Cayey, Puerto Rico

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Cayey, Puerto Rico
Cayey Jajome.jpg
Flag of Cayey, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms of Cayey, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Ciudad de las Brumas", "Ciudad del Torito", "Ciudad del Coquí Dorado"
Anthem: "Alma Boricua"
Location of Cayey in Puerto Rico
Location of Cayey in Puerto Rico
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded August 17, 1773
 • Mayor Rolando Ortíz Velázquez (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist. 6 – Guayama
 • Representative dist. 29
 • Total 50.20 sq mi (130.01 km2)
 • Land 50 sq mi (130 km2)
 • Water 0.004 sq mi (.01 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 48,119
 • Density 960/sq mi (370/km2)
Demonym Cayeyanos
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00736 , 00737

Cayey (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈʝei]) is a mountain municipality in central Puerto Rico located on the Central Mountain range, north of Salinas and Guayama; south of Cidra and Caguas; east of Aibonito and Salinas; and west of San Lorenzo. Cayey is spread over 21 wards plus Cayey Pueblo, the downtown area and the administrative center of the city. It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Cayey is notable for its surrounding mountains. The city has been actively growing since the 1990s, evidenced by its designation as a Metropolitan Area by the U.S. Census Bureau. It has experienced significant growth in commerce, and many major retailers, such as Wal-Mart have opened stores in this city. A new coliseum and hospital facilities have also been built. Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are two major corporations that have manufacturing facilities in the town. Cayey is also host to one of the campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.


Cultivating tobacco at a Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration experimental area, 1941

Cayey was founded on August 17, 1773 by Juan Mata Vázquez, who became its first mayor. It is said that Cayey derives its name from the Taino Indian word for "a place of waters". Its original name was "Cayey de Muesas".

In 1880, a fire that later acquired legendary status took place in Cayey's Mirador Echevarria area. The fire broke out on the property of a timber company near Charca Del Pato. Many people and dogs died.

During the first half of the 20th century,[1] Cayey was basically an agricultural area of small farmers and local haciendas dedicated to the farming of crops for the local market. During the 1920s and 1930s farmers increasingly lost their land to absentee landowners, mostly American companies, that turned to the cultivation of sugar cane and, to a lesser extent, tobacco for export. In the 1950s and 1960s some manufacturing concerns established plants in Cayey taking advantage of tax incentives offered by "Operation Bootstrap", Puerto Rico's industrialization program. Among the most notable were the "Consolidated Cigars", making cigars, and what was locally known as "La Gordon", a textile plant. These plants created hundreds of manufacturing jobs, mostly for women, and created a housing boom. In the 1960s new housing developments, like "Reparto Montellano", provided new housing for Cayey's increasing population outside of the town proper. By that time, however, you could still see vast sugarcane fields in the "Montellano" area of Cayey and the "Central" where the sugarcane was processed. You could likewise see barns dotting the mountainsides where tobacco was hung to dry. In 1967 the University of Puerto Rico opened a campus in Cayey at the old Henry Barracks, an abandoned WWI U.S. Army base. In the early 1970s PR-52 was completed connecting the North and South coastal areas of Puerto Rico and passing through the mountains of Cayey. PR-52, a multi-lane toll highway, rises from the town of Caguas before taking the path of less resistance in the Valley of Cayey, where it ascends further through the mountains before descending to the coastal town of Salinas.


Mist in Cayey.

Cayey is located in a valley surrounded by La Sierra de Cayey, a mountain range where the Carite Forest Reserve is located, and the Cordillera Central, a mountain range that covers most of the central part of Puerto Rico. Because of its location, Cayey its known for its mountains, its cool weather and its foggy mornings, especially in winter. During Spanish rule Spanish soldiers were sent to Cayey, whose cool weather resembled that of Spain, when assigned to Puerto Rico while they acclimated to the tropical weather. In winter it is not unusual for the temperature to drop into the 50's F.

The Carite Forest Reserve


Cayey's climate is humid, rainy and mild compared to lower-elevation areas of the island, the area of the village is nearly 1,500 feet (460 m) high, so the climate is subtropical high. The record maximum temperature is 94 °F (34 °C) and minimum 45 °F (7 °C). The average annual rainfall is 100 inches (2,540 mm) and maximum rainfall record in 24 hours is 20.87 inches (530 mm) of rain.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The Golden coquí (Eleuthe rodactylus jasperi; Spanish: Coquí dorado) is a rare and possibly extinct leptodactylid frog species endemic to Puerto Rico. Native from Cayey, Puerto Rico, Golden coquís have only been found in areas of dense bromeliad growth in the Sierra de Cayey of Puerto Rico between 647 and 785 metres above sea level.



