriculture, where stands the vine. In the industry highlighted the development of wine and preserved foods. Has also started to develop intensively mining, with the extraction of various minerals, together with several multinational companies. Tourism is growing every year, and this is becoming an important source of revenue for the province.

San Juan's is a somewhat underdeveloped, yet diversified, economy. Its output was estimated in 2006 at US$3.6 billion, or US$5,820 per capita (a third less than the national average).

Now about 10% of output, agriculture has traditionally played a small, though significant role in San Juan's economy, in that the province produces crops not widely grown in most of the rest of Argentina. This is especially so in regards to wine. San Juan is the second-largest producer of Argentine Wine, after neighboring Mendoza Province.

The vine reaches San Juan between the years 1569 and 1589 at the hands of Spanish conquistadors. Favored by optimal weather conditions and soil, the winemaking largely expressed and accelerated development in the province. AI beginning occurred in small volume, limited to meet the needs of small communities in the colony. We faced several difficulties on the one hand the arid climate forced to build dams and irrigation systems artificial (channels) and on the other hand the jurisdiction of products from Europe higher quality.

Viticulture is the main crop of the province's economy, with some 500 km² (56% of the productive area), and the later wine production from 90% of the crop. San Juan is the second Argentine wine producer after the Mendoza Province. Other plantations include tomato, maize, potato, fig, peach and many others.

Since 1980, San Juan has experienced an industrial expansion that now includes, in addition to the wineries, food processing plants and chemical factories, plastics, iron, auto parts and textiles. Manufacturing now accounts for nearly 20% of San Juan's output.

In the year 2000, the province came into mineral development with the Veladero Project, which, on the first year of mining alone, yielded more than 11,000 ounces of gold. These efforts were highlighted with more projects including the Easter Lama, with the particularity that it is shared with neighbouring Chile.

Large-acale efforts began, in 2006, in the exploration for petroleum north of the capital, in the department of Jáchal.

Energy production is mainly hydroelectrical, produced by a few dams such as Quebrada de Ullum, La Roza, San Emiliano and El Pinar Station, which also help regulate water the level for irrigation of the arid lands. Electricity is also produced, in a lesser proportion, by thermal power stations.

International tourism is not very developed in the province and it has long consisted mainly of local visitors. Its main attractions are the city of San Juan (and birth house of Sarmiento) the Ischigualasto Provincial Park, the Ullum Dam, the Pismanta hot springs, and the pagan Difunta Correa shrine.

The province is divided into 19 departments (Spanish: departamentos).

Department (Capital) The province is divided into 19 departments. The Constitution that governs the province was passed in 1986.

In San Juan departments and municipalities are the same entity, these date back to the fitted, which marked the institutional life of America when it was under Spanish rule, after the May Revolution desaparcer and began in San Juan ceased to exist in 1821.

In 1824, Governor Martin Yanzón organized the territory of the province into two departments,Department of the North 'andDepartment of the South ", with three ] s each. Later, a regiment of irrigation in 1851 San Juan divided into regional sections, each headed by a board of irrigation.

The first provincial constitution of 1856 after an organization in the Department s in the district s, but in 1909 was completed to determine more precisely the boundaries, headers and their respective names. Later legislation made changes in this area, but until 1942 was not set the current track in 19 departments.

San Juan known as the land of the sun has mountains, valleys and turbulent rivers of melting of the Andes to create a unique landscape, has numerous attractions, which are beginning to be intensively exploited for tourism.

As in all the Argentina, San Juan is beginning to take conciderables nature tourism revenues, and the Ischigualasto Provincial Park, the main tourist attraction, where tourists come from all over the world mainly in Europe, also highlights ecotourism with San Guillermo National Park and adventure tourism, with stairs to the hill Mercedario. Also from the year 2005, started operation of a tourism theme vasado in wine, with the creation of so-calledWine Routes ", and this province in 2006 which became the leader in wine tourism as the province where it increased the number of visitors to the cave s, almost 80% compared to 2005, according to a report by "Bodegas de Argentina". The visits went from 41,460 to 74,481 a year.

Are also various civic celebrations that pay homage to the economic activities and natural events that highlights the Fiesta Nacional del Sol, which takes the form of annual parades carousel and various artistic performances.

San Juan has a good road infrastructure, as most of the routes that connect with the rest of the country are in very good condition. Domestic routes such as the RN40, which crosses from north to south and joins the provinces of Mendoza and La Rioja, RN20, linking the city with Buenos Aires and Cordoba, RN150, which allows a connection to the country of Chile and a future with the province of La Rioja and the entire north-connecting provincial Fertile Valley, Jáchal and Church, to the border with Chile, which is a vital part of the strategic corridor bioceanic.

The collective transport of long distance traveling on almost all the national and provincial roads in the province for all other provinces and cities of the country. It is served in the modern bus terminal with which the province has one in the city of San Juan in the other San Jose de Jáchal and the city of Caucete, which is currently in construction. By bus it takes around 18 hours to the city of Buenos Aires.

In air transport, leaving the province with domestic flights to the city of Buenos Aires, has an airport, the Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Airport. Aircraft cabotage takes 90 min to reach Buenos Aires.

The system of public transportation in the City of San Juan and surrounding areas (Big John), include bus identified with numbers and letters with routes that connect downtown with other cities such as Villa Krause Rivadavia, Santa Lucia Villa Paula Sarmiento Albarracín and Aberastain remise and taxis, but uncontrolled growth in population has led the study for the instslación new means of transport, is why this project in the installation of bus and streetcar.

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Source : Wikipedia