Mayagüez, Puerto Rico – Sultan of the West

mayagüez estatua
Colón Plaza

Foundation: Mayagüez (mah-yah-GWES) was founded in 1760 by don Faustino Martínez de Matos, Juan de Silva and Juan de Aponte. In 1772 it had 50 houses, 419 families and 1,800 inhabitants. Its development was slow and its economy depended almost exclusively on agriculture. The town simultaneously developed in two areas: the town in the “high lands” and at the seaside. The port was an important point of export to all of the adjacent towns among them San Germán, Cabo Rojo and Añasco.
In 1836 the title of Villa was granted to the town of Mayagüez, which gave it the right to have a town hall and a four tower crown in its coat of arms. The name comes from the river on which the town was developed, the Yagüez. This town previously was well known as Mayagüex, which in the Taíno language means “site of water”, according to Juan de Castellanos.

In 1841 one of the first catastrophes took place; it was called the Great Fire of 1841. Many other catastrophes would affect the city. This voracious fire destroyed a great part of Villa de Mayagüez; the population had 700 houses and less than 10% survived. During the middle of 19th century certain institutional buildings of importance existed, among them Customs, the Consistorial House, the Infantry Headquarters, the Public Jail and the Military Hospital.

mayaguez postoffice
1935 Post Office – Mayagüez PR

During 1870, advances in the technology of communications allowed telegraph service between Mayagüez and San Juan. In this same year, don José de González y Echevarría presented a proposal for the Urban Railroad of the Mayagüez Villa. It began service in 1875 and consisted of a car drawn by horses. It connected the Town with the Beach through Méndez Vigo Street. The rails of this system were of the “Picket” type, solid iron forged cylinders spaced uniformly without the use of crossbeams.

The system had multiple problems, among them the propulsion method used and the steep hill of Méndez Vigo Street, which made the trip difficult and very slow. In 1886 it operated for the last time and its permission to operate was cancelled the following year. In 1893 a proposal for a second system of street cars was made. In 1895 the Sociedad Anónima Tranvía de Mayagüez began to offer service. The motive force continued to be provided by horses, but thanks to certain improvements in the infrastructure, the quality of the service improved greatly. The route connecting the town and the beach continued through Méndez Vigo Street, but to avoid the steep hill at Suau Park, it was diverted through what is now known as McKinley Street. Several modifications to the main line were made, among them one route through the Market Plaza. In 1897 the Guanajibo street car was put in service. The route ran from Commerce Street throughout the coast to the Guanajibo ward.

The first decade of 20th century was one of adaptation. In the 1912 the Sociedad Anónima Tranvía de Mayagüez stopped its operations. During December 1913 the installation of a third street car system, the Mayagüez Tramway Company, for the city was approved by the Executive Council. This new system operated with electricity and the cars had a greater passenger capacity. The route was of the “point to point” type from the beach to the Balboa ward by way of Méndez Vigo Street.

In 1918, during the month of October, the tranquility of the country was interrupted by the sudden and most devastating earthquake that Puerto Rico has experienced in the 20th century. This earthquake had an approximate magnitude of 7.5 in the Richter scale and was accompanied by a tsunami that reached six meters in height. The damage was concentrated in the western region of the Island because of its vicinity to the epicenter.

The decade of the 1920’s was one of reconstruction and development. The arrival of the automobile, which provided fast and effective transportation service, eliminated the railroad system of Mayagüez. It ceased operations in 1926.

mapa mayaguezLocation: Mayagüez is located in the west coast. It is bordered by: Añasco and Las Marías on the north; by Red Cabo, Hormigueros and San Germán on the south; the Mona Passage on the west; and Las Marías and Maricao on the east.
Area: 197.6 sq km / 76.0 sq mi
Population: 98,434 (censo 2000)
Population Density: 498.1 per sq km / 1,295.1 per sq mi
Gentilicio: Mayagüezanos
People are known as:
La Sultana del Oeste (Sultan of the West)
La Ciudad de las Aguas Puras (City of Pure Waters)
El Pueblo del Mango (Mango City)

