Toa Baja, Puerto Rico – Valleys of the Toa City

toa baja ruinas
Isla de Cabras – Leprosarium
The leprosy patients (called Hansen Disease) were confined in a leprosarium that was constructed during the end of the XIX century in Isla de Cabras (Goat’s Island). On December 17, 1876, governor Segundo de la Portilla placed the first stone of the project. In 1883 the construction was finished.

Foundation: The foundation of Toa Baja (TO-ah BAH-hah) took place, according to historians, in 1747, and according to others, shortly after. Twenty years later, still it was classified as a small village, under the name of Shore of Toa Baja. In the shores of the Toa, today De La Plata river, Juan Ponce de Leon established the King’s Farm in a place called Santa Elena, where Chief Aramaná had his yucayeque, and whose indians were used for manual labor. It has been indicated that the first experimental agricultural station of the island was established here, since it was here where the first vegetables from Europe were introduced and the locally cultivated vegetables were improved. The term “toa” means mother, and this word is the native name of the De La Plata river, born in the mountains of the region of Cayey and ends in the Atlantic.

During the XVI century this region attracted numerous settlers because of the wealth of its alluvium territories and the production of the so called fishing “corrals” located in the river, of pre-Columbian origin. Its first settlers were families from Canary Islands, by the names of Marrero, Salgado and Martinez.

toabaja fortin
San Juan de la Cruz Fort, Ilsa de Cabras

In 1749 a new church dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception and the saints Pedro, Pablo and Matías. It was built on a hill in front of the town. Shortly after it was transferred behind its original location in a higher location facing the river and its back towards Toa Baja.

In 1902 the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico approved the Law for the Consolidation of Certain Municipal Terms by which the municipality of Toa Baja was eliminated, and its wards and civil employees incorporated to the municipality of Bayamón. The Assembly countermanded this law in 1905 and its character of independent municipality with the wards that integrated it in 1902 were given back toToa Baja.

mapa toabajaLocation: Located in the northern coast, it borders with Dorado and the Atlantic Ocean to the north, south with Toa Alta, west with Dorado and Cataño and east with Bayamón.
Area: 62.4 sq km / 24.0 sq mi
Population: 94,085 (census 2000)
Population Density: 1,507.7 per sq km / 3,920.2 per sq mi
People are known as: Toabajeños
Toa Baja is also known as:
Ciudad de los Valles del Toa (Valleys of the Toa City)
Ciudad Bajo Aguas (Under Water City)
Los Llaneros (The Valley People)

Wards: Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
barrios toabaja

Census 2000:
Population by Wards – Toa Baja
Habitantes
Candelaria 25,223
Media Luna 12,712
Palo Seco 325
Sabana Seca 55,103
Toa Baja Town 722
Total 94,085

Source: Censo 2000

Patron:
San Pedro Apóstol
San Pedro Apóstol Parish
Calle Las Flores 47
Toa Baja, P.R. 00949
Teléfono: 787-794-1327
toabaja iglesia
San Pedro Apóstol Parish

Topography: It is located in the Northern Coastal Plains and in the karst zone. Its topography is made up mainly by wooded hills, typical of the karsts.
Hydrography: Its bathed by the Plata, Cocal and Hondo rivers and the San Pedro bog in the Sabana Seca ward.
Economy: Manufacturing (metal, plastic, concrete, textile, electrical and electronic machinery and rum) and agriculture (sugar cane, fruits and dairy cattle).
Average Salary: n/a weekly (1998)

toabaja banderaFlag: The flag of Toa Alta was designed in 1980. Its colors are green and gold, with keys in gold and silver. The green stripe, represents the plains of the Toa; and the color gold, represents the sun that bathes our plains. The crossed keys, symbolize San Pedro Apostle, patron of the town of Toa Baja. They appear in similar form in the greater altar of the Parochial Church of Toa Baja, San Pedro Apostle.

toabaja escudoCoat Of Arms: The waving stripe represents the Toa River, one of the first mentioned in the history of Puerto Rico, and in whose shores Juan Ponce de Leon tried to settle the first population of Puerto Rico.

