The total land area, including the smaller islands, is 3,427 square miles (8,875 square kilometers).The tropical island ecosystem is unique and diversified in spite of industrialization and urban sprawl.
But many fled into the highlands or intermarried: Spanish immigration to the island was mostly male and interracial relations less stigmatizing than among Anglo settlers.
The contemporary revival of Taíno identity is partially based on the survival of Taíno highland communities.
The nineteenth century also brought Corsican, French, German, Lebanese, Scottish, Italian, Irish, English, and American immigration. Many Dominicans immigrated in search of economic opportunities; some use Puerto Rico as a port of entry into the United States.
Tension and prejudice against these two groups have emerged.
In 1508, the Spanish granted settlement rights to Juan Ponce de León, who established a settlement at Caparra and became the first governor.