< Last Photo   << Last Chapter                Notes on the Geography of Places: The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico         Next Chapter >>   Next Photo > 
 

Notes on the Geography of The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico

In the footsteps of imperial Britain, the U.S. early in the 20th century took up "the white man's burden" of improving Puerto Rico. Diverse programs were implemented over the next 30 years, but they focused on agricultural modernization and ignored what proved to be the real path of economic development, which began after World War II with industrial and tourism investments. The pictures here are from 1989.

Make default image size larger

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 1

Apart from a narrow coastal plain, Puerto Rico is mountainous. Among the portfolio of actions undertaken by the American government was the proclamation of the Caribbean National Forest, intended to supply sustainable timber and water resources. There aren't many signs of this vintage left elsewhere in the national-forest system.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 2

Another key undertaking: a twisting, narrow, but well-built mountain road, still typical of the roads in the island's interior.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 3

This is the agricultural research station at Mayaguez, at the western end of the island. It was pioneered by Seamon Knapp, the same man who beat the cotton boll weevil in the American South.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 4

For a long time, the island's economy rested on sugarcane. That industry has gone into terminal decline, but there are plenty of relics, like this veranda-wrapped farm building.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 5

For a time, an agrarian civilization flourished, supporting urban institutions like this school in Mayaguez.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 6

International financial institutions arrived.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 7

Civic pride ran high.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 8

Out in the countryside, sugarcane plantations required irrigation ditches, although the collapse of the industry has left the water running to waste.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 9

Mills were built.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 10

These are the stacks of a ruined sugar mill near Guanica, where American troops landed during the Spanish-American War. Puerto Rican rum is made nowadays with imported sugar.  Don't tell anybody.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 11

The old irrigation systems are still on the ground, but the water runs to the sea.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 12

A good view of the coastal plain and central mountains, as well as of an old canefield and loading crane.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 13

Bits of cane continue to be harvested.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 14

They're transported with equipment that one would think had disappeared from the United States.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 15

A corrective picture: some operators do use modern equipment.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 16

Back in Mayaguez, a lot of old buildings survive.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 17

Many need maintenance but have splendid detailing.

The Eastern United States: Puerto Rico picture 18

Around the roots of the older society, a new one has arisen, many of its structures and institutions indistinguishable from those on the mainland.


www.greatmirror.com Web   
 

* Australia * Austria * Bangladesh * Belgium * Botswana * Brazil * Burma / Myanmar * Cambodia (Angkor) * Canada (B.C.) * China * The Czech Republic * Egypt * Fiji * France * Germany * Ghana * Greece * Hungary * India: Themes * Northern India * Peninsular India * Indonesia * Israel * Italy * Japan * Jerusalem * Jordan * Kenya * Laos * Kosovo * Malawi * Malaysia * Mauritius * Mexico * Morocco * Mozambique * Namibia * The Netherlands * New Zealand * Nigeria * Norway * Oman * Pakistan * The Philippines * Poland * Portugal * Senegal * Singapore * South Africa * Spain * Sri Lanka * Sudan * Syria (Aleppo) * Tanzania * Thailand * Trinidad * Turkey (Istanbul) * Uganda * The U.A.E. (Dubai) * The United Kingdom * The Eastern United States * The Western United States * Oklahoma * Uzbekistan * Vietnam * The West Bank * Yemen * Zambia * Zimbabwe *
go back to previous picture go to next chapter go to next picture go to previous chapter page