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Arroyo, Puerto Rico

Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Municipality
Flag of Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Flag
Coat of arms of Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Pueblo Ingrato-Pueblo Grato", "Los Bucaneros"
Anthem: "Arroyo"
Location of Arroyo in Puerto Rico
Location of Arroyo in Puerto Rico
Coordinates:
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded December 25, 1855
Government
 • Mayor Hon. Eric Bachier Román (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist. 6 - Guayama
 • Representative dist. 30 
Area
 • Total 23.0 sq mi (59.6 km2)
 • Land 15 sq mi (39 km2)
 • Water 8.0 sq mi (20.6 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 19,575
 • Density 850/sq mi (330/km2)
Demonym(s) Arroyanos
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00714

Arroyo (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a municipality located along the southern coast of Puerto Rico and bordered by the Caribbean Sea, east of the municipality of Guayama and northwest of the municipality of Patillas. Arroyo is spread over 5 wards and Arroyo Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the Guayama Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Water features 2.1
  • Cityscape 3
    • Barrios 3.1
  • Tourism 4
  • Culture 5
    • Festivals and events 5.1
    • Sports 5.2
  • Economy 6
  • Government 7
  • Symbols 8
  • Education 9
  • Transportation 10
  • Notable people from Arroyo 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

History

The town of Arroyo was officially founded on December 25, 1855. However, it is believed that there were previous settlements on the area even previous to the Spanish colonization. It is believed that the name of Arroyo (which means "creek" in English) is derived from a small water stream where travelers stopped to freshen up before continuing on their way.

It has been said that the town came to be formed when a small group of people from the neighbor town of Guayama came to the region looking for a port to export and import merchandise. Still, a local newspaper called La Gaceta de Puerto Rico published in 1868 that Arroyo was founded in 1852. Between 1859 and 1860, City Hall signed agreements to open streets and build a town square and a sewer system for the town.

In 1858, Samuel Morse introduced wired communication to Latin America when he established a telegraph system in Puerto Rico, then a Spanish Colony. Morse's oldest daughter Susan Walker Morse (1821–1885), would often visit her uncle Charles Pickering Walker who owned the Hacienda Concordia in the town of Guayama. During one of her visits she met and later married Edward Lind, a Danish merchant who worked in the Hacienda La Henriqueta in Arroyo.[1] Lind purchased the Hacienda from his sister when she became a widow. Morse, who often spent his winters at the Hacienda with his daughter and son-in-law, set a two-mile telegraph line connecting his son-in-law's Hacienda to their house in Arroyo. The line was inaugurated on March 1, 1859 in a ceremony flanked by the Spanish and American flags.[2][3] The first lines transmitted by Samuel Morse that day in Puerto Rico were:[1]

"Puerto Rico, beautiful jewel! When you are linked with the other jewels of the Antilles in the necklace of the world's telegraph, yours will not shine less brilliantly in the crown of your Queen!"

Two decades after being founded, Arroyo had a population of 5,575. In 1902, Puerto Rico's Legislative Assembly approved a law to consolidate certain municipalities. According to it, Arroyo would be merged with Guayama starting in July 1 of that year. However, the law was revoked in 1905 returning Arroyo to its municipal status.

Geography

Arroyo belongs to the alluvial plains sub-region of Ponce-Patillas known as the Southern Coastal Valley. The area is very dry although its plains are productive thanks to artificial irrigation.

Water features

The Nigua River crosses the municipality from north to south. Its hidrographic system is completed by a series of smaller rivers. There is also a mineral water spring in the Virella Colony.

Cityscape

Barrios

The municipality of Arroyo is made up of 5 Barrios:

  • Arroyo Pueblo
  • Ancones
  • La Palma
  • Pitahaya
  • Yaurel
  • Guásima

Tourism

Faro Punta de las Figuras, Arroyo

Among the places of interest in Arroyo are the Enrique Huyke Monument, dedicated to the educator and athlete, and the Samuel Morse Monument, dedicated to the American inventor of the telegraph.

Other landmarks are La Cora Hacienda, Las Palmas Beach, Punta Guilarte Beach, Punta de Las Figuras Lighthouse and the Arroyo Sugar Cane Train.

Culture

Festivals and events

The people of Arroyo celebrate a wide variety of festivals during the year. For example, a traditional carnaval is held during the month of February. Also, the "Fiesta Negra", which celebrates the African heritage of the island, is held during March. The Fiestas patronales for Our Lady of Mount Carmel is held in July and the "Festival del Pescao" is celebrated in November.

Sports

Although Arroyo doesn't have a professional sports team, it has several amateur teams in Class A category.

Economy

During past centuries, Arroyo was known for the production of sugar in the Laffayette Sugar mill. The owner of Lafayette was known as Federico Basora Aldecoa. The fishing industry in the town has also been one of the most important.

In recent years, manufacture and pharmaceutical industries have taken control of the economy of Arroyo. Stryker Corporation, a developer of medical implants and other surgical equipment, has a production plant in the town.

Government

Since its foundation, Arroyo's municipal government has been led by a mayor, with its first mayor being Marcelino Cintrón. The current mayor is Eric Bachier Román. The city also has a municipal legislature that handles local legislative matters.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VI, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Miguel Pereira Castillo and Angel Rodríguez Otero were elected as District Senators.[4]

Symbols

Arroyo's flag has two horizontal bands of equal size. The upper band is color orange, while the lower one is black. In the middle of the flag lies Arroyo's coat of arms.

The coat of arms is also split in two sections. The upper section features a church in a blue field a church with a rosary to the right and a flower to the left. The lower section features two silver telegraph poles on green hills. At the bottom, waving stripes of blue and silver, with a fish below them. Above the shield, lies a crown of three towers filled in with purple. Below there's a banner with the motto, Arroyo Pueblo Grato.

Education

Education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Arroyo has seven elementary schools, three junior high schools, and one high school.

Transportation

Tren del Sur
PR-3 in Arroyo, Puerto Rico near Guayama

During the peak of the sugarcane industry in the island, Arroyo was part of the railroad system of the island, with trains hauling production to other municipalities in the island. A small portion of that train remained in use until recently for tourism purposes, under the name of Tren del Sur.

To reach Arroyo, visitors have to take the Puerto Rico Highway 3. However, there are other rural roads available to reach the municipality.

Notable people from Arroyo

See also

References

  1. ^ a b NY/Latino Journal; Taking the PE Out of PRT; by: Rafael Merino Cortes; July 20, 2006
  2. ^ 150th. Anniversary of the Foundation of Arroyo, Puerto Rico
  3. ^ Welcome to Puerto Rico
  4. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General on CEEPUR

External links

  • Arroyo, Pueblo Grato
  • Welcome to Puerto Rico Arroyo
  • Arroyo Weather Station Live
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