The foundation of Puerto Rico was influenced by the Spanish, Africans and Taíno, the Pre-Columbian indigenous people. Each had a profound impact on shaping Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and parts of North, Central and South America. The Museum of the Americas dramatically tells their stories. The exhibits explain their art, history and culture. The Museo de Las Americas’ building is also historical. The Ballajá Barracks was built by the Spanish in the mid-19th century. The 83,000 square feet of space accommodated hundreds of soldiers and their families until 1898. Then it housed a U.S. infantry until 1939 when it became a military hospital during World War II.