Caguas, Puerto Rico: Wikis

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Caguas, Puerto Rico

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Nickname(s): La Ciudad del Turabo" (Turabo Valley), "La Ciudad Criolla (Creole City)
Location of Caguas within Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°13′53″N 66°2′22″W / 18.23139°N 66.03944°W / 18.23139; -66.03944Coordinates: 18°13′53″N 66°2′22″W / 18.23139°N 66.03944°W / 18.23139; -66.03944
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded January 1, 1775
Government
 - Mayor William Miranda Marín (Partido Popular Democrático (PPD))
 - Senatorial dist. 7
 - Representative dist. 31,32
Area
 - Total 59.1 sq mi (153.00 km2)
 - Land 58.7 sq mi (151.97 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.03 km2)
Elevation 196 ft (643 m)
Population (2004)
 - Total 140,502
 - Metro Density 2,394.7/sq mi (924.6/km2)
 - Gentilic Cagüeños
Ethnicity 2000 Census [1]
 - White 84.5%
 - Black 0.3%
 - American Indian/AN 0.1%
 - Asian 0.0%
 - Native Hawaiian/PI 6.2%
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Website http://www.Caguas.gov.pr
Anthem - "Caguas"

Caguas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɣas]) (founded in 1775) is a city and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico, south of San Juan and Trujillo Alto, west of Gurabo and San Lorenzo, east of Aguas Buenas, Cidra, and Cayey.

Caguas is located 20 miles (32 km) (twenty minutes to an hour by car) from San Juan and 40 miles (64 km) (an hour and a half by car) from Ponce. It is known as El Valle del Turabo (Turabo Valley) or La Ciudad Criolla (The Creole City) and its name originates from the Taíno cacique Caguax. Caguas is both a principal city of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area.

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Geography

Caguas is located in the largest valley in Puerto Rico, the "Valle de Caguas" which shares with Gurabo and part of Aguas Buenas. It is located approximately 30 minutes from the coastline both on the east (Humacao) and the north (San Juan), and is divided from Gurabo from the river of the same name. It is east of Aguas Buenas and Cidra, north of Cayey, south of San Juan, and west of Gurabo and Trujillo Alto. It also shares borders with Guayama and Patillas via a five-point border, with Cayey and San Lorenzo. At this point there are two tall antennas which provide signal to Puerto Rico's principal TV stations such as Telemundo and WAPA. No road passes exactly at this point, and it can be approached nearby through Puerto Rico Highway 184. Being a valley, Caguas has the distinction of being relatively flat except near the borders with all the mentioned municipalities except Gurabo.

History

Originally called San Sebastián del Piñal de Caguax, Caguas derives its name from a local Indian chief (Caguax) who was an early Christian convert.

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Politics

During the 1980s the city was directed by Mayor Angel O. Berrios and Miguel Hernández, and these days it is led by Mayor William Miranda Marin. Mayors Berrios and Miranda Marín are both members of the PPD which has led the city for many years. Previous mayors include Manuel Seoane and Angel Rivera.

Flag

The colors are blue and yellow. The cross stands for the Cross of San Sebastián, for this was the first Christian village that settled in the Caguas Valley together with the hermitage of San Sebastián del Barrero. Ten of the Caguas Barrios have their own flag using the Cross of San Sebastian, its own coat of arms and colors.

Coat of arms

The colors blue and gold were chosen for the shield, distinctive of the city of Caguas. The figures symbolize the Indigenous and Christian origins of this city. The crown represents Chief Caguax, Monarch of the Turabo Valley, upon the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.

Demographics

Caguas cathedral "Dulce Nombre de Jesús" (Sweet Name of Jesus) inaugurated in 1930 with image of Carlos Manuel Rodríguez (restored 1999)

Barrios (Districts/Wards)

  • Caguas Pueblo
  • Bairoa
  • Beatriz
  • Borinquen
  • Cañabón
  • Cañaboncito
  • Rio Cañas
  • San Antonio
  • San Salvador
  • Tomás de Castro
  • Turabo
  • La Barra

Geo/Topography

Economy

In September 2005 City Mayor William Miranda Marin levied the first Municipal tax in Puerto Rico via city ordinance. Area Merchants now charge a one cent tax for every dollar spent on all retail businesses. The tax has become known around the island as the "Willie Tax". It resulted in an estimated $500,000 monthly income for the city. However, the municipal tax was increased to 1.5% after the establishment of the 5.5% state tax for a total of 7%.[citation needed]

During 2006, Miranda Marin began calling Caguas "El Nuevo Pais de Caguas" ("The New Country of Caguas").

