Puerto Rico Quotes that Honor a Proud Legacy
April 11, 2023 5:00 AM EST
Take a look at these Puerto Rico quotes inspired by one of the most robust and complex nations of the Caribbean.
Nestled in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, The Antilles are a collection of some of the earth’s most stunning islands.
The Island of Borinquen, commonly known as Puerto Rico, has a very rich history and has produced world-renowned thinkers, artists, and agents of change.
Today in the capital of San Juan you see a different world with an airport and resorts.
An old map would show the villages of the native Taino tribe, the initial inhabitants; A group of people with a highly developed culture, a deep connection to the planet, known for fine art and peaceful sustainable living.
Today, Puerto Rico is a mix of different ethnic and cultural legacies, still standing tall as a group with a deeply rooted history, and these quotes honor that legacy.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of Spanish speakers in the United States and its territories, with 94.9% of the population speaking Spanish at home.
This linguistic dominance underscores the importance of preserving and sharing Puerto Rico’s linguistic heritage, which is a key aspect of its cultural identity.
Let us know which of these quotes about Puerto resonate with you.
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Puerto Rico quotes that will make you want to visit the island
The Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, as reported by the National Puerto Rican Day Parade organization, is one of the largest cultural events in the United States, attracting over 2 million participants annually.
This celebration serves as a testament to the pride and resilience of the Puerto Rican community, both on the island and within the diaspora.
1. “Puerto Rico is a powerful island.” – Fat Joe
2. “You know, you may not be born in Puerto Rico, but Puerto Rican is definitely born in you.” –Rosie Perez
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3. “Nothing is better for your soul than to visit Puerto Rico.” ― Lin-Manuel Miranda
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4. “He wished he were back in Puerto Rico, where life was simpler for him. Ah, those were the good old days.” ― Jason Medina
5. “Puerto Ricans, it doesn’t matter where they live, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since they visited the island, their hearts are there.” – Anibal Acevedo Vila
6. “I live in Puerto Rico, my family lives in Puerto Rico, my friends. What happens in Puerto Rico matters to me.”- Bad Bunny
7. “When I left Chicago, people said, ‘Careful with that Texas heat’. I’m like, ‘I’m from Puerto Rico. I know heat.”- Amaury Nolasco
8. “When I was 11, I went to Puerto Rico for a month to stay with my grandmother. To see the way people lived there and experience my own culture was wonderful.”- Andrea Navedo
9. “I don’t think it’s fair that you can say I’m not a Puerto Rican fighter because I wasn’t born in Puerto Rico, when my blood is Puerto Rican”- Danny Garcia
10. “In Puerto Rico, we have a lot of traditions. We eat a very typical thing that’s called ‘pasteles’ – it’s almost like a tamale made of bananas, and we make it all together. Like, all the women of the family unite, and it’s a very big deal, a very big thing.”- Joyce Giraud
11. “Immediately after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, I was extremely concerned about my family, friends and all the people in Puerto Rico.” – Yadier Molina
12. “I was very skinny and very lanky and kind of awkward. In Puerto Rico, everybody is a little more voluptuous, with these beautiful bodies, and there I was, the skinny, lanky girl.” – Joyce Giraud
13. “In Puerto Rico, we have a lot of traditions. We eat a very typical thing that’s called ‘pasteles’ – it’s almost like a tamale made of bananas, and we make it all together. Like, all the women of the family unite, and it’s a very big deal, a very big thing.” – Joyce Giraud
14. “I was actually born and raised in Puerto Rico. I moved to the States when I was 19. I was very impressed early on by being around people who spoke my language and ate the same food and listened to the same music, dressed the same. But then you look around and, you know, you’re not in Puerto Rico.” – Miguel Zenon
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Pride in Puerto Rico quotes
Puerto Rico is recognized for its rich history and vibrant culture, a fact reflected in a study by the University of Puerto Rico, which found that the island’s unique blend of Taino, African, and Spanish influences have created a distinct cultural identity.
This research demonstrates how the diverse backgrounds of Puerto Rico’s people have shaped their customs, music, and language, making it a truly remarkable destination.
