San Germán, Puerto Rico
|San Germán, Puerto Rico|
Nickname(s): "La Ciudad de las Lomas", "Ciudad de las Golondrinas", "Ciudad Fundadora de Pueblos", "Ciudad Cuna del Baloncesto Puertorriqueño","Ciudad Peregrina"
|Anthem: "San Germán es mi pueblo querido"|
|• Mayor||Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry (PPD)|
|• Senatorial dist.||Mayagüez|
|• Representative dist.||20|
|• Municipality||54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)|
|• Land||54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||528 ft (161 m)|
|• Density||650/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||00683, 00636|
San Germán (Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ xerˈman]) is a municipality located in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, south of Mayagüez and Maricao; north of Lajas; east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo; and west of Sabana Grande. San Germán is spread over 18 wards and San Germán Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is both a principal city of the San Germán–Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area. San Germán is the second oldest city of Puerto Rico, after San Juan and the third oldest city in the United States. The island of Puerto Rico was once split between the San Juan and the San Germán municipalities. The latter extended from a line from Arecibo in the north to Ponce in the south, westward to the sea.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Cityscape
- 4 Tourism
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Government
- 10 Symbols
- 11 Education
- 12 Notable Puerto Ricans from San Germán
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Spanish settlement in the original city of San Germán occurred early in the conquest and colonization of Puerto Rico. After the destruction of a small early settlement near modern-day Anasco during a Taíno uprising which started in February 1511, the new settlement was built at Guayanilla  and named after Germaine of Foix, the new queen of King Fernando. This town was attacked by French corsairs in August 1528, May 1538 and 1554. The construction of a small fort began on 1540, but work stopped on 1546, when the population of the town began moving inland to the current modern location.
An early written reference to the new town occurs in 1573. A letter sent to Spain's king Philip II mentions a city with the names of Nueva Salamanca and San Germán. Spanish conquerors used the name Nueva Salamanca to honor the city of Salamanca in Spain.
On May 12, 1570, the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo (see Audiencia) ordered that both the populations of San Germán and Santa Maria de Guadianilla be merged into a single city due to the constant attacks. The new city was built on the hills of Santa Marta, next to the Guanajibo River in 1573. Its official name was Nueva Villa de Salamanca, named after the city of Salamanca, in Spain. However, the population would call the city San Germán el Nuevo (The New San Germán) and, eventually, the Villa de San Germán (The Village of San Germán).
San Germán is also known as the founding city of towns, given the fact that in 1514 the Spanish crown separated the island in two administrative territories (Parties). The borders of the two parties were establishes as the Camuy River in the north and the Jacagua river to the south. They were named the San Juan Party and the San Germán Party.
Towns that came out of the San Germán Party
- Aguada, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1508
- Guánica, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1914
- Ponce, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1692
- Añasco, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1733
- San Sebastián, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1752
- Yauco, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1756
- Mayagüez, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1760
- Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1771
- Rincón, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1771
- Moca, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1772
- Aguadilla, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1775
- Peñuelas, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1793
- Camuy, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1807
- Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1813
- Isabela, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1819
- Quebradillas, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1823
- Lares, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1827
- Guayanilla, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1833
- Las Marias, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1871
- Maricao, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1874
- Hormigueros, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1874
- Lajas, Puerto Rico - Founded on 1883
- Caín Alto
- Caín Bajo
- Duey Alto
- Duey Bajo
- Hoconuco Alto
- Hoconuco Bajo
- Rosario Alto
- Rosario Bajo
- Rosario Peñón
- Sabana Eneas
- Sabana Grande Abajo
- San Germán Pueblo
^1 Due to its large size, Minillas is usually subdivided into Minillas Valle, Minillas Carretera and Minillas Parcelas.
San Germán is the site of the Porta Coeli church, one of the earliest Spanish cathedrals built in Latin America. Porta Coeli is still a major attraction that brings both domestic and international tourists every year.
Landmarks and places of interest
- Puente de Bolas (Bridge of Balls)
- Casa Morales
- Ceiba de la Libertad
- Historic Gallery
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió Museum
- Casa Cruz de la Luna
- Ramírez de Arrellano y Rossell Museum
- Santo Domingo Plazuela
- Three Races and One Culture Mural
- San Germán Historic District
- Porta Coeli
- Inter-American University of Puerto Rico
- Church San Germán de Auxerre
- La Barrica, Original Spanish Tavern. CIRCA 1847
The Urban center of San Germán is mainly composed of Spanish-colonial houses, many have been restored and conserve their Spanish look, other houses in the urban area are somewhat abandoned and in poor conditions. There are ongoing projects of public and private funding to preserve and restore many houses and monuments and the maintain San Germán's Colonial look.
