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Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Aerial view of Bayamón, Puerto Rico

Flag
File:Escbayamon2.gif
Seal
Nickname(s): "La ciudad del Chicharrón & Science Town"
Location within the main island of Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°23′00″N 66°09′00″W / 18.3833333°N 66.15°W / 18.3833333; -66.15
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded May 22, 1772
Government
 - Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr. (New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico)
 - Senatorial dist. 2 - Bayamón
 - Representative dist. 7, 8, 9
Area
 - Total 44.5 sq mi (115.34 km2)
 - Land 44.4 sq mi (114.95 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.39 km2)
Population (2005)
 - Total 227,689
 Density 5,048/sq mi (1,949.06/km2)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Gentilic Bayamoneses
Website http://www.municipiodebayamon.com
Anthem - "Bayamón, ciudad hermosa"

Bayamón is a municipality of Puerto Rico located on the northern coastal valley, north of Aguas Buenas and Comerío; south of Toa Baja and Cataño; west of Guaynabo; and east of Toa Alta and Naranjito. Bayamón is spread over 11 wards and Bayamón Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Bayamón is sometimes called "El Pueblo del Chicharrón" (Pork Rind Town) and "Ciudad del Tapón" (City of the Traffic Jams) because of the constant traffic jams that plague the city. Juan Ramírez de Arrellano established Bayamón as a town on May 22, 1772. It derives its name from the local Indian chief Bahamon or from the Taíno word Bayamongo, which is the name of the main river that crosses the city.

Bayamón is Puerto Rico's second largest city, and is situated in what is considered to be the island's metropolitan area. It shares its metropolitan area status with San Juan, Guaynabo, Cataño, Toa Baja, Canovanas, Carolina and Trujillo Alto.

Unlike Ponce, Aguadilla and Mayagüez, it does not have an airport due to its proximity to San Juan, the capital.

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Flag

The current flag of Bayamón, with a white field, official color of Bayamón, was embroidered by Mrs. Gloria M. León and maintains the design and colors of its Coat of Arms.

Coat of arms

This shield is symbol and synthesis of the history and the values that distinguish the city of Bayamón. The main colors of the shield are blue and silver representing the waters of the Bayamón river and recalls that it was on these banks where the first hydraulic sugar cane refinery of Puerto Rico was established in 1549. The center contains the Holy Cross (Santa Cruz), patron of the first church of the municipality and the name of the old sugar cane refinery "Santa Cruz", which was the historical origin of the town of Bayamón. The sugar cane flowers (guajanas) allude directly to the sugar cane industry that is of social and economic importance to the origin and development of Bayamón.

The five-tower crown, which is used for cities, was assigned to Bayamón as an exception for its extraordinary urban development, the magnitude of its population and for its religious dignity, which will possibly be raised to become Episcopal seat. The motto "IN HOC SIGNO VINCES" makes reference to Emperor Constantine when in the IV century had the vision in which the victory was promised to him if it accepted the Cross of Christianity as his banner.

Demographics

Neighborhoods (Districts/Wards)[1]

Districts Population
Pueblo de Bayamón 5,336
Buena Vista 15,878
Cerro Gordo 34,161
Dajaos 2,691
Guaraguao Abajo 8,494
Guaraguao Arriba 1,681
Hato Tejas 46,528
Juan Sánchez 25,747
Minillas 42,617
Nuevo 2,394
Pájaros 32,855
Santa Olaya 5,662
Total 224,044

Geo/Topography

Bayamón rivers include: Río Bayamón, Río Hondo, Río Minillas, Río Bucarabones and Río Cuesta Arriba.

Problems

Despite its great size and population, Bayamón does not have an efficient mass transit system. This has produced constant problems with traffic jams. Also, the absence of a plan for the growth of the city has produced urban sprawl that has worsened the situation. Many bus stops are not well designed, sidewalks are inadequate and make pedestrian traffic difficult. The municipality also suffers from a lack of urban aesthetics making it less attractive to live in.

Economy

Agriculture

Coffee, grapefruit, sugar, tobacco and vegetables. The first hydraulic sugar mill on the island was built in Bayamón about 1548, and sugar has continued to be a valuable commodity.

Business

Commercial offices, Hospitals and Commercial centers are available throughout the city. Bayamón is one of the Puerto Rican cities with most shopping centers per capita. Here are some:

  • Plaza Del Sol
  • Plaza Río Hondo
  • Cantón Mall
  • Plazoleta del Cantón
  • Drive-in Plaza Shopping Center
  • Bayamón Oeste Shopping Center
  • Rexville Towne Center
  • Rexville Shopping Centerg Center
  • Bayamón Norte Shopping Center
  • Plaza di-Luna
  • Santa Rosa Mall
  • Plaza Del Parque Shopping Center
  • Plaza Tropical Shopping Center
  • Victory Shopping Center
  • La Milagrosa Shoppin Center

Tourism

Landmarks and places of interest

Tren Urbano at Bayamón Station
House where Dr. Barbosa was born
  • Bayamón Central Park
  • Braulio Castillo Theater
  • Francisco Oller Museum
  • José Celso Barbosa Monument
  • Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium
  • Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez
  • El parque del tren, a park featuring what was until 2001 Puerto Rico's only working train, and an example of a DC-3 that used to fly for United Airlines. (This park, however, was destroyed due to major road construction which is still underway.) What is left of it is now a small plaza for activities and an area for jogging and passive entertainment.
  • A suspension bridge is a pedestrian only bridge, believed to be one of only 3 of its kind in all of Puerto Rico.
  • A science-themed park known as Parque De Las Ciencias. It is the only place, outside of the United States, where you can find an exhibition of NASA rockets and rockets parts. It is located in the middle of carcic hills. From an observation building on one of the hills is a stunning view of the metropolitan area. The building also hosts antennas for government and civil communication.
  • City Hall- This building crosses over a major road. While walking through a connecting corridor, right above the road, pedestrians can see passing cars underneath. It is believed to be the only building of its class in the world.
  • Bayamón is also one of the cities to host the Tren Urbano (Urban Transit System commuter train), inaugurated in 2004.

Festivals and events

  • Santa Cruz Patron Festivities - May
  • José Celso Barbosa's Birthday - July
  • Chicharrón Festival - July
  • Artesans Festival - July

Education

Bayamón has many public and private schools. It also has many higher-learning institutions such as the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico's School of Optometry, Bayamón Central University, American University, Universidad Central del Caribe, and some community colleges.

Sports

The Vaqueros de Bayamón are the city's BSN representatives and the team with the most championships in history with 14, the last one achieved in 2009.

The Mayor watching the Puerto Rico Islanders at Juan Ramon Loubriel

Vaqueras de Bayamón is the local representative for the women's volleyball league Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino.

The famous boxing fight between Alexis Argüello and Alfredo Escalera (their first; their equally legendary rematch was held in Rimini, Italy) was held in Bayamón in 1978.

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Professional League play at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón. A new team, Bayamón FC, are to start playing in the stadium in the Puerto Rico Soccer League in the 2009 season. Sevilla Bayamón FC, now called Sevilla-FC Juncos, used to play in the stadium. Until they moved to the town of Juncos due to ownership and financial problems.

Professional boxer Luis Del Valle is from Bayamón.

Diplomacy

Bayamón serves as the host city for foreign consular representation in Puerto Rico for the following nations:

Notable natives and residents

See also

References

External links

Colleges / Schools / Universities

Coordinates: 18°23′N 66°09′W / 18.383°N 66.15°W / 18.383; -66.15


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