15. “I’ll live in Puerto Rico until the day I die.” – Bad Bunny
16. “I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud I grew up in Puerto Rico.” – Raul Labrador
17. “We must all work together to bring the best to Puerto Rico.” – Anibal Acevedo Vila
18. “I don’t see it as pressure at all. I see it as such an honor to just in some sort of way represent Puerto Rico and Hispanics and all the girls out there.” – Laurie Hernandez
19. “I think it’s amazing that I can go out there and be myself, and the fact that I’m carrying Puerto Rico on my back a little bit is such an honor.”- Laurie Hernandez
20. “My grandfather was extremely dark and from Puerto Rico, but his brother had blond hair and blue eyes. There are so many different shades, and I think Hollywood has yet to realize that.” – La La Anthony
21. “I never thought anything was strange in Puerto Rico other than the big mosquitos; because I was born there, nothing was really foreign to me. I think what I saw strange coming to L.A. was that a lot of people are a little bit two-faced. In Puerto Rico, you don’t get that.”-Joyce Giraud
Puerto Rico quotes about the island’s impact
A study by the University of Puerto Rico found that the island’s education system is struggling, with many students facing significant barriers to academic success.
The study identified a lack of resources, overcrowded classrooms, and language barriers as contributing factors to the education crisis.
22. “What I can tell you is that for Puerto Rico being such a small island, it has culturally impacted the entire world.”- Fat Joe
23. Nobody can doubt Puerto Rico, sociologically, linguistically, culturally, and historically, is a nation.” – Anibal Acevedo Vila
24. “Culturally, musically, historically Cuba and Puerto Rico are like two wings of one bird.”-Pedro Capo
25. “I was very surprised to see people who recognize me in Puerto Rico.” – Gong Yoo
26. “We have our own rich culture, thousand years of history, unique territory, and almost everyone’s first language is Spanish, not English” – Anibal Acevedo Vila
27. “I tried to give the world a bit of creativity, lyrics. And for me, I will always represent music from Puerto Rico, reggaeton, Latin music.” – Bad Bunny
28. “In Puerto Rico, I played in all kinds of bands that played salsa and merengue. That’s how I saved the money to come to the U.S..” – Miguel Zenon
29. “I see myself like what Drake did in the game. I came with melodies and different lyrics, from a different place – reggaeton is from Puerto Rico; Drake is from Canada.” – J Balvin
30. “My grandfather came over from Puerto Rico and raised his kids speaking English so that it would be easier for them to assimilate.” – Aubrey Plaza
31. “Puerto Rico is complicated. The people are complicated. The history is complicated. The story of the United States’ relationship to Puerto Rico is complicated.”- W. Kamau Bell
32. “I’ve been there a few times, and I’d like to learn more about the various cultures in Africa. But that’s the basis point of where all of the music that I love is based upon, from Africa to Cuba to Puerto Rico to South America.” – Chick Corea
Puerto Rican quotes about freedom and sovereignty
According to a report by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, the island’s population has decreased by over 11% since 2010, largely due to emigration to the mainland United States.
This statistic highlights the impact of migration on the island’s population and economy.
33. “In Puerto Rico, we continue to see the perpetuation of second-class citizenship in the United States.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
34. “Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but by their own choice, Puerto Rico is not a state. The relationship has worked well for Puerto Rico – which has strengthened its culture, language and economy – and for the United States, which has helped create in Puerto Rico a showcase of democracy and prosperity for all of Latin America.” – Anibal Acevedo Vila
35. “We can’t be ambassadors because we don’t have a country. Puerto Rico is not a country with any power in the world, I won’t be considered a great poet. Spain created great poets with its empire and made them known around the world through its empire. Great poetry has always stemmed from the economic prosperity of a people. That is why we have Quevedo and Gongora.” ― Giannina Braschi
36. “I know that the loss of life people on the island suffered from Hurricane Maria was not simply the result of an extreme weather event. The casualties are also the result of the colonial legacy that includes racism and years of neglect.” ― Roberto Mukaro Borrero
37. “Grant us more powers, not less; grant us more democracy, not less; grant us the tools to move forward because, I can assure you, Puerto Rico will move forward. We did it in the past; we will do it again.”- Anibal Acevedo Vila
Puerto Rico quotes about Taino Legacy
According to a report by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, nearly half of all Puerto Ricans in the United States live below the poverty line.
