Cataño, Puerto Rico

The Town That Refused To Die

Destileria Bacardí

Cataño (kah-TAH-no) is known as the “antechamber of the capital”, “the town that refused to die”, “the forgotten town”, “the crab catchers’ town”, and “the ferry-riders’ town”. It’s the smallest town in Puerto Rico. The patron saint’s festival is held in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Cataño is located on the north coast of Puerto Rico, on the shores of the San Juan harbor and is bordered on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; by Toa Baja on the north and west; and by Guaynabo and Bayamón on the south. The terrain is low-lying and flat as part of the northern coastal plains.

Its most important natural resources include the Las Cucharillas Marsh and part of the San Juan harbor. Cataño and Tocones points are located on the northern shore; Goat Island is close to the latter.

At present, principal economic activities include refineries, commerce, and rum manufacturing and distribution.


Cataño was founded in 1927. It covers only five square miles making it the smallest municipality of the island. Cataño was a district of the municipality of Bayamón until July 1, 1927, when by virtue of law No. 30 leaders approved that April 25 of that year it was to be constituted as a municipality.

The origin of the name comes in honor to a Spanish doctor called Hernando de Cataño who served in this town in 1569, when the Island of Puerto Rico was governed by the Spanish Francisco Bahamonde de Lugo. Cataño at the time was known as “El Hato de Las Palmas”.


mapa catanoLocated in the northern coast of the island, it is bordered by the San Juan Bay. It is also bordered by: Toa Baja and the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Guaynabo and Bayamón to the south, Toa Baja to the west, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the east.


13.0 sq km / 5.0 sq mi


30,071 (census 2000)

Population Density:

2,313.1 per sq km / 6,014.2 per sq mi

People are known as:


Cataño is also known as:

El Pueblo Que Se Negó a Morir (The Town That Refused To Die)
La Antesala de la Capital (The Capital’s Threshold)
El Pueblo Olvidado (The Forgotten Town)

Wards: Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico

barrios catano

The town was divided originally into two districts (barrios), the Town of Cataño and Palmas. But today it numbers ten districts, urbanizations and sectors shown in the following list:

  • Town of Cataño
  • Palmas
  • Juana Matos
  • Cucharillas
  • Las Vegas
  • Puente Blanco
  • Bahía
  • Vista al Morro
  • Marina Bahía
  • Bay View
Census 2000:
Population by Wards – Cataño
Cataño Pueblo 4,628
Palmas 25,443
Total 30,071

Información: Negociado del Censo de los EE.UU. Censo 2000


Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Calle Tren #42 Cataño, P.R. 00962
Tel. 787-275-1309
Mass schedule s
Weekday: 6:30 am y 7:00 pm. Sab: 7:30 am
Saturday: 7:30 pm | Sunday:7:30 am y 10:30 am


Most of its terrain is at sea level.


Bayamón River & El Caño de Cataño.


Refining, commerce, distributing, manufacturing and rum distilling.

Average Salary:

$377.08 weekly (1998)


catano banderaThe flag reproduces the colors and stripes of the Coat of Arms. It has the same nine horizontal stripes: four blue stripes and five white stripes (substituting for the silver color). A white band diagonally traverses the drape in all its extension, from the upper hoist to the lower fly.

This band is also divided in nine alternating horizontal stripes (their widths equal to the other stripes), five green and four white. Green represents the green color of the coconut palms that surround the Coat Of Arms. At the same time, this green band was used to distinguish the flag from the flags of Greece and Uruguay. The flag was officially adopted by the City Council during the incumbency of Hon. José Álvarez Brunet on September 5, 1974.

Coat Of Arms:

catano escudo The Coat Of Arms of Cataño consists of nine horizontal stripes of same the width: four of blue and five of silver. The colors belong to the family of the lawyer Don Hernando de Cataño. The silver ones are symbols of nobility and blue symbolizes royalty, majesty and serenity.

In the superior part of the Coat Of Arms of Cataño a three tower crown distinguishes it as a municipality. The Coat Of Arms is surrounded by coconut palms, green in color, making reference to Hato de las Palmas de Cataño, the name that the town had for a long time.

