Barceloneta, Puerto Rico

Barceloneta, Puerto Rico Industrial City Foundation: Among the youngest towns of the island, the city of Barceloneta was founded the July 1, 1881. It was one of the last municipalities created by the Spanish government in Puerto Rico. Its founder was Don Bonocio Lenza Feliú. Barceloneta was named in honor of Barcelona (city of Spain) where the founder was born. Thirteen years after its foundation it experienced great agricultural and industrial development with 3...

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Bayamón, Puerto Rico

Bayamón, Puerto Rico Pork Ring City Foundation: Bayamón (bah-yah-MON) belonged to San Juan before being founded. A legend exists that its name is derived from a Indian chief called Bayamón, who dominated the region. Bayamón was founded in the year 1772, by don Mario A. Rodríguez León. Before Bayamón had streets, communication with San Juan was by river. One boarded a boat at the wharf, traveled through Palo Seco Bay to San Juan. Then...

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Camuy, Puerto Rico

Camuy, Puerto Rico Romantic City Foundation: Camuy (kahm-WEE) was founded in the year 1807 by Petrolina Matos. It was officially separated from Quebradillas in 1894. Three legends support the origin of the name: the first says that there was a Taino chief by the name of “Yumac” but with the passing of time the name was spelled backwards calling the region “Camuy”; the second refers to the Taino word “canuy,” which means beautiful scenery,...

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Cataño, Puerto Rico

Cataño, Puerto Rico The Town That Refused To Die Foundation: Cataño (kah-TAH-no) 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...

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Corozal, Puerto Rico

Corozal, Puerto Rico The Birthplace of Volleyball Fundación: The town of Corozal (ko-ro-ZAHL) was founded in 1795 by the owners of the land, Don Joaquin Marrero and Don José de Rivera Ortiz. This last one was the first constitutional mayor in 1813. The name comes from the word corojo or corozo (“Corozo”, “Corojo”, “Tagua”, or “Vegetal Ivory”), these are the fruits of a palm, (phytelephas macrocarpa) that reaches a height of five to six...

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Dorado, Puerto Rico

Dorado, Puerto Rico Golden City Foundation: In 1831 Dorado (do-RAH-do) was a ward of the municipality of Toa Baja. During several years, the ward grew forming its own population center. This center was called Pueblo Nuevo (New Town) to distinguish it from the old town, Toa Baja. Years later, the residents of the wards of Dorado, Iguillar, Mameya and other sectors belonging to Toa Baja made a request to the governor to establish Dorado...

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Florida, Puerto Rico

Florida, Puerto Rico City of The Cayenalisa Pineapple Foundation: As a known ward, Florida (flo-REE-dah) goes back to the middle of the last century. It was known as Florida Afuera belonging to Manatí. Later it was annexed to Barceloneta. In the 60’s the committee Pro Municipio 78 was constituted by the people who wanted to gain the victory of Florida. From this effort the Senate project “Senado 980” was created thanks to Lic. Juan...

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Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Puerto Rico’s First Settlement Foundation: Guaynabo (gwei-NAH-bo) was founded in 1769, after its founders went through much turmoil battling to separate themselves from Bayamón because they had the approval since December 14, 1764, to found their town. Previously the city of Guaynabo was known as Buinabo. The Taíno name of Guaynabo means “Here is another fresh water place”, meaning, that the origin of Guaynabo is Indian-Antillean. Cacique Mabó ruled the Guaynabo...

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Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Hatillo, Puerto Rico Milk Industry Capital Foundation: Don Agustín Ruíz Miranda founded Hatillo (ah-TEE-yo) as a village June 30, 1823. Its first mayor was Don Francisco Martinez. Originally the lands consisted of a lot that was approximately ten “cuerdas” (a cuerda is less than an acre). They were granted by Agustín Ruíz Miranda with the condition that public buildings be erected and wide streets be built and the remaining land be sold or yielded...

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Isabela, Puerto Rico

Isabela, Puerto Rico The Northwestern Garden Foundation: Chief Mabodomaca ruled the region where Isabela (ee-sah-BAI-lah) was founded. He was one of the most important chiefs of the Island. Although the actual date is not known, a settlement called San Antonio de la Tuna existed in this great extension of land that occupy today the municipalities of Isabela, Camuy and Quebradillas. Its center was at that time along the shoreline of the Guajataca River. Around...