This statistic highlights the economic struggles faced by many Puerto Ricans, both on the island and in the diaspora.
38. “I have a real problem when those people preferring to affirm an African or even a Spanish side to their history say that I can’t affirm who I am as an indigenous person, as though everybody else is entitled to be who they are on our ancestral homeland, except us.” ― Roberto Mukaro Borrero
39. “To remain silent is to be complicit in the face of the increasing injustice, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance we are currently witnessing today.” ― Roberto Mukaro Borrero
Puerto Rico quotes from Christopher Columbus
According to data from the US Census Bureau, Puerto Rico has a population of over 3.3 million people, making it the 3rd most populous territory of the United States.
This statistic highlights the significance of Puerto Rico as a vibrant and diverse community within the United States.
(These quotes all come directly from the Diary of Christopher Columbus, a primary document that authentically captures the mindset and intentions of Columbus and Spain’s colonial forces toward what would become Puerto Rico, while demonstrating some of the virtuous qualities of the Taino people.)
40. “They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells.” – Christopher Columbus
41. “They willingly traded everything they owned.” “They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.” – Christopher Columbus
42. “They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance.” – Christopher Columbus
43. “They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants.” – Christopher Columbus
44. “With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” – Christopher Columbus
45. “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.” – Christopher Columbus
46. “And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.” – Christopher Columbus
47. “While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me.” – Christopher Columbus
48. “When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire.” – Christopher Columbus
49. “She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun.” – Christopher Columbus
50. “But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears.” – Christopher Columbus
Quotes by Puerto Ricans, Celebrities and Politicians about Puerto Rico
A study conducted by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics found that the island’s economy is heavily reliant on the tourism industry, which generates over $8 billion in revenue annually.
This statistic illustrates the importance of tourism to Puerto Rico’s economy and the role that visitors play in supporting local businesses and communities.
51. “They (the people of Puerto Rico) are truly the sweetest people on earth.” — Johnny Depp
52. “However, the sovereignty of the states is constitutionally defined and recognized, while the powers of the local government in Puerto Rico are defined by, and subject to alteration under, federal statutory law.” — Dick Thornburgh
53. “I’m very used to hurricanes. I’m from Puerto Rico and we have 3 or 4 a year. When you have no power, no light, no email, no place to go, you realize who your loved ones are and where you are in your life at that moment.” — Luis D. Ortiz
54. “How about a geography lesson? My father’s from Puerto Rico. My mother’s from El Salvador. And neither one of those is Mexico.” — Jennifer Esposito
55. “I hope I will live to see a final meeting of the minds between Puerto Rico and statehood. But if I don’t live that long, I am certain it will happen.” — Luis A. Ferre
56. “If Congress does its job in this regard, the residents of Puerto Rico will be empowered to act in their own self-interest and express their future political status aspirations accordingly.” — Dick Thornburgh
57. “Javy [Baez] grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball. He’s been taught properly and well.” — Joe Maddon
58. “I didn’t know I had this many fans in Puerto Rico. I’m going to carry this memory to my grave.” — Allen Iverson
59. “Federal program and services outlay in Puerto Rico is approximately $10 billion per year.” — Dick Thornburgh
60. “Without question, so many people, throughout my life, never think of Puerto Rico as part of the United States.” — Sonia Sotomayor
Quotes about Puerto Rico’s Beauty
According to data from the World Bank, Puerto Rico has a literacy rate of 94%, which is higher than the global average.
This statistic underscores the island’s strong commitment to education and the importance of literacy in shaping its culture and identity.
