When people think about the United States, they often imagine world-class infrastructure, services, and healthcare. However, a recent trip to Puerto Rico revealed shocking realities that challenged these assumptions. From limited gas stations to ongoing colonization, from healthcare challenges to infrastructure issues, Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, offers a unique perspective on the state of affairs in America. Join us as we explore the lesser-known aspects of Puerto Rico and uncover some surprising truths about this island territory.
Limited Gas Stations and Unique Payment System
As we arrived in a small town in Puerto Rico with a population of only 9,000 people, we were surprised to find only one gas station. Even more surprising was the payment system at the gas station, where we had to pay inside before filling up our gas. This unique system took us more than 20 minutes just to fill up our tank, as we had to pay in increments of $5 multiple times. This experience highlighted the differences in basic infrastructure and services compared to mainland USA.
Ongoing Colonization and Unique Status
Puerto Rico has a unique status as one of the oldest colonies in the world that is still running. Colonized in 1508, Puerto Rico remains a territory of the United States, and its residents are American citizens. However, unlike other colonies that have gained independence, Puerto Rico continues to face challenges related to its status. This was evident in our experience at a local restaurant, where a stranger sat next to us and struck up a conversation, a situation that had never happened to us in the mainland United States.
Mystery of Bermuda Triangle and Tax Incentives
Puerto Rico is also part of the infamous Bermuda Triangle, known for its mysterious disappearances and legends. While the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle has been explored extensively, the mystery of Puerto Rico’s status as part of the Bermuda Triangle remains unexplored. On a more positive note, Puerto Rico offers unique tax incentives for those who choose to live and work remotely on the island. By working for a company with a branch in Puerto Rico, individuals can escape federal taxes, making it an attractive option for some.
Challenges in Healthcare and Education
Despite its status as a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico faces significant challenges in healthcare and education. Our visit to Vieques Island, a part of Puerto Rico, revealed that there is only one hospital for a population of 9,000-10,000 people, highlighting the limited access to healthcare in some parts of the island. Additionally, high rates of migration from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States have resulted in school closures and labor shortages, affecting the quality of education and leaving many schools with very few students.
Our trip to Puerto Rico shed light on the lesser-known aspects of this island territory, revealing unique challenges and realities that are often overlooked. From limited gas stations to ongoing colonization, from healthcare challenges to education issues, Puerto Rico offers a different perspective on the state of affairs in the United States. Despite these challenges, we also experienced the beauty and uniqueness of Puerto Rico, from its beaches to its cultural heritage. Our visit to this territory was an eye-opening experience that challenged our preconceived notions about the United States and left us with a deeper understanding of the complexities of Puerto Rico’s status as a part of America.