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Manatí, Puerto Rico

Manatí, Puerto Rico Metropolitan City Foundation: Manatí (mah-nah-TEE) was officially founded by Don Pedro Menéndez Valdés in 1738. It was the ninth town in receiving the blessing of the Spanish Crown in Puerto Rico. The first Spanish town was established in Manatí by Juan Ponce of Leon attracted by the wealth of the valley and the promises of gold in the Manatuabón River. After constructing the first structures in the borders of the river...

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Morovis, Puerto Rico

Morovis, Puerto Rico The Island Except Morovis Foundation: Its Taíno name is derived from the river that flows through its northern wards. In 1815 a group of residents, under the leadership of Juan José de la Torre began the process to separate Morovis (mo-RO-vis) from Manatí with the purpose of establishing it as a town. They based the request on the distance they lived from the head of the municipality and the bad conditions...

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Quebradillas, Puerto Rico

Quebradillas, Puerto Rico The Pirate’s Hideout Foundation: Quebradillas (ke-brah-DEE-yahs) was founded, in 1823, by Don Felipe Ruiz and Francisco A. Bravo who donated land, eight acres and one and one-half acres respectively to erect the municipal buildings. Around 1805, the struggle to obtain authorization to populate a town began between the neighbors of what today are known as the municipalities of Quebradillas and Camuy. In 1815 the neighbors of Camuy Arriba, or Quebradillas, empowered...

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Río Piedras, Puerto Rico

Río Piedras, Puerto Rico University City Foundation: What is known today as Río Piedras in the past had its origin as a settlement called El Roble along the shores of the Piedras river. Originally it was known as the Village or Villa del Roble. The official foundation took place in 1714 under the name of El Roble with the authorization of governor Juan de Rivera. The name derives from the Piedras river that crosses...

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico The Fortified City Foundation: San Juan (sahn HWAHN), the capital of Puerto Rico, is well known as “The Fortified City”, the oldest city under the United States flag. Juan Ponce de León founded San Juan in 1521. The ward known today as Old San Juan, was the personal vision of Juan Ponce de León. He helped design the city, supervised the construction of its massive walls, and determined where the...

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San Sebastián, Puerto Rico

San Sebastián, Puerto Rico St. Sebastián Del Pepino Foundation: The original name was San Sebastian (sahn se-bahs-tee-AHN), de las Vegas y el Pepino, because of its location in an extensive valley protected by mountains, watered by the Culebrinas and Guatemala rivers, and by the locally wooded hills called “pepinos” (cucumbers), characteristic of the karst zone. Authorization to found the town dates from 1752. It is said that its founder was don Cristóbal González, neighbor...

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Toa Alta, Puerto Rico

Toa Alta, Puerto Rico City of the Toa Foundation: Toa Alta (TO-ah AHL-tah) was founded during the year of 1751, under the government of Agustín Parejas. The parish was constituted under the patronage of Our Lady of the Conception and San Fernando. The name “Toa” is claimed to be the name that the Taíno Indians gave to the present river “Río de la Plata”. This word in the language of the Taínos also means...

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Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico Valleys of the Toa City 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,...

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Vega Alta, Puerto Rico

Vega Alta, Puerto Rico Town of Squaters Foundation: The town of Vega Alta (VAI-gah AHL-tah) was established as the Territory of Vega (Partido de Vega), in the native territory of Cibuco, in the era of the colonization by the Indian Chief Guacabó. Our historian, Don Pedro Tomás de Córdova, tells us that the town of Vega Alta was founded in 1775, several years before our neighboring town, known then as Naranjal, kown today as...

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Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

Vega Baja, Puerto Rico City of “Syrup” Foundation: The territory occupied by Vega Baja (VAI-gah BAH-hah) today, has been inhabited for 2,358 years. The first inhabitants of the then called region of Cibuco were Indians. The Cibuco region was slowly populated by a rural society dedicated mainly to the raising of cattle. Vega Baja was founded according to the historians in 1776. Its first name was Vega-Baxa del Naranjal de Nuestra Señora del Rosario....

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