Early History of Boriken or Puerto Rico:
Carmen Yuisa Baguanamey Colon Delgado is the hereditary chief of the Taino Turabo Tribe from the line of Chief Caguax, She is also great-granddaughter of Jose Delgado Rojas, the owner of the Delgado Royal Grant. The Delgado royal grant, the largest grant ever given to anyone by the King of Spain was their ancient territorial tribal land; for the Delgado clan of the Turabo River Valley are the descendants of the Chiefs who ruled this ancient territory, prior to the colonizer's arrival.
"I have included here an attachment of a document. This is a translation completed by myself from the Spanish language of a write up done by our Caguas town historian on my grandfather Caguax " . . . Carmen Delgado. Complete translation on this website.
=================== The following is adapted from the original translation:
Columbus arrived in Hispanola December 25, 1492 and goes ashore. With the wood from the Santa Maria they build a fort, called Navidad. He left 39 men there and sailed back to Spain.
The next year, when he returned all were dead and the fort burned. They had not expected the Taino to become violent. When Ponce de Leon gets his mandate to conquer Boriken (Puerto Rico) in 1506 he arrives in Puerto Rico and establishes a treaty of no aggression with the Sovereign chief of Natives, Chief Aguebana ( Like the river that was named after him). Juan Gonzalez accompanied him as interpreter. He was very well received and presented with gifts. Ponce de Leon's captain was called Luis de Anasco.
Both the chief and Ponce de Leon gave each other their names. It was the mother of the chief who had advised the indians to be pacific, if they did not wish to die at their hands. She had already heard of some of the incidents in Hispanola of the Spaniards killing indians. The Spanish were aware that the native people had communication with each other and were therefore very careful not to cause them to be enemies at first.
The colonization of Puerto Rico began in a peaceful manner. The Indians were not really peaceful but tried it out that way in the beginning because of the 'Guaityau' or blood pact carried out between Ponce de Leon and Chief Agueybana . There had already been much bloodshed in Hispanola.
After the pact was made it was the Spaniards broke the Guaytiaue and began treating the natives as mere objects, not human beings, they were not respected by the invaders. They enslaved the people. ( as their charter from Spain had given them leave to do so). The natives who would not allow the Spanish to enslave them took to fighting them.
When the Spanish first arrived Boriken was full of gold , Ponce de Leon 'gave' the indian chiefs to the conquistadores to work their fields and gold mines. They were then treated inhumanely and resisted. The consequences of this resistance were complicated by disease the native could not well resist.
There was a Catholic named Father Antonio Montesino, a Dominican priest who was in charge of delivering the Advent Sermon which he used to address the wrongs being done to the natives.
"Under whose authority have you unleashed such a detestable war against this people who were in peaceful possession of their lands? How can you oppress and work them without feeding them or healing them of their sickness. Aren't you under the obligation of living them as your own selves? Don't you understand this? Don't you feel it? On such lethargic ground you sleep. . . Rest assured that, in the present state you are in, there's no salvation for you, the same as there is none for those who reject Jesus' law.
Also Fray Bartomome de Las Casa opposed the slavery. It was practically impossible to keep passive under such terrible conditions and the natives rose up to defend themselves.
For all practical purposes the natives as a race of people were reduced in numbers dramatically in Puerto Rico, due to the abuse perpetrated on them by the colonizers. There were other factors, mass suicide, exodus to other places and diseases. The uprisings of 1511 and 1513 greatly reduced the number of natives on the island.
The Europeans then began importing black slaves to the island.
Caguax or Caguas was the Chief of the east central portion of the island. His territory was in the Turabo River Valley and was made up of Aguas Buenas, San Lorenzo, Gurabo, Juncos and Las Piedras. After the uprising of 1511, in which he allegedly did not participate, tradition has it that he embraced Catholicism and remained peaceful but he was amongst those Chiefs ( as was Don Alonso, another chief) who were 'reduced' and sent away to eventually die in the Dominican Republic ( or perhaps it was in Utuado) away from their own people. They were the only ones to accept this 'amnesty' . Other chiefs chose to adopt an attitude of civil disobedience, even though accepting they would have to live with the Spaniards.
Juan Ceron ( who became governor) took charge of Chief Mana, Chief Guacabo , chief Orocovix and Chief Caguas and he in turn gave them to whom he saw fit. At this point Chief Caguas no longer felt he needed to up hold his peace pact with Ponce de Leon .
The natives continued to fight. 16 chiefs were captured, betrayed by a native, and extradited to Hispanola, for conspiracy.
The indians dispersed into the central mountains, some of the people hiding in caves, when they were captured they were enslaved and put to work in the mines.
Many Puerto Ricans are mestizo because in those days the Catholic priests were in favor of marrying off the daughters of Taino Chiefs to the second sons of Spaniards to avoid blood shed. In all reality, what this did for them was obtain large tracks of land from the Natives and free labor.