Wards: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
barrios mayaguez

Census 2000:
Population by Wards – Mayagüez
Habitants
Algarrobos 4,792
Bateyes 1,205
Guanajibo 7,165
Isla de Mona e Islote Monito 0
Juan Alonso 1,371
Leguísamo 2,080
Limón 1,622
Malezas 1,143
Mayagüez Town 32,043
Mayagüez Arriba 6,098
Miradero 5,510
Montoso 1,118
Naranjales 1,197
Quebrada Grande 6,333
Quemado 3,017
Río Cañas Abajo 2,318
Río Cañas Arriba 1,495
Río Hondo 3,865
Rosario 1,630
Sábalos 10,271
Sabanetas 4,161
Total 98,434

Source: Censo 2000

Patron:
Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria
Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria Parish
Apartado 220
Mayagüez, P.R. 00681
(787) 831-2444
Mass Scheduled
Daily: 6:30am, 7:15am & 5:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30am, 6:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 6:30am, 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 5:00pm & 6:3Opm
mayaguez iglesia
Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria Parish

Topography: This municipality belongs to the Western Coastal Valley region. Its territory is mainly level. The most elevated parts are in the northeast where the Urayoán Mountains rise.
Hydrography: The Grande de Añasco, Guanajibo and Yagüez rivers form part of the hydrographic system.
Economy: Manufacture (clothing), food, beer and services.
Average Salary: $287.82 weekly (1998)

Flag: he wide cross represents Christianity brought to the New World by Cristopher Columbus, who signed his documents with the phrase and the sign of Christ Ferens, which means: “He who has Christ.” The blue and white waves in third to fourth quarter recalls the Shield granted to Columbus by the Catholic Kings. The waves represent the ocean and the Mona Passage in which he sailed to bring the gospel to these new lands. The blue and white waves symbolize the Yagüez River and recalls the nickname City of Pure Waters.

mayaguez escudoCoat Of Arms: The colombine shield recalls and commemorates the discovery of the Island of Borinquén, today Puerto Rico, by Cristóbal Columbus in his second trip to the New World in 1493.

The discoverer disembarked at the western coast of the island, where several rivers spill their waters in the Mona Passage, among them the Yagüez, from which the name of Mayagüez is derived.

Public Schools sorted by educational levels.
Mayagüez Region
Mayagüez District

Name Level Telephone Address
Elementary
CASTILLO K-6 (787) 265-8344 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
CENTRO ESTIMULACIÓN TEMPRANA EE (787) 832-1505 Carr. # 2, P.R. 00680-0000
CHARLES T. IRIZARRY K-6 (787) 832-4456 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
CONCORDIA K-3 (787) 832-2081 Bo. El Seco, P.R. 00680-0000
CONSUELO PÉREZ CINTRÓN K-6 (787) 832-2055 PO Box 6757, P.R. 00681-6757
CRUCES K-6 (787) 833-2985 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
CUESTA DE PIEDRAS K-6 (787) 832-9018 PO Box 8010, P.R. 00680-0000
DAVID G. FARRAGUT K-6 (787) 832-3344 PO Box 2201, P.R. 00681-0000
FEDERICO ASENJO 3-6 (787) 832-1305 PO Box 7997 Suite 84, P.R. 00681-0000
FRANCISCO BACO SORIA K-6 (787) 832-2314 PO Box 4478, P.R. 00681-0000
FRANCISCO VICENTY K-2 (787) 832-2310 PO Box 797 Suite 125, P.R. 00681-0000
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT K-6 (787) 832-0482 182 Calle, P.R. P.R. 00680-0000
LUIS MUÑOZ RIVERA K-6 (787) 834-7700 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
MALEZAS K-6 (787) 833-8283 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
MANUEL FERNÁNDEZ JUNCOS K-6 (787) 832-2233 PO Box 155, P.R. 00680-0000
MARIA LUISA ARCELAY K-6 (787) 833-8845 PO Box 1647, P.R. 00681-1647
MARIANO RIERA PALMER K-6 (787) 832-5262 257 Oeste, P.R. 00680-0000
MIRADERO II K-5 (787) 832-0492 Carr. 108 #1584, P.R. 00680-7504
RAFAEL MARTÍNEZ NADAL K-6 (787) 832-2002 PO Box 4427, P.R. 00680-0000
RAMÓN VALLE SEDA PK-6 (787) 832-5105 PO Box 812, P.R. 00681-0000
RÍO CAÑAS ARRIBA K-6 (787) 832-4620 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00680-0000
SABANETAS MANÍ K-5 (787) 832-5080 Calle Aduna 257 Suite 344, P.R. 00680-0000
SEGUNDO RUIZ BELVIS PK-6 (787) 832-5078 PO Box 3205, P.R. 00681-0000
THEODORE ROSEVELT K-6 (787) 832-2204 153 Calle Pablo Casals, P.R. 00681-0000
Intermediate
ELPIDIO H. RIVERA 7-9 (787) 833-5560 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-3050
JOSÉ GAUTIER BENÍTEZ 7-9 (787) 834-0900 PMB 772 PO Box 7997 Suite 72, P.R. 00681-0000
MANUEL A. BARRETO 7-9 (787) 832-3046 PO Box 1260, P.R. 00681-1260
MARIA DOLORES FARIA 7-9 (787) 834-9289 Calle Candelaria, P.R. 00680-0000
Secondary
ERNESTO RAMOS ANTONINI (MÚSICA) 3-12 (787) 834-3177 PO Box 1048, P.R. 00681-1048
ESTEBAN ROSADO BÁEZ 7-9 (787) 831-6199 Suite 294, P.R. 00681-0000
LA SOLEDAD 6-9 (787) 834-8944 153 Parcelas Soledad, P.R. 00680-0000
RÍO CAÑAS ABAJO K-9 (787) 831-0050 PO Box 3050, P.R. 00681-0000
SU FELISA RINCÓN DE GAUTHIER K-9 (787) 831-5066 PMB 356, P.R. 00681
High School
CROEM 9-12 (787) 837-3720 PO Box 1550, P.R. 00681-1550
DR. PEDRO PEREA FAJARDO 10-12 (787) 833-0865 PO Box 1330, P.R. 00681-1330
EUGENIO MARIA DE HOSTOS 10-12 (787) 834-0600 PO Box 130, P.R. 00681-0130
SUPERIOR JOSÉ DE DIEGO 10-12 (787) 833-4804 Apartado 8124 Marina Station, P.R. 00681-0000

