Coamo, Puerto Rico – San Blas de Illescas’ Villa
Foundation: The name Coamo (ko-AH-mo) is derived from the Taíno word, which means extensive valley. In 1519 the construction of the town began with the name San Blas de Illescas. It was officially founded July 15, 1570, making it one of the oldest cities in the island after San Juan and San Germán. Bishop Diego de Salamanca was granted permission to establish a church in Coamo to provide the residents of that area basic religious services. Before 1582, twenty families lived in Coamo in the same area where the Taínos had their village of Guayama.
Diego of Salamanca founded the hermitage of San Blas and lived there until 1618. He was helped by economic aid from the families of the city. The church in 1616 was constructed in brick and straw. Its architecture had the simple characteristic lines of the construction done on the island at the time. Coamo is famous for its thermal baths containing healing and therapeutic waters. Long before the Spaniards arrived to the island, the Indians bathed in these waters, and according to legend, this was the fountain of youth that the Indians told Ponce de Leon about. He was mistaken when he went to Florida to look for it, and unfortunately for him the search would end in his death.
Location: Coamo is located in the southern region of the Central Mountain Range. It is bordered by: Barranquitas and Orocovis on the north, Santa Isabel on the south, Juana Díaz and Villalba on the west, and Aibonito and Salinas on the east.
Area: 202.8 sq km / 78.0 sq mi
Population: 37,597 (census 2000)
Population Density: 185.3 per sq km / 482.0 per sq mi
People are known as: Coameños
Coamo is also known as:
La Villa de San Blas de Illescas (San Blas de Illescas Villa)
Los Maratonistas (The Marathonists)
La Villa Añeja (Old Villa)
Ciudad de las Aguas Termales (City Of Thermal Waters)
Coamo, Puerto Rico
| Census 2000:|
Population by Wards – Coamo
Source: Censo 2000
San Blas de Illescas
San Blas de Illescas Parish
Coamo, P.R. 00769
Topography: The most outstanding elevations appear in the Cuchillas de Coamo and Cerro Pulguitas. Other hills are the Santa Ana and Presidio.
Hydrography: Part of this system are the Coamo, Descalabrado, Lapa, Jueyes and Mina rivers. The hydrography includes the Coamo Thermal Baths, which are nourished by the Coamo river near the Santa Isabel border.
Economy: Agriculture: poultry, mango, and cattle
Average Salary: $271.26 weekly (1998)
Flag: The flag, like the Coat of Arms, was approved August 5, 1969. The flag of Coamo derives its colors from the Coat of Arms. The red is indicative of the martyrs and recalls San Blas who was beheaded. The yellow alludes to charity of San Blas and to the dry pastures of Coamo. The black refers to the bitterness and mourning undergone by Coamo.
Coat Of Arms: The Coat of Arms is divided into four parts. The superior left and the inferior right have a red background with a gold Episcopal hat each. These parts of the Coat of Arms represent the old seat of San Blas de Illescas.
The horse and the bull represent the cattle wealth of the population. The gold color that serves as background in contrast with the black color, recalls the yellowish reddish tone of the fields of Coamo during the droughts.
The heavy border of the Coat Of Arms contains the following figures: two flames; three bell towers with gold bells outlined in red; two red crosses with arms ending in three petals; and a circle with a surface divided by horizontal blue and silver-plated stripes. The bell towers represent the three primitive churches of Coamo. The flames allude to the celebration of the Candelaria, the crosses allude to the Spanish colonizer Cristóbal de Illescas, and the circle represents a well for the Thermal Baths of Coamo. The crown has four towers.
|ANASTASIO SANTIAGO||K-6||(787) 825-3896||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|AURELIA QUINTERO LABOY||K-6||(787) 825-3808||PO Box 1298, P.R. 00769-0000|
|BENIGNA I CARATINI||K-6||(787) 825-3383||PO Box 3358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|ELEMENTAL NUEVA||K-6||(787) 825-1435||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|HILDA RAQUEL MATEO|
|(787) 825-4633||PO Box 350, P.R. 00769-0000|
|JOSÉ RAMÓN RODRÍGUEZ||K-6||(787) 825-1127||PO Box 3001 Suite 180, P.R. 00769-0000|
|PURIFICACIÓN RODRÍGUEZ||PK-6||(787) 825-1684||PO Box 3001 Suite 184, P.R. 00769-0000|
|RUFINO HUERTAS||K-6||(787) 825-5444||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|SUSANA RIVERA||K-6||(787) 825-3992||PO Box 3001 Suite 263, P.R. 00769-0000|
|BENJAMIN FRANKLIN||7-9||(787) 825-1284||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|FLORENCIO SANTIAGO||7-9||(787) 825-1575||PO Box 1912, P.R. 00769-0000|
|HERMINIO W SANTAELLA||7-9||(787) 825-5559||PO Box 3000 Suite 227, P.R. 00769-0000|
|SU ENRIQUE COLÓN||K-9||(787) 867-4501||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
|SU EUGENIO NAZARIO SOTO||K-9||(787) 825-5759||PO Box 1928, P.R. 00769-0000|
|SU MANUEL CANDANEDO||K-9||(787) 825-2858||PO Box 3001 Suite 132, P.R. 00769-0000|
|SU RÍO JUEYES||K-9||(787) 825-5445||Suite 177, P.R. 00769-0000|
|JOSÉ FELIPE ZAYAS||10-12||(787) 825-5911||Suite 183, P.R. 00769-0000|
|RAMÓN JOSÉ DAVILA||10-12||(787) 825-1247||PO Box 358, P.R. 00769-0000|
Hymn: By Manuel Torres Tapia
Allá muy cerca del pueblo
donde nació Muñoz
entre montañas y flores
se encuentra también
donde nací yo.
Tierras de lindas mujeres
y de seres a quien amo.
un nombre Taíno tiene
y es mi bello pueblo Coamo.
Coamo, desde que partí
eché muy de menos
tus lindas mujeres
tu sol tropical.
Coamo hoy he vuelto hasta ti
para que sepas
que aunque estuve lejos,
no te puedo olvidar.
Coamo, aquí estoy otra vez
y yo te aseguro
que de ti más nunca
Quiero volver a gozar
de tu clima tropical
y aunque pasen años
nunca te olvidaré.
Patron Festivities – February
San Blas Half Marathon – February
Flower Carnival – May
Yuca (cassava) Carnival – August
Juey (crab) Carnival – October
Bomba & Plena Festival – November
Places To Visit:
Coamo Thermal Baths
Bobby Capó (1922-1989) – Singer, composer and government official
Rafael Rivera Zayás (1885-1958) – Orator, lawyer and journalist (information)