Places To Visit:

  • Old City Hall
  • New City Hall
  • Municipal government center
  • Horace Mann Elementary School
  • Pedro Rodríguez Sálamo Stadium
  • Bacardí rum factory
  • Seaside
  • Monument to our Taíno Roots
  • Memorial Monument
  • Portside promenade
  • Children’s Park (Palmas Ward)
  • Juana Matos Recreational Park
  • La Esperanza Recreational Park
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
  • Seaside promenade (star and ribbons of time obelisk)
  • Miguel A. Rovira promenade
  • Cataño Pyramid
  • Dr. Leopoldo Figueroa residence
  • Ferry Terminal
  • Fishermen’s village


  • Distribution of Three Kings’ day presents – January
  • Cataño Carnival – April
  • Mothers’ day – May
  • Fathers’ day – June
  • St. John’s Eve – June
  • Patron saint’s festival – July
  • Cross-harbor swim – July
  • Greased pole – July
  • Fishermen’s gathering – July
  • Chalk Festival – August
  • Domingo Apellaniz Marathon – September
  • Fair of the Americas – October
  • Christmas lights – November
  • Poetry and music evening on the Town Square – second Friday of every month

Distinguished Citizens:

  • María Luisa de Angelis – essayist and journalist
  • Ileana Colón Carlo – first woman to become Comptroller of Puerto Rico (1987 – 1997).
  • Rafael Ferrer – physician
  • Leopoldo Figueroa-Carreras – physician, attorney and political figure (although residing in Cataño, he was from San Juan.) Figueroa was a member of the Chamber of Delegates from 1914 to 1916; House representative from District 4 (1933 – 1944); at large representative from 1949 to 1968; senator at large from 1945 to 1948; and a member of the Constitutional Convention of Puerto Rico (1951 – 1952). A 33rd Degree Mason, in 1928 he published a medical treatise, “Mortalidad infantil”.
  • Salvador M. de Jesús – story writer
  • Susana Matos – poet
  • Rafael Mournier – poet and historian
  • Dominguito Negrón – bomba and plena dancer
  • Félix Ochoteco – attorney and political figure. He was president of the Bar Association and the International Attorneys Conference held in Santiago, Chile. Ochoteco was a representative at-large in the legislature, from 1937 to 1940.
  • Agustín Pérez – attorney and historian
  • Baldomero Roig-Vélez – attorney and political figure. Representative at large in the Legislature (1957 – 1968)
  • Julio Rosado del Valle – painter
  • Isaac del Rosario – first school superintendent in Cataño
  • Pedro Juan Soto – writer
  • Plácido Torres – physician
  • Athletes: Lisa Boscarino, Rossano Boscarino, Pedro (Perucho) Cepeda, Anselmo Martínez, Guillermo Montañez, Manuel Muti, Pedro Rodríguez-Gaya, Luis Sánchez, Gilberto Torres, and Guillermo Vaello

Public Schools sorted by educational levels.

Bayamón Region
Cataño District

Name Level Telephone Address
HORACE MANN K-3 (787) 788-1966 PO Box 630367, P.R. 00963-0367
ISAAC DEL ROSARIO K-6 (787) 788-7210 PO Box 086, P.R. 00963-0086
JOSÉ A. NIEVES K-6 (787) 788-7095 PO Box 247, P.R. 00963-0000
PUENTE BLANCO K-6 (787) 788-1856 PO Box 5327, P.R. 00963-0096
RAFAEL CORDERO PK-6 (787) 788-1557 PO Box 630217, P.R. 00963-0217
ROSENDO MATIENZO CINTRÓN K-6 (787) 788-1612 PO Box 247, P.R. 00963-0000
TEODORO ROOSEVELT K-6 (787) 788-8430 PO Box 247, P.R. 00963-0000
MERCEDES GARCÍA DE COLORADO 7-9 (787) 788-4025 PO Box 0125, P.R. 00963-0000
ONOFRE CARBALLEIRA 7-9 (787) 788-8975 PO Box 247, P.R. 00963-0000
High School
FRANCISCO OLLER (TOA BAJA) 10-12 (787) 788-1696 PO Box 51179, P.R. 00950-1179
All Levels
RAMÓN B. LÓPEZ EE (787) 788-1723 PO Box 247, P.R. 00963-0247


By Carmen I. Guzmán y Nick Jiménez Olmeda

Benemérito mi pueblo
antesala de San Juan.
La quietud de tus playas
y la brisa de tu mar.
Saludan al viajero
y a nuestra capital.

Cataño, Cataño,
Serás por siempre ejemplar
cuna de grandes figuras
y de belleza sin par.
Cataño, Cataño,
vigilante de San Juan.
Quien te haya conocido
jamás te podrá olvidar.

Noble y querido pueblo
majestuoso e importante.
Te yergues en la bahía
aún en la adversidad
mostrándote ante tu gente
que nunca te olvidarán.

Cataño, Cataño,
serás por siempre ejemplar.
Cuna de grandes atletas
y de sabor musical.
Cataño, Cataño,
vigilante de San Juan
quien te haya conocido
jamás de podrá olvidar.

How to get to Cataño from San Juan.

direction catano

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