Hymn: By Luciano Quiñones

Mi patria es un oasis,
un jardín de gran belleza,
donde artistas y poetas
se llenan de inspiración;
y tiene en el Oeste,
una fulgurante estrella,
un pedacito de cielo,
parte del reino de Dios.

Hoy quiero regalarle
a esta ciudad de hermosura,
La Sultana del Oeste,
la del sabor a mangó;
mi más lírica alabanza,
mi poesía más fina y pura,
y una melodía bordada
con hilos del corazón.

¡Mayagüez! ¡Mayagüez!
Ciudad de las aguas puras,
valles y montes de ensoñación,
baja cantando tu río
a tu apacible bahía
donde al fin de cada día
se acuesta a dormir el Sol.

¡Mayagüez! ¡Mi Mayagüez!
Que orgullo para nosotros
tu historia es,
desde el humilde Taíno
que bautizó al Río Yagüez,
a Eugenio María de Hostos
que inmenso fue.

Eres cuna de cultura,
crisol de sabiduría,
la Virgen de la Candelaria
dotó a tus damas
de gran belleza y de simpatía.
Eres el lugar perfecto,
del Paraíso el Edén;
de orgullo se hinche mi pecho
para decirte: ¡Dios te bendiga,
mi Mayagüez! ¡Mayagüez!

Events:
Three Kings Festival – January
Black and White Festival – January
Danza National Festival – February
Matron Celebrations – February
Mayagüez Carnival – May
Seco Festival – July
Mango Festival – August
Artisan Fair – November
Christmas Festivities – December

Places To Visit:
Customs House
India Brewery
Public Library
El Malecón (levee)
Planetarium
Agricultural Experimental Station
Mayagüez Mall
Eugene Maria de Hostos Monument
Casa Grande Museum
Colón Plaza
Mayagüez University (RUM)
Yagüez Theater
Mayagüez Zoo

Distinguished Citizens:
Federico Asenjo Arteaga – Journalist and writer
Alejandrina Benítez – Poetess
Pedro Gerónimo Goyco – Doctor, educator and politician
Eugenio María de Hostos – Educating and writer
Simón Madera – Musical and composer
Rafael Martínez Nadal – Writer and statehood leader
José María Monge – Journalist and poet
Salvador Perea – Historian
Ernesto Ramos Antonini – Legislator and leader of the Democratic Popular Party
Robert Sánchez Vilella – Governor of Puerto Rico 1965 – 1969 (biography)
Salvador Tió – Journalist


How to get to Mayagüez from San Juan.

direction mayaguez