61. “I did not feel ‘evil’ when I wrote advertisements for Puerto Rico. They helped attract industry and tourists to a country which had been living on the edge of starvation for 400 years.” – David Ogilvy
62. “Puerto Rico has a stray dog problem. Tens of thousands of homeless canines – hundreds of thousands, by some estimates – live and die on the streets and beaches all over this Caribbean island of almost four million people.” – Juliana Hatfield
63. “I was ballet dancing at four, playing piano by six, and doing commercials by 12. When I was 21, I was on the number one live comedy show in Puerto Rico. I told my parents, ‘I’m going to New York to become a performer.’ And I left.” – Roselyn Sanchez
64. “The most important thing is to find the balance between city and nature. I have that ‘hippie quality’ – my husband is a super-hippie Los Angeles boy – so we’ll have to make time to go to Puerto Rico, and upstate New York, and be sure we get to do outdoorsy stuff like that.” – Ana Ortiz
65. “American imperialism is often traced to the takeover of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii in 1898.” – Noam Chomsky
66. “When I married Wilnelia, one of the first things I wanted to know about Puerto Rico was the quality of the golf courses.” – Bruce Forsyth
67. “Puerto Rico has two divergent paths forward. After a reasonable transition period, it could become a state. Or it can become a sovereign nation.” – Pedro Pierluisi
68. “In historical and constitutional terms, the recent political status vote in Puerto Rico was a necessary but obviously not decisive step on the road of self-determination leading to full self-government.” – Dick Thornburgh
69.”Puerto Rico is one of those places you can be as quiet or as crazy as you want, because there’s so much nightlife. I have to take the craziness carefully.” – Bruce Forsyth
70. “My parents always talk about Puerto Rico. My dad’s whole family lives in Puerto Rico. My great grandma lives in Puerto Rico and I got to meet her a couple years ago.” – Danny Garcia
Puerto Rico Quotes To Make You Plan A Visit
71. “I had such a great upbringing in Puerto Rico, and it was just a very normal life.” ― Roselyn Sanchez
72. “I like to cook Puerto Rican food. That’s what I grew up on: rice, beans, meat, some Italian-American food. I know my way around the kitchen.” ― Jennifer Lopez
73. “I’d want Puerto Rico to become the 51st state of America.” ― Ricky Rossello
74. “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” ― Louis Armstrong
75. “I was aware that my nomination was drawing a lot of attention, particularly in the Latino world, not just in Puerto Rico. It was touching.” ― Sonia Sotomayor
76. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ― Susan Sontag
77. “In Puerto Rico we dance to everything.” ― Bad Bunny
78. “Over 90 percent of parents in Puerto Rico want their children to be totally fluent in English.” ― Luis Fortuno
79. “The first Latin music that blew my mind was bumba, which was a Puerto Rican beat.” ― David Johansen
80. “Yet, individuals and corporations in Puerto Rico pay no federal income tax.” ― Dick Thornburgh
Puerto Rico Quotes That Guarantee You Freedom
81. “I’m always talking about the issue of Puerto Rico.I also spoke about it on the Senate floor, and I think it should be given the importance, the priority it deserves.” — Marco Rubio
82. “Puerto Rico got too futuristic with the electronic reggaeton. It lost the essence of the reggae music.” — Nicky Jam
83. “Same way I have my entire life. Keep my family and friends close. My Latino friends close. I visit the island [Puerto Rico] as often as I humanly can.” — Sonia Sotomayor
84. “My brother, Mario, is in show business and so are all my cousins on my dad’s side. We come from a family of musicians. My grandmother’s sister in Puerto Rico plays five instruments.” — Irene Cara
85. “I said I deserved a home fight, either Philly or Puerto Rico, since I’m always going to someone else’s place to fight. Everyone thought it was a great idea to go back to Puerto Rico.” — Danny Garcia
86. “Puerto Rico lacks resources, but that’s not the fault of the U.S.” — Francisco Rodriguez
87. “Puerto Rico is not a full part of the United States. We’re a territory or a colonial territory.” — Ricky Rossello
88. “Aside from being a Latina, my family immigrated from Puerto Rico and Yugoslavia so I know all about that. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today if they didn’t come to America. Everybody has an immigration story.” — Naya Rivera