Cayey Districts.
  • Buena Vista
  • Beatriz
  • Cayey Pueblo
  • Cantera
  • Quenepo
  • Cedro
  • Cercadillo
  • Culebras Altas
  • Culebras Bajas
  • Cuba Libre
  • Farallón
  • Guavate
  • San Cristobal
  • Jájome Alto
  • Jájome Bajo
  • Lapa
  • La Ley
  • Matón Abajo
  • Matón Arriba
  • Mogote
  • Monte Llano
  • Pasto Viejo
  • Pedro Avila
  • Polvorin
  • Piedras
  • Quebrada Arriba
  • Rincón
  • Sumido
  • Toita
  • Villa Polilla
  • Vegas[2]

Buildings and structures[edit]

Telemundo WKAQ TV Tower[edit]

The new Pedro Montañez Municipal Stadium in Cayey

Telemundo WKAQ TV Tower, situated at 18°6'47"N 66°3'9"W, is a 1,105 feet (336.8 m) tall guyed mast for FM-/TV-broadcasting. It was built in 1971 and it is the second tallest man-made structure of Puerto Rico.

Pedro Montañez Stadium[edit]

The new Pedro Montañez Municipal Stadium in Cayey, Puerto Rico, proceeded by the first Pedro Montañez Municipal Stadium in Cayey, it is the home of the Toritos de Cayey Double A baseball team, and the Benigno Fernandez Garcia Jr. High School's field day competitions.

Cayey Pegasus Broadcasting Tower[edit]

Just a few hundred yards away at 18°6'33"N 66°3'2"W, there is the third-tallest structure of Puerto Rico. It is a guyed mast owned by Pegasus Broadcasting Inc. with a height of 1,091 feet (332.5 m), which was built in 1966.


Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

  • Comsat Station.
  • Guavate.
  • Ramón Frade Museum.
  • Sismograph.
  • Brisas De Cayey.
  • Monumento al Jíbaro Puertorriqueño.
  • Monumento a Los Tres Reyes Magos.
  • Tetas de Cayey.
  • Carite Forest.
  • Charco Azul.
  • Lago Carite.
  • The Coca Cola Company Bottling Facility.
  • Escuela de Bellas Artes.
  • El Salón de La Fama del Deporte.
  • El Faro del Saber.
  • University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Campus.
  • Museo de Arte Pio López.
  • Pedro Montañez Municipal Stadium.
  • Teatro Municipal.
  • Banda Municipal de Cayey.
  • Tuna de Cayey.


Festivals and events[edit]

  • Regional Fair – April
  • Torito Olympics – April
  • Patrona Festivities Nuestra Señora de Asunción – August

Cayey's Matron Festivities "Nuestra Señora de Asunción" are one of the most popular festival events in Puerto Rico. These festivities are celebrated during 10 days consecutively, bringing singers and bands from around the island. Cayey's Matron Festivities always pop out a surprise during the final days, such like Wisin & Yandel and others.


Monument to The Three Kings in Guavate.
Race – Cayey, Puerto Rico – 2000 Census[3]
Race Population  % of Total
White 41,771 88.2%
Black/African American 1,834 3.9%
American Indian and Alaska Native 89 0.2%
Asian 64 0.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 24 0.1%
Some other race 2,602 5.5%
Two or more races 986 2.1%


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Cayey is Rolando Ortíz, of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). He was elected at the 1996 general elections and has remained in office through all intervening elections since.

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



The flag derives its design and colors from the Coat of Arms, which is in the center of the flag encircled by a solid black ring. The centered Coat of Arms and has four triangles pointing to it, two white and two red.

Coat of Arms[edit]

The Coat of Arms has a three tip mountain, a red bull, and a waving blue stripe representing the abundant water in the zone and also in reverence to the primitive Matron of the town of Cayey. The shield is topped with the silver lamb symbol of San Juan of Puerto Rico, and a red book.


Cayey has direct access to Puerto Rico Highway 52 and its downtown/business area is served by Puerto Rico Highway 14, which grants access to Aibonito to the west and is the main route to the University of Puerto Rico in town, and by Puerto Rico Highway 15 which grants access to south Cayey and Guayama. Puerto Rico Highway 1 Bypass runs through the town's business area. The municipality has good paved roads and is easily accessible from San Juan, being only 25 miles (40 km) away, as well as from Ponce, being only 38 miles (60 km) away. Due to its proximity to Caguas and easy access via PR-52, Cayey has seeing significant growth in the last years.


  • 23 Public Schools (2 High Schools, 4 Intermediate Schools, 3 Second Units, 13 Elementary Schools and 1 Special Vocational Center).

Higher Education[edit]

  • Cayey, University of Puerto Rico.
  • University of Turabo at Cayey.
  • Instituto de Banca y Comercio.
  • Liberty Technical College.

Health care[edit]

  • Hospital Menonita de Cayey
  • Hospital Municipal de Cayey

Notable natives and residents[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Life in Cayey during the first part of the 20th century, and the last part of the 19th century, is exquisitely detailed in "Obras Completas" by Cayey's native son Miguel Melendez Muñoz
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ethnicity 2000 census
  4. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General on CEEPUR

External links[edit]