Patillas, Puerto Rico – Emerald of the South

patillas charco azul
Charco Azul

Foundation: The town of Patillas (pah-TEE-yahs) was founded in 1811. Doña Adelina Cintrón, donated eight acres of land to unite the settlers and to construct the basic municipal works: church, mayorship, priest’s house, plaza and slaughter house. The fundamental reason for the foundation of the town was the establishment of sugar cane mills in the valley, which brought as a consequence the need for more land to cultivate the sugar cane, thus the residents decided to congregate themselves as a population center.

The name of Patillas originates due to the abundance of watermelons or “sandías” (patillas) in its lands. It is known as the “Emerald of the South” because of its beauty and enchantment.

mapa patillasLocation: Patillas is located in the southeastern region of Puerto Rico. It is bordered by: San Lorenzo on the north; the Caribbean Sea on the south; Yabucoa, Cayey and Maunabo on the northeast and east; Arroyo on the west; and Guayama on the northeast.
Superficie: 122.9 kilometros cuadrados / 47.3 millas cuadradas
Area: 122.9 sq km / 47.3 sq mi
Population: 20,152 (census 2000)
Population Density: 163.9 per sq km / 426.0 per sq mi
People are known as: Patillences
Patillas is also known as:
La Esmeralda del Sur (Emerald of the South)
Los Melones (The Melons)

Wards: Patillas, Puerto Rico
barrios patillas

Census 2000:
Population by Wards – Patillas
Habitantes
Apeadero 632
Bajo 1,722
Cacao Alto 1,566
Cacao Bajo 1,425
Egozcue 52
Guardarraya 2,013
Jacaboa 1,143
Jagual 498
Mamey 2,533
Marín 1,882
Mulas 502
Muñoz Rivera 743
Patillas Town 701
Pollos 3,409
Quebrada Arriba 843
Ríos 488
Total 20,152

Source: Censo 2000

Patrón:
INMACULADO CORAZÓN DE MARÍA PARISH
PO Box 635
Patillas, Puerto Rico 00723
Calle 1 Cristo
Tel. 787-839-5333
patillas-iglesia
INMACULADO CORAZÓN DE MARÍA PARISH

Topography: In spite of being located in the region that is known as the Coastal Plains of the South, part of its surface is mountainous. The Cayey Mountain Range crosses its northwest, north and northeast territories, and the Guardarraya Mountain Range crosses the eastern region.
Hydrography: It is bathed by the Grande de Patillas, Chico, Jacaboa, Marín rivers, and also receives waters from the Colones, Barros, Guano, Quebrada Arriba, Sonadora, Farallón, Mulas, Hormiga and Hicacos gorges.
Economy: Mainly agriculture, with a tourist sector in development.
Average Salary: $279.16 weekly (1998)

patillas banderaFlag: The design of the flag consists of four green rectangles in the corners symbolizing the valleys and mountains. The golden cross represents fidelity to the patron saint, Santo Cristo de la Salud. In the center of the cross, an extended octagonal figure that symbolizes an emerald because the town it is known as the “Emerald of the South”.

The flag was designed by Pedro de Pedro. The symbols and the history were creation of Pedro J. Rivera Arbolay. The adviser was Lic. Robert Beascochea Lota.

patillas escudoCoat Of Arms: The crow with a piece of bread in its beak, bird that saves the life to San Benito Abad, patron of the town, from being poisoned with a piece of bread. The castle with three windows symbolizes the captivity of Santa Barbara, matron of Patillas in the first years of the foundation and the devotion to the Santísima Trinidad. The cross represents Santo Cristo de la Salud. The two crossed machetes underneath the cross represent the peasants struggle in the sugar cane plantations and the origins of economic development.

The three towers in the superior part mean that Patillas is categorized as a town. The watermelon leaf, fruit that abounded in the west of Patillas, is the reason for the name of the town. The motto “Ora Et Labora”, means Pray and Work; motto of the religious order of San Benito Abad.

The shield of Patillas was drawn by Pedro de Pedro. The symbols and the history are a creation of Pedro J. Rivera Arbolay and the heraldic adviser was Lic. Robert Beascochea Lota..

Patillas public schools.

Name Level Telephone Address
CIRILO SANTIAGO PLAUD ELEMENTAL (787) 839-2119 PO Box 607
FRANCISCO ZENÓN GELY ELEMENTAL PO Box 607
GUILLERMO RIEFKHOL ELEMENTAL (787) 839-8231 PO Box 607
LAMBOGLIA ELEMENTAL (787) 839-4241 PO Box 607
MARÍA DÁVILA SEMIDEY ELEMENTAL (787) 839-3550 PO Box 1123
MARÍA MILAGROS ORTIZ GARCÍA ELEMENTAL (787) 839-3962 PO Box 607
MARÍN BAJO ELEMENTAL (787) 839-0199 PO Box 607
QUEBRADA ARRIBA 2 ELEMENTAL (787) 839-1401 PO Box 607
TOMÁS VERA AYALA ELEMENTAL (787) 839-2144 PO Box 607
JOSEFINA MUÑOZ DE BERNIER INTERMEDIO (787) 839-3630 PO Box 386
JOAQUÍN PARRILLA SEGUNDA UNIDAD (787) 839-0357 PO Box 607
MANUEL MENDIA MORET SEGUNDA UNIDAD (787) 839-6154 PO Box 626
CECILIO LEBRÓN RAMOS SUPERIOR (787) 839-3419 PO Box 1133
ESCUELA SUPERIOR URBANA SUPERIOR (787) 839-6831 PO Box 607

Hymn: Patillenses By Andrés Plaud Soto

Patillenses, ¡Veis la luz, de la antorcha y su esplendor,
que ilumina en noble gesta de amor… la ruta que recorrió,
el que por ti ayer luchó, en las lides de los campos del honor!

No olvidéis otras proezas en las Artes del Saber,
producto de otros hermanos, que este pueblo vio nacer.
Sus conquistas celebramos con solemne admiración:
¡Hosana mis compueblanos… Les brindo mi corazón!

Events:
Patron Celebrations – March
Emerald of the South Carnival – April
Monte y Mar Festival – July
Flour Festival – December
Ñame Festival – December

Places To Visit:
Charco Azul (water pool)
Charco Los Tres Chorros (water pool)
Carite-Guavate Forest
Escondida Beach
Guardarraya Beach

Distinguished Citizens:
Edmundo Disdier – Musical and composer
Sigfredo Badillo Rivero – Poet
Ramón Lebrón – First secretary of the court


How to get to Patillas from San Juan.

direction patillas