Formerly a Spanish colony, Puerto Rico has remained largely under the control of the United States since the Spanish-American War of 1898. Freemasonry originally came to Puerto Rico in the early nineteenth century, with lodges obtaining warrants from Massachusetts and the Grand Orient of France, but the Craft was suppressed by Spain, and membership of the Order was punishable by imprisonment and death. This suppression remained until 1859, when political conditions in Spain improved.
The Grand Lodge of Cuba warranted two lodges in Puerto Rico, one in 1867 (Esterella de Luquillo, now № 5) and another in 1874. The Grand Orient of Spain also became active on the island after 1868 and was responsible for four lodges established between 1871 and 1874. Cuba again weighed in with Adelphia Lodge № 40 in 1877. Oddly, while not the oldest extant lodge in Puerto Rico, today it heads the roll of the Grand Lodge as Adelphia № 1. Renewed pressure from Spain saw most lodges close in 1874, although by 1884 the Grand Lodge of Cuba was able to form a Provincial Grand Lodge, with ten constituent lodges. This body became the Grand Lodge of Puerto Rico in the following year. The new Grand Lodge still suffered from political pressure and was forced to close in 1896, reopening after the panish were ejected from Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Today, Grand Master Raul Rodríguez Quiles presides over the Grand Lodge of Puerto Rico comprised of seventy Lodges, including one in Virgin Islands, with a membership of more than 2,700 brothers. Puerto Rico Freemasonry has had such prominent members as Santiago R. Palmer, First Grand Master, Dr. Antonio Fernoz Isern, Resident ommisioner in the U.S. Congress, poet Jose Diego, politicians like Dr. José Celso Barbosa, Dr. Ramón E. Betrances and educator Dr. Eugenio María de Hostos.Gran Logia Soberana de LL. y AA. MM de Puerto Rico