Puerto Rico Experiencing Increasing Migration Numbers

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Source: Pew Research Center

As Puerto Rico’s economy continues to experience a steady decline , more people are finding themselves moving to the United States in search for better opportunities. This migration wave is one of the largest to date, just short of the epic 1950s era. According to a data collecting online tool, there are now more Puerto Ricans living in Florida, than in PR.

One of the biggest factors attributing to the country’s declining economy is the huge governmental debt, that is now amounting to 73 billion dollars. One important thing to keep in mind is that PR’s debt does not mirror its population’s needs. Its debt is comparable to a large state like NYC, however, its population is closer to Connecticut. This situation is due to a number of things, including out of means spending and migration. The latter reduces the tax amount the country is able to collect, which is necessary in establishing a reserve to start repaying the debts. Other clipping factors include overspending, high energy costs, and a dependency on borrowing funds from other countries.

Migration is common among people of all ages and classes, especially college students. After completing higher education, most graduates look for job opportunities in the states, or different countries. These numbers greatly diminishes the output of internal economy, and eliminate any chance on economic development in the field of law, medicine and business . According to this article “between 1980 and 2000, the average annual migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland United States was 12,000 people. From 2010 to 2013 — when the economy started tanking — that figure jumped to 48,000 people per year.”  Many believe that the worst is yet to come, as the country’s biggest electricity provider, PREPA,  is approaching a debt payment of 400 million dollars this July. Even though most of the Caribbean is turning to more efficient and natural energy options, PREPA continues to rely on oil fields and “inefficient” spending.  

Must See-attle Spots

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Views from Seattle

1. Pike Place

Pike Place is one of the most famous market places in Seattle. People can walk around and visit the individual vendors which start selling right at 9 AM. Pike Place offers fresh food, amazing atmosphere, original Starbucks, flowers, and tourists. What more can you ask for?

2. The Seattle Waterfront

Visitors can kick off their trip by walking through the bay and the skyline views will follow you on the other side. Besides the amazing views, people can expect a plethora of entertainment such as bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

3. Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture is a fun public park where people can take a swift walk near the waterfront, as well as free tours through the city to learn more about its history. Some notable installations include the Eagle, Typewriter Eraser and many others. 

4. Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

This is a must visit for fans of Seattle, and despite the confusing layout of the museum visitors can enjoy the displays which vary from modern to contemporary. And for those who are conscious of their budgets, the museum offers free visits every Thursday!

5. The Foremont Troll 

This is a fun local art work from the Seattle community and it is an attraction for people who want to take a goofy photo and further explore the statue.  The Troll is made of concrete materials and thought out by local artists in the 1990’s. It’s unique to the area, fun and quirky, and the countless photo ops further prove its popularity among tourists. 

6. The Space Needle 

The Space Needle is an iconic monument in Seattle standing at 605-ft tall and 848 stairs. It is one of the best known symbols in the US, which also acts as an observatory to look over the beautiful city, in its glory. While enjoying the views, visitors can also have dinner.

7. Discovery Park

People who have visited this park say its the best place for hikes through the woods and walks on the beach without getting to far from the city. The park has a great mix of trees, forest, shoreline, and some history as well.  Favorite hikes include the North Beach Trail, which you can get to easiest by the North Parking Lot. 

Influential Women of Puerto Rican Origin

As we say goodbye to National’s Women’s History Month, Morayma would like to reflect on some of the most influential women who are of Puerto Rican origin. As a native Puerto Rican herself, Morayma appreciates the work and precedent set forth by these women, which has inspired her to work harder and pursue a career in the medical field. As we move forward and continue to fight for women equality, it’s important to reflect on what these women have done for society as a a whole and learn from their courage.

Top Four Landmarks In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an exotic destination for many people, but some of its rare beauty is passed over for beaches and all inclusive resorts. Often, people who chose to experience the tourist version of a country tend to miss out on some amazing attractions these places have to offer. This is no different for Puerto Rico- a country that is rich in culture, history and sightseeing. Below are four of the island’s must see landmarks:

1. Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

Morayma ReyesCommonly known as the “El Morro”, this is one of the best known attractions in San Juan, as well as one of the richest in history. The castle is over 400 years old and it was used to protect the city from travelers, war and even traders from the New World. When visiting this old citadel, one can experience how soldiers lived in the 1500s and bypass war memorabilia such as cannons and sentry boxes. A full majestic view of the city from the top of the El Morro is an extra perk of visiting this landmark.

2. El Yunque
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Cascading through the Mosquito Bay on Vieques Island, this beautiful natural wonder is breathtaking. People can kayak during the day and marvel the bountiful flora around, and in the evening witness the forewent waterfall shimmering in the moonlight. This place still remains all natural and has yet to be touched by man.

3. Camuy Caves

Morayma ReyesThis cave system is one of the largest in the world, and its sub-terrain has a diverse eco- makeup. The ravines in the caves stretch as far as 600 feet deep, past an underground river. The adventurous can take this excursion even further by sliding, body rafting and even jumping inside the cave’s edges.

4. Culebrita

Morayma Reyes This is a private beach that is all natural and only a few people have access to it. Located on the east coast of the main island, Culebrita can only be reached by a water taxi or private jet. One of the main attractions of the beach is Playa Tortuga or “Turtle Beach”, which is spread across golden sand and see through blue waters.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful island, and it can offer different experiences to people who chose to take on a unique route when visiting this historical place. Despite your vacation plans, you can’t go wrong even if you spend your whole time sipping a Pina Colada on the beach.

Tax Breaks For the Wealthy

Morayma ReyesPuerto Rico’s economic down fall has been happening for over a decade now, and with minimal to no sign of improvement the government has introduced tax breaks for visiting US citizens in hopes of reaching an economic recovery. In 2012, PR introduced a law that allows U.S  citizens, who live on the island for over six months, to pay close to no taxes on their income and expenses. A recent study conducted by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce found that a little over 200 private equity and hedge fund moguls have made plans or already moved to Puerto Rico in order to take advantage of this law.

Any person who moves to Puerto Rico is exempt from paying a local or federal tax on capital gains, as well as no taxes will be applied to their salaries. In 1917, the US granted US citizenship to all Puerto Ricans, which allows the islanders to leave for the US for better job opportunities. Between 2005 and 2012 close to 280,000 doctors, engineers and other professionals moved to the US to pursue their careers. With this new law in place, the PR government is trying to lure in a wealthy tier of US citizens in order to increase spending and give their economy a boost. 

Many economists hope that personal and corporate spending, such as buying homes and retail space, as well as other materialistic spending will contribute to the development of the economy. However, many are cautious of this new law, and are questioning the the true value of importing hundreds of millionaires and billionaires in an island that has currently the lowest income per capita in the US. Only time will tell if the introduction of this tax exempt law will have any significant influence on the economy, or if will just further divide the country between the have and have nots.

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