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Zain Deane

Unusual Facts About Puerto Rico

By January 9, 2009

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Sticking to the theme of what people don't always know about the island, here are a few statisitcs, facts and details that you may not be aware of, but could affect your vacation:
  1. Drinking Age: The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18. No matter what your age is, you can't drink on the street in Old San Juan.
  2. Gambling: Given the number of casinos on the island, this may not be a real surprise, but gambling is legal all over the island. However, only hotels are allowed to have casinos.
  3. Road Rules: For some reason, gas is sold by the liter, but distance is measured in kilometers. To make things even more confusing, speed is measured in miles per hour. The legal driving age is 16.
  4. Time: There is no Daylight Savings Time in Puerto Rico, which is always on Atlantic Standard Time.
  5. Language: Puerto Rico has two official languages: Spanish and English.
Want more facts and figures? Here you go.
January 12, 2009 at 9:25 am
(1) Frank says:

Hi Zain,

Regarding your lack of knowledge over the word Guagua… the work is actually Spanish (from SPAIN), specifically from the province of Canary Islands.

The vast majority of Puerto Rican ancestry, customs and language stems from either the Andalucía region or Canary Islands. The latter contributed immensely to the Puerto Rican vernacular – including the word Guagua; which in the Canary Islands means, a mode of collective public transportation… a bus.

Hope the above helps shed some light on the fact that language isn’t an accident and that all words have a root.

January 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm
(2) gopuertorico says:

Hi Frank,

Well, I’m always ready to admit it when I’m wrong. Thanks for pointing it out. Funnily enough, I lived in Madrid for years, and my Spanish is castellano, but I never heard Guagua while I was there.

The glossary is revised and updated, thanks to your input.


January 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm
(3) Frank says:

Hi Zain,

Again, the word Guagua is from Canary Islands, not Castilla.

April 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm
(4) ask a Boricua insted says:

Well i’m puertorican, and YES we use the word GUAGUA, which is a way to say for a ‘van’ not only for a transportation bus, we usually say AMA to the public bus.

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