Cataño, Puerto Rico: Wikis

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Cataño, Puerto Rico

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Nickname(s): El Pueblo Que Se Negó a Morir", "La Antesala de la Capital", "El Pueblo Olvidado
Cataño, Puerto Rico is located in Puerto Rico
Cataño, Puerto Rico
Location of Cataño, Puerto Rico within Puerto Rico.
Coordinates: 18°26′42″N 66°07′04″W / 18.445°N 66.11778°W / 18.445; -66.11778
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded July 1, 1927
Government
 - Mayor Jose Rosario (PPD)
 - Senatorial dist. 2 - Bayamón
 - Representative dist. 9
Area
 - Total 7 sq mi (18.23 km2)
 - Land 4.8 sq mi (12.5 km2)
 - Water 2.2 sq mi (5.73 km2)
Population (2000)
 - Total 30,071
 - Density 6,232.5/sq mi (2,406.4/km2)
 - Gentilic Catañeses
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Website None
Anthem – "Cataño"

Cataño is a municipality (municipio) located on northern coast of Puerto Rico bordering the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent to the north and east by San Juan; north of Bayamón and Guaynabo; east of Toa Baja and west of Guaynabo and is part of the San Juan Metropolitan Area. Cataño is spread over 7 wards and Cataño 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

Hernando de Cataño was chosen to offer his medical services in Puerto Rico during Francisco Bahamonde de Lugo's tenure as Governor of Puerto Rico (1564-1568). He was one of the first physicians that arrived at Puerto Rico during its colonization[1] and, upon accepting his position, received as payment a piece of land through the terrains in front of the San Juan islet. From that time, the region started to be recognized by the name of its original owner. As people started establishing in the area, Cataño was declared as a barrio of Bayamón. However, there wasn't much success in the town's development during this years due to its swamp-like terrain. Still, around 1690, a hermit was established to allow residents to receive religious services without having to travel to Bayamón.

In the middle of the 19th Century, a transport company was founded to facilitate the transportation of merchandise and passengers through the San Juan Bay. This spurted a growth in the population of Cataño, transforming it into one of the most prosperous barrios of Bayamón. Still, attempts to separate themselves from Bayamón on 1839 were unsuccessful. In June 26, 1893, Bishop Antonio Puig y Montserrat separated the barrios of Cataño, Palo Seco, and Palmas from Bayamón's parish and established an independent parish for the residents of this sectors. In 1927, Cataño was officially declared a municipality with the name "Hato de Palmas de Cataño", which was simply shortened to Cataño.

Politics also played a crucial part in the foundation of the town, since Bayamón was controlled by an administration with opposing ideologies to those of the island's Legislature. The separation of Cataño from Bayamón was an strategy to weaken that opposition[2].

To this day, Cataño is still the smallest municipality in Puerto Rico.

Symbols

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Flag

The flag consists of nine horizontal stripes: four blue stripes and five white stripes (substituting for the silver color on the coat of arms). A white and green band traverses diagonally the drape in all its extension, from the upper hoist to the lower fly.

The green color represents the palm trees that are also present in the coat of arms. The flag was officially adopted during José Alvarez Brunet tenure as mayor on September 5, 1974.

Coat of Arms

The Coat Of Arms of Cataño consists of the same nine horizontal stripes of same the width: four blue and five silver. The colors of the coat and the flag represent the coat of arms of the family of Don Hernando de Cataño, an Hidalgo to whom the town owes its name. The color silver represents nobility and the color blue was used by hidalgos on their armories. It symbolizes royalty and serenity.

On top of the coat of arms, there's a crown with three towers distinct of others coat of arms. The coat itself is surrounded by two green palm trees, an allusion to one of the original names of the town: Hato de las Palmas de Cataño.

Name

Aside of its name, derived from its original owner, Cataño has several nicknames. The city is known as "La Antesala de la Capital" (the Foyer of the Capital) because of its location across the bay from the capital of Puerto Rico, the city of San Juan.

Geography

Cataño is the smallest municipality of Puerto Rico with an area close to 7 square miles. It consists mostly of flat plains that belong to the Northern region of Puerto Rico. Its northern shore falls on the San Juan Bay of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cityscape

Barrios

The town of Cataño is divided itself into several barrios or districts:

  • Cataño Pueblo
  • Palmas (sectors)
  • Urb. Las Vegas
  • Urb. Marina Bahia
  • Urb. Vista del Morro
  • Barrio Cucharillas
  • Barrio Juana Matos
  • Barrio Puente Blanco
  • Bay View
  • Bahia
  • Urb. Coqui
  • Barrio La Puntilla

Culture

View of the San Juan Bay from the Cataño shore.
Monument to Taino Culture in Cataño. It is part of a pedestrian walk which faces the San Juan Bay.

