From my mother I inherited my Puerto Rican culture. As I became to research my ancestors, I found that the peaceful natural inhabitants of the island came from, what is now known as, South America. They were called the Taino natives. The Taino natives named the island "Boriken" or "Boriquen" meaning "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or " land of the great Lords." .
By 1509, their peaceful island was conquered by Spain on behalf of Juan Ponce de Leon, who later became the first governor of the island. At first, the island was named "Porto Rico," but later changed to "Puerto Rico." However, this was not the only change. There was no longer any peace for the natives with their existence with the Spaniards. The Spaniards decided to enslave the Taino natives working them from dusk until dawn. The Taino natives thought the Spanish colonizer had divine powers, so they did not contest the wishes of the Spaniards. In 1510 Cacique Urayoan, the chief of the chief of the Taino natives, ordered the warriors to drown one of the Spaniards, Diego Salcedo, to determine whether the Spaniards were mortal. After drowning the Spaniard and watching him several days to ensure his death, the Taino natives learned they had been fooled. They revolted against the Spaniards, but did not succeed. 6,000 natives were ordered to be shot, while the survivors fled to the mountains or fled the island. After the decimation of the natives, they were replaced by African slaves and later on by Arab or people of Arab descent. After so many years of having slaves, slavery was abolished in 1873.
The Taino natives were not very knowledgeable with agriculture. They lived on natural occurring crops like pineapples, cassava, and sweet potatoes. They also complimented their crops with a lot of seafood. Surprisingly, the coconut tree was introduced to the island in 1542 by the Indo-Malaysian region through the sea currents.