The definition of the symbols:

  • The keys, crossed in vane, symbolize San Pedro Apostle, patron of the town. In similar form they appear in the altar of the Parochial Church San Pedro Apostle, of Toa Baja.
  • The F and the J, represent Don Fernando II of Aragón and V of Castile, and his daughter, Doña Juana, sovereign of Castile and Leon.
  • The handfuls of yucca refer to one of the main crop of this area, and constitute a symbol of the Indians who cultivated it, and whose main food was casabe or bread of yucca.
  • The crown is the traditional municipal standard whereupon is stamped to the shields of towns, villas and cities.
  • The sugar cane stems refer to the cultutivation and industry, that represented the main source of wealth of Toa Baja; the wealth is represented by gold of the field of the shield.
Toa Baja Public Schools.

Name Level Telephone Address
ALTINENCIA VALLE Elementary (787) 794-1460 PO Box 731
AMALIA LÓPEZ DE VILA Elementary (787) 784-2035 PO Box 50449
ANTONIA SÁEZ IRIZARRY Elementary (787) 780-5975 PO Box 2400 Suite 361
CARMEN BARROSO MORALES Elementary (787) 795-8885 PO Box 52032
DELIA DÁVILA DE CABÁN Elementary (787) 261-1340 5ta Calle Lago Las Curias
DR. EFRAÍN SÁNCHEZ HIDALGO Elementary (787) 784-5570 PO Box 2477
ERNESTINA BRACERO Elementary (787) 784-5540 PO Box 233
ERNESTO JUAN FONFRÍAS Elementary (787) 780-1750 Carr. # 2, km 17.7
JOHN F. KENNEDY Elementary (787) 784-0370 PO Box 2477
JOSÉ NEVAREZ LÓPEZ Elementary (787) 870-5246 PO Box 2345
JOSÉ ROBLES OTERO Elementary (787) 794-3470 PO Box 2477
LORENCITA RAMÍREZ DE ARELLÁN Elementary (787) 784-4925 PO Box 52015
LUIS M. SANTIAGO Elementary (787) 794-1445 PO Box 2322
MARÍA J. CORREDOR RIVERA Elementary (787) 740-2225 PO Box 2477
BASILIO MILÁN HERNÁNDEZ Intermediate (787) 795-6570 PO Box 51515
JOSÉ NEVAREZ LANDRÓN Intermediate (787) 794-1465 PO Box 1321
MARÍA LIBERTAD GÓMEZ Intermediate (787) 784-0125 PO Box 2477
MARTÍN GARCÍA GIUSTI Intermediate (787) 251-2231 PO Box 2477
FRANCISCA DÁVILA SEMPRIT Second Unit (787) 784-3455 PO Box 2477
ADOLFINA IRIZARRY High School (787) 794-2018 PO Box 2477
DR. PEDRO ALBIZU CAMPOS High School (787) 784-4605 PO Box 51901
MARÍA TERESA PIÑEIRO High School (787) 784-4140 PO Box 495

Hymn: By Luis M. Santiago

Espléndido Toa Baja, jardín de mis amores,
tú luces por doquiera, tu hermosura sin par.
Son bellas y fragantes tus matizadas flores,
que vierten en el aire su esencia virginal.

Un sol esplendoroso alumbra tu llanura,
risueña, portentosa por su fecundidad;
pues luce eternamente su manto de verdura,
primicias venturosas del clima tropical.

Hermosa tus noches, perenne primavera,
y de tu luna hermosa el pálido rielar,
el Plata caudaloso, que besa tu ribera,
parece una serpiente de plata o de cristal.

Si en los dorados días de mi niñez dichosa,
para colgar mi cuna, me brindaste un hogar,
yo quiero que me guardes, para cavar mi fosa,
un sitio en tus llanuras, bajo el sol tropical
que van siempre unidos.

Events:
Craft Festival – March
Patron Celebrations – June
Beach Festival – July
Musical Band Festival – August
Chirstmas Festivities – December

toabaja hacienda
Ruins Hacienda Santa Elena

Places To Visit:
Cañuelo Fortress
Goats Island
Hermana Island
Punta Salinas Beach
Bacardí Rum RefineryTourist Complex
Central Constancia (sugar mill)
Nuestra Señora del Carmen Catholic Church
San Pedro Apostle Catholic Church
Santa Elena Hacienda
Palo Seco Thermoelectrial Power Station

Distinguished Citizens:
Virgilio Dávila – Poet
Ernesto Juan Fonfrías – Lawyer, novelist and poet.
Manuel Padilla Dávila – Surveyor and poet.
Luis M. Santiago – Profesor and author of Toa Baja’s hymn.


How to get to Toa Baja from San Juan.

direction toabaja