Tourism

One of the main tourist attractions in Cataño is the boardwalk or "Tablado" that sports an impressive view of the San Juan Bay, including views of Fort San Felipe del Morro on the opposing side. There are several monuments and sculptures along the boardwalk, including a Monument to Taíno Culture called "India Taína".

The Bacardi Distillery also offers tours along its facilities to visitors that want to see and learn about the rum manufacturing industry in the island and the Caribbean.

Cristopher Columbus statue

The town gained notoriety in 1998, when Mayor Edwin Rivera Sierra traveled to Russia and acquired a huge statue of Christopher Columbus called "Birth of the New World". The statue was designed by artist Zurab Tsereteli and would measure 350 feet when erected. Tsereteli had offered the statue to the United States as a gift in 1992 with the intention to use it for the celebrations of the 500th year of its voyage. However, the United States rejected it.

The transportation of the statue from Russia to Cataño costed $2.4 millions. After arriving to the island, the 2,700 bronze pieces of the statue were scattered in a terrain awaiting for funds for the project, but Rivera Sierra was unable to garner enough public support and funding for it. Allegedly, there's an agreement to erect the statue in the city of Mayagüez instead for the celebration of the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games.

Sports

Although Cataño hosts all professional sports team, there are several important sports facilities located in the town. Some of which are the Perucho Cepeda Stadium, the Pedro Rodríguez Gaya Boxing Colisseum, and the Cosme Beitía Salamo Colisseum.

Economy

Bacardi factory, located in Cataño

Due to its location, Cataño has always played an important role as a port to the island. Fishing has also been a main source of economy for centuries. Bacardi Distillery, one of the largest rum manufacturers of the world, is also established in Cataño.

Other industries established in the town are refineries, commerce companies, transport and logistics, among others.

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1950 19,865
1960 25,208 26.9%
1970 26,459 5.0%
1980 26,243 −0.8%
1990 34,587 31.8%
2000 30,071 −13.1%
Demographic distribution

Despite its small size, Cataño has a large population when compared to municipalities of similar areas. This is perhaps due to its location near the capital of San Juan. The population, according to the 2000 census, was 30,071 with a population density of 6,014.2 people per square mile (2,313.1/km²). Although the current population is almost the double of what it was in the 1950 census, the current census reflects a small decrease of inhabitants.

As a whole, Puerto Rico is comprised mainly of people from a Creole (born on the Island of European descent) or Spanish and European descent, with small groups of African and Asian people. Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 67.9.0% of Catañenses have Spanish or White origin, 7.6% are black, 0.8% are Amerindian etc.

Government

After its initial establishment, Cataño belonged to the Bayamón region. From 1839 to 1845, there were some attempts to separate the barrio from Bayamón, but these were unsuccessful. However, on late 19th Century, Bishop Antonio Puig y Montserrat managed to separate Cataño establishing their own parish. Cataño was finally declared a municipality on April 25, 1927 being its first mayor Alberto Dávila.

In 1987, Edwin Rivera Sierra was elected as Mayor of Cataño. He remained in the position for 16 years, quitting in 2003. He was replaced by Wilson Soto, who was then officially elected at the 2004 elections in Puerto Rico. After losing a reelection bid in 2008 against José Rosario, Soto was indicted on nine charges[4].

Education

Cataño counts with several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

Transportation

Cataño's ferry service is known as La Lancha de Cataño, or the Ferry of Cataño. Despite what the name may lead to believe, there are actually a number of ferries, not just one, that operate on the five minute harbor route between Cataño and old San Juan and vice-versa daily. There is a large ferry terminal at Cataño, and tourists can enjoy the view of the Castillo del Morro and the large cruise ships docked at the old San Juan terminal during this journey.

Puerto Rico Highway 22 provides access to Cataños from San Juan or from other adjacent towns. Like most other towns in the island, it counts with a public transportation system consisting of public cars. Taxis are also available around the town.

References

External links

Coordinates: 18°26′29″N 66°07′06″W / 18.44139°N 66.11833°W / 18.44139; -66.11833


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