89. “That is why, with optimism instead of fear, all those who want to see Puerto Rico’s status resolved should seek the truth about each option, including the upside and the downside of each.” — Dick Thornburgh
90. “Regardless of what ideological twist people may have, about 90 to 95 percent of our population [in Puerto Rico] really values our citizenship. It’s of utmost importance.” — Ricky Rossello
Puerto Rico Quotes for a Beautiful Island
91. “Puerto Rico still has the wherewithal to be a tourist destination.” — Ricardo Rossello
92. “In Puerto Rico we are used to a diet centered on rice, and so accustomed are our digestive systems to it, that on a day when we miss it, it seems as though we haven’t eaten.” — Elias Gutierrez
93. “You’re not from Puerto Rico, so you should say Puerto Rico like all the other people from the place that you come from.” — Deborah Tannen
94. “Like most ‘Nuyoricans’, I consider Puerto Rico my mecca, the repository of my spiritual self and the endless story of my extended family.” — Ed Morales
95. “Puerto Rico…it is a kind of lost love-child, born to the Spanish Empire and fostered by the United States.” — Nicholas Wollaston
96. “If Francoise Sagan hadn’t written a book called A Chateau in Sweden, I would certainly write a short story called A Chateau in Puerto Rico. And I may yet.” — Truman Capote
97. “I got a message from one of my friends in Puerto Rico, who said, ‘Sonia, there’s nobody working in Puerto Rico – they’re all glued to the television’. And I got a similar message from a friend in Spain.” — Sonia Sotomayor
98. “Puerto Rico loses out on billions of dollars annually because it is treated unequally under a range of federal programs, including tax credits available to millions of households in the States that do not pay federal income taxes.” — Pedro Pierluisi
99. “I got a message from one of my friends in Puerto Rico, who said, ‘Sonia, there’s nobody working in Puerto Rico – they’re all glued to the television’. And I got a similar message from a friend in Spain.” — Sonia Sotomayor
100. “I am 38 years old, and I want to live in Puerto Rico and I want to create a path forward for growth. I realize that have come at the most challenging times to become governor, but I want to push things forward.” — Ricky Rossello
Puerto Rico Quotes to Discover the Beauty and Richness
101. “Puerto Rico is the best kept secret in the Caribbean.” — Rene Perez Joglar
102. “I’m proud to be from Puerto Rico and to represent my culture every chance I get.” — Adam Rodriguez
103. “Puerto Rico is a melting pot of cultures, but it’s our music that truly embodies who we are.” — Daddy Yankee
104. “Puerto Rico is where my heart is, and I believe that my love for the island will continue to grow.” — Roselyn Sanchez
105. “I am a proud Boricua and will always represent my island and my people.” — Joel Mateo
106. “Puerto Rico has a rich history and culture, and I am honored to be a part of it.” — Jennifer Lopez
107. “Puerto Rico is not just a place, it’s a state of mind and a way of life.” — Bad Bunny
108. “Puerto Rico is a place of beauty and warmth, and I am grateful to call it my home.” — Ricky Martin
109. “Puerto Rico is a vibrant island with a rich cultural heritage and a bright future.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda
110. “Puerto Rico is a special place, full of history, love, and resilience.” — Jose Feliciano
What did you learn from these Puerto Rico quotes?
Some of the planet’s most successful musicians and performers are Puerto Rican.
Actors like Joaquin Phoenix, or musical artists like Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, and Jennifer Lopez are internationally recognized.
This makes sense, however, if you look at the powerful role art and music have played in the history of Puerto Rico.
For many generations, the Taino people mastered a variety of flutes and drums.
In fact, music was so deeply entrenched in their culture, it was used to connect with nature, bring rain and guide hunters to find food.
It is said, “their music had such a large importance that one of the most valuable gifts that a Taíno could offer to another was a song.”
While the nation of Puerto Rico continues to deal with the challenges of globalization, there is still a strong connection amongst the people who continue to strive to continue adding to an already very proud legacy.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Puerto Rico quotes and sayings?
Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?
Let us know in the comment section below.