Fajardo, Puerto Rico

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Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Municipality
Aerial view of Fajardo's basin
Aerial view of Fajardo's basin
Flag of Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Flag
Nickname(s): "Los Cariduros", "La Metrópolis del Sol Naciente"
Anthem: "Fajardo que aquí en el oriente"
Location of Fajardo in Puerto Rico
Location of Fajardo in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°19′33″N 65°39′09″W / 18.32583°N 65.65250°W / 18.32583; -65.65250Coordinates: 18°19′33″N 65°39′09″W / 18.32583°N 65.65250°W / 18.32583; -65.65250
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded 1772
Government
 • Mayor Hon. Aníbal Meléndez Rivera (NPP)
 • Senatorial dist. 8 - Carolina
 • Representative dist. 36
Area
 • Total 60.41 sq mi (156.45 km2)
 • Land 31 sq mi (81 km2)
 • Water 29.13 sq mi (75.45 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 36,993
 • Density 610/sq mi (240/km2)
Demonym Fajardeños
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip Code 00738, 00740
Area code 787

Fajardo (Spanish pronunciation: [faˈxaɾðo]) is a small city and municipality in Puerto Rico located in the east region of the island, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Ceiba and east of Luquillo. Fajardo is spread over 7 wards and Downtown Fajardo (commonly called by the locals "Fajardo Pueblo"), which serves as the administrative center of the city. It is both a principal city of the Fajardo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area.

Fajardo is the hub of the majority of recreational boating in Puerto Rico and a popular launching port to Culebra, Vieques, and the American and British Virgin Islands. It is also the home to the largest Marina in the Caribbean, called Puerto del Rey. The town contains various hotels and inns.

Off shore, near Fajardo, a few islets can be found. These are Icacos, Palominos, Palominito, and Diablo, among other uninhabited coral islands.

History[edit]

Fajardo was founded in 1760, 1773 or 1774 (depending on the authority) as Santiago de Fajardo. It was one of the locations used by the Americans to invade Puerto Rico. On August 1, 1898 the USS Puritan under the command of Captain Frederic W. Rodgers, was sailing by the coastline of the city of Fajardo, when Rogers noticed the "Faro de Las Cabezas de San Juan" (Cape San Juan lighthouse) which was supposed to be the landing site for the US Army in Puerto Rico. Rodgers ordered some of his men ashore, which included Puerto Rican volunteers, with the mission of posting the American Flag atop the lighthouse.

Geography[edit]

  • Fajardo River
  • Aguas Buenas Gorge, Fajardo Gorge, Juan Diego Gorge and the Mata Redonda Gorge
  • Aguas Prietas and Grande lagoons

Barrios[edit]

  • Barriada Obrera
  • Las Cabezas (Las Croabas)
  • Demajagua
  • Fajardo Pueblo
  • Fajardo Gardens
  • Florencio
  • Monte Brisas
  • Monte Mar
  • Monte Vista
  • Naranjo
  • Paraiso
  • Quebrada Fajardo
  • Quebrada Vueltas
  • Río Arriba
  • Santa Isidra
  • Sardinera
  • Valle Puerto Real
  • Veve Calzada
  • Villa Clarita[1]

Tourism[edit]

View of the church

Fajardo is popular among tourists, especially local tourists, because of its seafood, hotels, closeness to the small islands of Palomino, Icacos and Palominito, and the many daily trips that are available to Vieques and Culebra, both by boat and by the four airlines that served Fajardo Airport (recently closed): Air Culebra, Air St. Thomas, Isla Nena Air and Vieques Air Link.

Fajardo's beaches are bounded by calm, clear water ideal for snorkeling. Seven Seas Beach offers plentiful water sports facilities, offshore points for sailing, snorkeling and plenty of scuba diving.

Fajardo is also home to one of the few Bioluminescent Lagoons in the world. Nightly trips are offered by kayak by local companies who give educational tours.

Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

Street scene near Fajardo Town Square
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan Light House - One of the oldest lighthouses in Puerto Rico. Only one used for nautical reasons in the entire island.
  • Laguna Grande - One of the few Bioluminescent bays in the world.
  • Puerto del Rey Marina - Biggest marina in the Caribbean.
  • U.S. Customs House - Constructed in 1930 still in use by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
  • Santiago Apostol Cathedral
  • El Conquistador Resort - One of Puerto Rico's most luxurious resorts, complete with its own private, 3 ft 10 in (1,168 mm) narrow gauge[2] funicular railway connecting its main hotel building with its marina.[3]
  • Seven Seas Beach - One of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Classified Blue Flag for its sanitary health guarantees.
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserve - Home to mangroves and to the lighthouse.
  • Fajardo Port - Used by locals and tourists to visit the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebras.
  • Town Square - One of the most charming, antique styled, town squares of Puerto Rico. It has free wireless internet.
  • Old Fajardo Sugar Cane Refinery
  • Isleta Marina
  • Natural Reserve Las Croabas
  • Las Croabas Recreational Park
  • Hipolito Robles Sports Complex
  • Icacos, Palomino and Palominito Cays (islets)

Economy[edit]

Industry[edit]

Electrical components, metal work, furniture manufacturing. Fajardo is also home to pharmaceutical and bio-sciences companies.

Due to its rich ports and closeness to smaller islands, Fajardo is also known for its fishing industries.

Culture[edit]

Festivals and events[edit]

  • Bicycletada Fajardeña - April
  • Kite Festival - April
  • Kelly Cup Sailboat Regata - April
  • Bomba & Plena Festival - May
  • Fiesta Patronales Santiago Apóstol - July
  • Paradise Fiesta - August
  • Cocolía Festival - November

Sports[edit]

Fajardo in the past was home to a National Superior Basketball; Baloncesto Superior Nacional BSN basketball team, the Fajardo Cariduros or as they are known in the Island Cariduros de Fajardo. George Torres, Mario Morales and Mario Butler were three of the most famous players to play for that franchise.

In 2007, the team returned once again to the BSN. The team known as the "Titanes de Morovis" was moved to Fajardo, and was renamed "Cariduros de Fajardo". Unlike the NBA and other sports leagues in the USA, Puerto Rican franchises rarely leave the original name of the franchise when they move to a different city.

Once, there was a basketball team for the Puerto Rican Basketball League known as the "Conquistadores de Fajardo".

Fajardo also has a AA Amateur Baseball Team Los Cariduros de Fajardo and have won over 10 sectional championships, 3 time national runner ups in 1974, 2003 and 2005, and 3 times national champions in 1954, 2004 and 2010.

Demographics[edit]

Race - Fajardo, Puerto Rico - 2010 Census[4]
Race Population  % of Total
White 23,964 64.8%
Black/Afro-Puerto Rican 6,864 18.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native 258 0.7%
Asian 73 0.3%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 4 0.0%
Some other race 3,822 10.3%
Two or more races 1,986 5.4%

Government[edit]

All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Fajardo is Aníbal Meléndez Rivera, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 1988 general elections.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VIII, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Pedro A. Rodríguez and Luis Daniel Rivera were elected as District Senators.[5]

Symbols[edit]

Flag[edit]

Fajardo's flag is a tricolor triband. The upper band is gules (red), symbolizing the color of the shield's border. Silver (white), the center band, stands for the color of the main pieces that appear in the shield and the crown. Azure (blue), the lower band, represents the color of the sky and the sea of Fajardo. Centered is the Coat of Arms of the village (villa) in natural colors.

Coat of Arms[edit]

The Coat of Arms is formed as a square with a rounded base and stamped at the top with a crown mural of three towers. It is supported by two dolphins, and underneath the base a banner with the inscription Codey Astol DE SANTIAGO".

Notable Fajardeños[edit]

Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Fajardo who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]