Agriculture

Its community has enjoyed one of the best economies among Puerto Rican cities since the 1980s. During the early part of the 20th century, Caguas hosted one of Puerto Rico's most important sugar manufacturers, which gave employment to thousands of cagüeños.

Business

Numerous business and important buildings have opened in Caguas since the 1980s, including the imposing 23 story apartment building Caguas Tower, its adjacent competitors Bonneville Apartments and the 10 floor San Juan Bautista Medical Center. There are several shopping malls:

  • Plaza del Carmen Mall,
  • Plaza Centro Mall
  • Las Catalinas Mall
  • Los Prados Mall
  • Bairoa Shopping Center
  • Villa Blanca Mall
  • Angora Shopping Center
  • Plaza Degetau
  • Plaza Caguitas

Transportation

Public transportation in Caguas, as in most of Puerto Rico, is limited to small "guaguas públicas" (Mini Bus). There is service from and to San Juan and Rio Piedras, inexpensive but slow. Within Caguas, several buses and taxis serve the town.

A "light interurban rail" system connecting Caguas to San Juan is in the planning stages, it will act as a feeder for the Tren Urbano.

Caguas is served by one freeway, one tolled expressway and one main divided highway. Puerto Rico Highway 30 connects Caguas to the east. There is no freeway/expressway to the west, due mainly to the fact that there is no sufficient population west of Caguas to develop a new freeway or expressway; good access to the municipalities of Cidra(southwest) and Aguas Buenas(northwest) are possible via PR-172 and PR-156, respectively. Puerto Rico Highway 52 connects Caguas to the north (San Juan) and south (Cayey, Ponce). Puerto Rico Highway 1 is an alternate route to San Juan and Guaynabo with two lanes per direction; in south Caguas it becomes rural near Borinquen, therefore the only good access to Cayey is the expressway (PR-52) and a $1.00 toll has to be paid (only in the south direction). The only municipality bordering Caguas with a poor-access road is San Lorenzo, via PR-183; but good access to San Lorenzo is possible entering Gurabo first via PR-30 and then taking PR-203 south.

Tourism

Caguas Municipal Trolley in the Town Square
Entrance to the Botanic and Cultural Gardens

Landmarks and places of interest

  • Botanic and Cultural Gardens
  • Cable Car/Trolley
  • Caguas Historical Museum
  • Caguas Cathedral
  • Coquí Villa
  • Hacienda Catalina Ruins
  • Hacienda Cofresí
  • Hacienda Country Club
  • Jardín Botánico
  • La Casa de Ajedrez (The House of Chess)
  • Tobacco Museum

Festivals and events

Education

High schools

  • Colegio Católico Notre Dame
  • Elohim Christian Academy
  • New Generation Christian Academy (used to be CLA)
  • Caguas Military Academy
  • Colegio Bautista
  • Cristo de los Milagros Academy
  • Dr. Juan José Osuna High school
  • José Gautier Benítez High school
  • Manuela Toro Morice High School
  • Republic of Costa Rica Vocacional of Caguas High School
  • Eloisa Pascual "Bairoa III" High School
  • Rio Cañas High School
  • Santa Rosa Superior School
  • Thomas Alva Edison School
  • Colegio San José Superior
  • Escuela de Ciencias y Tecnología

Higher education

Hospitals

  • Hospital Hima San Pablo
  • San Juan Bautista Medical Center

Sports

The Criollos de Caguas baseball team are considered one of the greatest of all-time in all of Latin America, having won 14 national Puerto Rico titles and 3 Caribbean World Series titles The team is a member of the LBPPR. Three of the first five Puerto Ricans that played Major League Baseball in the U.S. at one point in their careers played for the Criollos de Caguas (Luis Rodríguez Olmo, Victor Pellot Power, Roberto Clemente).

The Criollos de Caguas basketball team, founded in 1968 by Dr. Héctor "Tato" Dávila and Lcdo. Libertario Pérez Rodríguez, hasn't enjoyed as much success as their baseball counterparts, but in the early 2000s, they showed a lot of progress by reaching the national playoffs various times. The team is a member of the BSN. In 2006, the team won its first BSN national basketball championship, defeating Flor Melendez and his Santurce Crabbers in five games.

Caguas is home to the Bairoa Gym, one of the most important boxing gyms in all Puerto Rico and a place where many visiting champions have trained at; such as boxing Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto, his brother Jose Miguel, Alberto Mercado, Juan Carazo, Alfredo Escalera and others.

The Criollas de Caguas women's volleyball team has won 7 national Puerto Rico titles and has made it to the finals more than 15 times. The team is a member of the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino (LVSF).

Sister cities

Notes and references

References

External links


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