Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Aerial view of Bayamón
|Nickname(s): "La Ciudad del Chicharrón de andres" (The Porkrind City), "La Ciudad de los Vaqueros" (The Cowboys City)|
|Motto: In Hoc Signo Vinces (Latin for: "By this sign you will conquer"|
|Anthem: "Bayamón, ciudad hermosa"|
Location of Bayamón in Puerto Rico
|Founded||May 22, 1772|
|• Mayor||Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr. (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||2 - Bayamón|
|• Representative dist.||7, 8, 9|
|• Total||44.53 sq mi (115.34 km2)|
|• Land||44.38 sq mi (114.95 km2)|
|• Water||0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)|
|Elevation||52 ft (16 m)|
|• Density||4,700/sq mi (1,800/km2)|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|Zip code||00956, 00957, 00959, 00961, 00960, 00958|
Bayamón (Spanish pronunciation: [baʝaˈmon]) 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Cityscape
- 4 Tourism
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Government
- 9 Symbols
- 10 Education
- 11 Transportation
- 12 Diplomacy
- 13 Notable natives and residents
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The Taíno people, the historic indigenous peoples who encountered European explorers and settlers, were the long time settlers in this area. The Spanish colonist Juan Ramírez de Arellano established Bayamón as a Spanish settlement on May 22, 1772. Two beliefs exist about the origin of name Bayamón. According to one belief it was named after the local Taíno chief, Bahamon,. As per the other belief the name was derived from the Taíno word Bayamongo, which is a river that runs across this region. In turn implying that Bayamón is the area around this main river, which later on became the center of city's development.
In 1821, Marcos Xiorro, an ethnic African slave, planned to lead a revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico. The slave conspiracy was revealed and suppressed, but Xiorro became a hero among the slaves. He is part of Puerto Rico's folklore. He was owned by Vicente Andino, a militia captain who owned a sugar plantation in Bayamón.
Bayamón is Puerto Rico's second-largest city. It is part of the island's large metropolitan area associated with San Juan. Other cities included in the metropolitan area are Guaynabo, Cataño, Toa Baja, Canóvanas, Carolina and Trujillo Alto. Bayamón does not have a separate airport as it is near San Juan and its facilities.
The Municipality of Bayamón sits on the Northern Coastal Plain region of Puerto Rico. It is bordered by the municipalities of Toa Baja, Cataño, Comerío, Aguas Buenas, Toa Alta, Naranjito, and Guaynabo. Bayamón has a surface area of 43.5 square miles (113.1 km2). The terrain is mostly plain, but some peaks present in it are La Peña and Vergaras.
Bayamón is divided into twelve barrios, each with the following population.
Bayamón is the site of several notable Puerto Rican landmarks and places of interest. Bayamón Central Park is a public park where people gather and relax. Bayamon also hosts the Braulio Castillo Theater, the Francisco Oller Museum, and the José Celso Barbosa Monument. The Bayamón City Hall building is notable because it was built above a major highway. 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.
One of the most popular attractions in Bayamón is the Parque de las Ciencias. It is a science-themed park with various exhibitions. It is the only place, outside of the United States, where NASA rockets and parts are exhibited. It is located in the middle of karstic hills. An observation building on one of the hills gives a good view of the metropolitan area. That building also hosts antennas for government and civil communication.
El parque del tren was a park featuring what was then Puerto Rico's only working train. (Highways and vehicle use had overtaken the railroads.) It also featured a DC-3, which had been used by United Airlines. In 2001, the park was dismantled and destroyed in the course of major road construction, still underway. What is left of the park is a small plaza for activities and an area for jogging and passive entertainment.
Festivals and events
Bayamón is the site of several annual festivities. The festivities in honor of Santa Cruz, the town's patron saint, are held in May. Also, José Celso Barbosa's birthday is celebrated in July. There's also an artisans festival celebrated that month. Known as La Ciudad del Chicharrón, there's a festival dedicated to it in July as well.
There are several professional and amateur sports team based in Bayamón. The Vaqueros de Bayamón are the local basketball team that plays at the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league. They are currently the team with the most championships in the history of the league with 14, the last of which was achieved in 2009. The team played at the Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez.
Recently, Bayamón has become popular for being the hometown of the Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League. The team plays at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón. Another team, Bayamón FC, started 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.
The famous boxing fight between Alexis Argüello and Alfredo Escalera dubbed The Bloody Battle of Bayamon (their first; their equally legendary rematch was held in Rimini, Italy) was held in Bayamón in 1978. Also, professional boxers Luis Del Valle, Wilfredo Vazquez and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. are from Bayamón.
The products grown in Bayamón include coffee, grapefruit, sugar, tobacco and vegetables. Bayamón was also the site where the first hydraulic sugar mill on the island was built in about 1548.
Due to its location within the San Juan Metropolitan area and its airport and port, Bayamón is one of the most viable places for commerce. It is also one of the Puerto Rican cities with most shopping centers per capita. Here are some:
- Plaza del Sol
- Plaza Rio Hondo
- Cantón Mall
- Plazoleta del Cantón
- Drive-in Plaza Shopping Center
- Bayamón Oeste Shopping Center
- Rexville Towne Center
- Rexville Shopping 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 Shopping Center
- Bayamón Centro (under renovation)
- Ciudad Jardin Shopping Center
- IKEA Hato Tejas, Bayamon
|Race - Bayamón, Puerto Rico - 2010 Census|
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||1,183||0.6%|
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||24||0.0%|
|Some other race||15,189||7.3%|
|Two or more races||6,972||3.4%|
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Bayamón is Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr., of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2000 general elections, succeeding his father, Ramón Luis Rivera, after 23 years. For a list of all the mayors of Bayamón see "External Links".
The current flag of Bayamón features the Scandinavian Cross found in many Nordic Cross flags. It 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 4th century had the vision in which the victory was promised to him if it accepted the Cross of Christianity as his banner.
Bayamón has many public and private schools. Like all municipalities, public education is administered by Puerto Rico Department of Education. Bayamón also has many higher-learning institutions such as the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and its School of Optometry, Bayamón Central University, American University, Universidad Central del Caribe, and some community colleges.
Bayamón is the final stop for the Tren Urbano. Three of its stops are located within the city.
Bayamón serves as the host city for foreign consular representation in Puerto Rico for the following nations:
Notable natives and residents
- Héctor Camacho - former professional boxer
- Braulio Castillo - actor
- Virgilio Dávila, poet and former mayor of Bayamón (1905-1910)
- Rubén Díaz, Sr. - New York State Senator
- Yadier Molina - professional baseball player
- Felipe López (baseball) - professional baseball player
- Ramón Luis Rivera - former mayor
- Ramón Luis Rivera Jr. - present mayor
- Wilfredo Vazquez - professional boxer
Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Bayamón who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bayamón, Puerto Rico.|
- List of Puerto Ricans
- History of Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Islanders NASL soccer
- Vaqueros de Bayamón BSN basketball
- Bayamón and its barrios, United States Census Bureau
- City of Bayamón
- Bayamón site on Puerto Rico portal
- List of Mayors of Bayamón
Colleges / Schools / Universities
- American University of Puerto Rico
- Bayamón Central University
- Caribbean University
- Inter-American University of Puerto Rico - Bayamón Campus
- Universidad Central del Caribe
- University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón