Manatí, Puerto Rico
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||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
|Manatí, Puerto Rico|
|Nickname(s): "Ciudad Metropolitana", "La Atenas de Puerto Rico"|
|Anthem: "Atenas de Borinquen"|
Location of Manatí in Puerto Rico
|• Mayor||Juan "Bin" Cruz Manzano (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 - Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||12, 13|
|• Total||56.19 sq mi (145.53 km2)|
|• Land||50 sq mi (120 km2)|
|• Water||9.86 sq mi (25.53 km2)|
|• Density||790/sq mi (300/km2)|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
Manatí (Spanish pronunciation: [manaˈti]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico on the northern coast, north of Morovis and Ciales; east of Florida and Barceloneta; and west of Vega Baja. Manatí is spread over 8 wards and Manatí Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Manatí was founded in 1738 by Don Pedro Menendez Valdes. The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church was built in the seventeenth century and is still standing in its original spot. Manati is known as La Ciudad Metropolitana (The Metropolitan City), and also as La Atenas de Puerto Rico, (The Athens of Puerto Rico). It is named after a sea mammal, the manatee (which are also known as sea cows).
During those early years, the Mayor of the town was Jose Aulet. Juan Ponce de León picked the Manatí leg of the Manuatabón River as the first area to pan for gold. The Aulet family owned lands rich in pineapples, sugar cane, and green bananas. The Aulets sold the land to the government in 1985.
In 1853 the region shifted from mining to an expansion of agriculture, particularly cultivation and processing of sugar cane. The demand for and price of sugar remained high in international markets. The main commodity crop was sugar cane. Carpentry also became popular. During that year, the town consisted of 280 homes, 2 squares, 8 streets and a school with 50 pupils.
- Bajura Adentro
- Bajura Afuera
- El Alto
- Coto Norte
- Coto Sur
- Los Rabanos
- Manatí Pueblo
- Río Arriba Poniente
- Río Arriba Saliente
- Tierras Nuevas Poniente
- Tierras Nuevas Saliente
At 2012 Manati welcomed its first hotel, the Hyatt Place Hotel and Casino, that is scheduled to open in January 2014. The hotel broke ground on summer 2012.
Landmarks and places of interest
- The Acropolis Sports Complex
- Biblioteca Nacional Francisco Álvarez 
- El Salón del Poeta
- Historic Zone
- Los Tubos Beach
- La Esperanza Beach
- Mar Chiquita Beach
- Marqués de la Esperanza Hacienda Ruins
- Ruinas de la Oficina de la Central Monserrate
Isidoro Colón established the "Candelaria" sugar mill in the years between 1860 and 1870, located between Manatí and Barceloneta.
Manatí is the pineapple center of Puerto Rico. In addition, grows in its surroundings fruits, sugar cane, and coffee.
Manati has 2 large private hospitals, Doctor's Center Hospital, and Manati Medical Center Dr. Otero Lopez (formerly the government owned Hospital de Area). Both hospitals also have large office buildings. There is also the smaller Municipal Hospital.
The area surrounding PR-2 is known for having many medical offices.
Manati has 3 high schools: Petra Corretjer de O'neill High School, Fernando Callejo High School, and the Escuela Instituto Tecnologico Recinto De Manati, the latter also serving as a technical institute. Private Schools include: Colegio Marista, Colegio La Inmaculada, Piaget Bilingual Academy, Academia Discipulos de Cristo, Colegio Hispano Americano, and La Reine Christian Bilingual School.
Festivals and events
- Patron Fetivities - February: "La Virgen De La Candelaria"
- Cross Festivities - May
- Beach Festival - July
- Manatee Festival - July
- Halloween Festival - October
- Christmas Festival - December
Notable natives and residents
Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Manatí who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect: