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Gerald Kierce ’13 presented on Puerto Rico's economy, including facts about its high unemployment rate but also its high GDP.

Explore beyond the shore

10:43 AM  Oct 3rd, 2011
by Meredith Hirt '13
When I think of the U.S. I picture the 48 continental states; maybe remembering to add in Alaska and Hawaii. Located in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico seems like an exotic paradise.

“Our God-given asset is the weather,” said Jorge Lopez, senior accounting and finance major from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. However paradise-like it is, Puerto Rico is still part of the United States. As a commonwealth of the U.S. it is self-governed, but the U.S. controls its external affairs and its chief of state is President Obama. Puerto Ricans are American citizens and their textbooks are printed in English.

They also come to UD for the same reasons as everyone else. “Most of us are from the same Marianist high school,” said Lopez, referring to his alma mater, Colegio San José. “But it’s not just that; we come to UD like all others because of the academics and the community.”

Lopez and four other Puerto Rican students gave a presentation in O’Leary last Monday. Four school of business undergrads and one political science major spoke about Puerto Rico’s history, government, economy and — as coined by the new campaign promoting business in Puerto Rico — why Puerto Rico does it better.

The students’ passion for the island was evident. They encourage others to visit and experience Puerto Rico for themselves. Sophomore marketing major Roberto Reyes ended the presentation with an invitation. “Explore beyond the shore. We’re going to be there with open arms.”

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