Officially, this episode is on the amazing glowing algae living in the waters of three of Puerto Rico's bays, most notably Puerto Mosquito on Vieques, one of Puerto Rico's smaller islands. Listener and boriqueño native Roberto Cancel describes swimming in the bay on a dark night, surrounded by glowing blue waters.
But most of the episode is devoted to perhaps the most important event in world history: 1493. Not 1492, but 1493. That's the year when Christopher Columbus returned to the Americas, not as an explorer, but as a conqueror.
We discuss (and really only scratch the surface of) the impact of this second voyage. It's only the beginning, because every episode to come will exist in the new world (pun intended) created by this event.
And we have shrimp mofongo, a boriqueño specialty that blends European, African, and American in a way that exemplifies the new global world.
Bergreen, Laurence. Columbus: the Four Voyages
Diamond, Jared. Germs, Guns, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Fodor’s Puerto Rico
Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your American History Textbook Got Wrong
Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Mann, Charles C. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
Photograph by Edgar Torres CC 3.0