Sunday, June 11, 2006


The Puerto Rican Connection

I have had a very exciting invitation. I am to meet some representatives of the Puerto Rican Corsican Association, who will be visiting Corsica at the same time as I am.

I have known about the Puerto Rican connection for a while now, and it fascinates me – and now I will be able to find out a little more about the links between these two intriguing islands at first hand.

Most of what I know is written on Corsica Isula ( and it goes something like this… When the Genoese handed Corsica to the French in the mid 18th Century, a number of Corsicans decided they would be better off elsewhere and decided to emigrate to Puerto Rica (Why there? I’ll try and find out!) and this was followed by mass migration to the Caribbean in the 1800s. There are now reputed to be around 400,000 people of Corsican descent on Puerto Rico – more than there are in Corsica itself.

It seems the newcomers settled down well, and were a key influence in establishing Puerto Rico’s thriving coffee industry. Since then, many Puerto Rican Corsicans have returned to the land of their fathers, and live in large, American-size houses in Cap Corse.

A happy ending? Yes, but there’s a corollary that I find rather sad. Visit one of the main information sites about Puerto Rico ( and there are eight densely pages of history about the island – but not one mention of Corsica.

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