Upon arriving in Puerto Rico , the Spanish forced the native Taino people into slavery, and the entire indigenous population was virtually wiped out. The few Taino people who escaped into the secluded mountains married Spanish farmers and became known as jibaros. After years of migration to the cities, however, few still remain in Vieques.

 

Today, the Vieques population comprises several different cultures and races. Some are the offspring of slaves who were brought from Africa , specifically Sudan , Kongo , Senegal , Guinea , and Sierra Leona, to work on the plantations. Later, French-speaking people came from Louisiana and Haiti , and both Scottish and Irish travelers came to escape depressed economies and revolutions.

 

During the mid-19th century, Chinese workers were brought in to help build roads. They were soon joined by other laborers from Europe , including Germany , Italy , and France . American expatriates began to arrive after acquisition by the United States in 1898, and thousands of Cubans arrived in the 1960s as a result of Fidel Castro’s revolution.

More historical and cultural information is available at www.enchanted-isle.com.