Mayagüez, Puerto Rico – Sultan of the West
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.
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.
Location: 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
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
| Census 2000:|
Population by Wards – Mayagüez
|Isla de Mona e Islote Monito||0|
|Río Cañas Abajo||2,318|
|Río Cañas Arriba||1,495|
Source: Censo 2000
Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria
Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria Parish
Mayagüez, P.R. 00681
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
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.
Coat 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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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!
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:
El Malecón (levee)
Agricultural Experimental Station
Eugene Maria de Hostos Monument
Casa Grande Museum
Mayagüez University (RUM)
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