Vieques is best known internationally as the site of a series of protests against the United States Navy's use of the island as a bombing range and testing ground, which led to the navy's departure in 2003.Today the former navy land is a national wildlife refuge, with numerous beaches that still retain the names given by the navy, including Red Beach, Blue Beach and Green Beach.The two names were switched over the centuries: the island became Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan. This sense of uniqueness also shapes their migrant experience and relationship with other ethnoracial groups in the United States.The United States anglicized the name to "Porto Rico" when it occupied the island in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans are a Caribbean people who regard themselves as citizens of a distinctive island nation in spite of their colonial condition and U. However, this cultural nationalism coexists with a desire for association with the United States as a state or in the current semiautonomous commonwealth status. Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south. It was thus a valuable acquisition for European powers and the United States. Navy has used its offshore islands for military maneuvers that have damaged their ecology, economy, and quality of life.In 1508, the Spanish granted settlement rights to Juan Ponce de León, who established a settlement at Caparra and became the first governor.In 1519 Caparra had to be relocated to a nearby coastal islet with a healthier environment; it was renamed Puerto Rico ("Rich Port") for its harbor, among the world's best natural bays.
Vieques is part of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and retains strong influences from 400 years of Spanish presence in the island.
For an idea of schedule, most of the shippers leave once a week on Friday in each direction.
The actual shipping takes 3-8 days (some boats are faster than others, and Jacksonville is closer than Philadelphia), but loading and unloading takes up to two additional days.
Especially on weekends, there seems to be something going on just about everywhere -- whether it's an art fair in Old San Juan, a pig roast in the rural mountain area outside town, or a volleyball competition or free concert on the beach in Isla Verde.
More so than on any other island, visitors are more likely to rub elbows with locals in Puerto Rico because so many of them are out enjoying themselves.