Festivals and events
- Patron Celebrations (St. Germain d'Auxerre & Saint Rose of Lima) - July
- Festival de la Pana - July
- Anón Festival - September
- Christmas Festival - December
- Christmas Parade - Early December
- Patron Celebrations (The Virgin of the Rosary) Celebrated in San Germán's Ward, Rosario Poblado, which Borders with Mayaguez.
San Germán is home to one of Puerto Rico's oldest basketball franchises, dating back to the 1930s. The San Germán Athletics, nicknamed "The Orange Monster". Many glories of Puerto Rican basketball have played in San Germán, city that is also known as "The Crib of Puerto Rican Basketball". Some of those players are, Arquelio Torres, José "Piculín" Ortiz, Eddie Casiano, Nelson Quiñones, Elias "Larry" Ayuso, Christian Dalmau, and so many others. They play in their home court, The Arquelio Torres Ramírez Court, which houses approximately 5,000 fans.
The Athletic's fan base is most commonly referred to as their sixth man, or "The Orange Monster". This is because for a visiting team it's extremely hard to win in San Germán due to how vigorous and in the game the fans are.
The Athletics have been to 26 National Superior Basketball (BSN) Finals. Of which one was cancelled (1953) due to confiscation because of a fight among players of San Germán and the Ponce Lions, giving birth to Puerto Rican Basketball's most intense rivalry.
Championships (14): 1932, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997 Sub-Championships (11): 1931, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1986
The area around San Germán grows fruits (banana, pineapple) and sugar cane on mid-scale. Dairy farms are also present in small scale. Some locals grow other produce on a small scale. Other industries in the municipality include Baxter Serum Mfg., Cordis, Insertco (Print shop for medical instructions inserts), Wallace Silversmiths de Puerto Rico, General Electric (production of circuit breakers) and several other companies in the service industry.
Most businesses are located in or near the "downtown" area (San Germán Pueblo). Plaza del Oeste is the main shopping center.
Major employers of the city include Baxter Serum Mfg., Johnson & Johnson's Cordis Division, Insertco (Print shop for medical instructions inserts), Wallace International, General Electric (production of circuit breakers) and several business owners.
Motion pictures filmed In San Germán
- Act of Valor (2012) Which follows a Navy Seal squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA Agent Morales (Roselyn Sanchez).
- Dinero Sangre (1986) In a banana republic a ruthless mercenary waits to make a killing in gold. Only two people stand in his way (Guy Ecker)
Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, San Germán is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry, from the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Negrón was elected at the 2000 general election.
White - The purity of the blood of the great families who colonized San Germán.
Purple - Color of the Shield of Juan Ponce de León, first governor of Puerto Rico.
Coat of Arms
First Quarter: The Mitre and the Staff in a green field represent St. Germain of Auxerre, the Patron Saint of the city.
Second Quarter: The second quarter exhibits the arms of the Kingdoms of Aragón and Sicily, where don Fernando the Catholic reigned.
Third Quarter: In this quarter the arms combine with the County of Foix and the Kingdom of France, which constitute the family shields of Germaine de Foix whose name perpetuates the city of San Germán.
Fourth Quarter: Is Ponce de Leon's shield, The Crown: Is a civic or municipal standard and is used as a stamp for towns and cities, San Germán was assigned five towers to denote that this population formally obtained the title of city from the Spanish crown, in the last century.
San Germán has 15 public schools: 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 4 second units and 2 high schools:
- Amina Tió de Malaret (Elementary)
- Antonia Martínez (Elementary)
- Bartolomé de las Casas (Elementary)
- Carmen Borrás Batistini (Elementary)
- Georgina Alvarado (Elementary)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Elementary)
- Herminia C. Ramírez (Elementary)
- Mariano Abril (Elementary)
- Julio Víctor Guzmán (Middle)
- Luis Muñoz Rivera (Second Unit)
- Federico Degetau (Second Unit)
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones (Second Unit)
- Galo Rosado (Second Unit)
- Laura Mercado (High School)
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió (High School)
It also has several private schools, such as Colegio San José, Academia Sangermeña and Academia Presbiteriana.
The main campus of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico is located adjacent to the downtown area of San Germán. It was founded in 1912 as the Polytechnical Institute of Puerto Rico, the first private university on the island.
Notable Puerto Ricans from San Germán
- PFC Joseph (Jose) R. Martinez destroyed a German Infantry unit and tank in Tuniz, during World War II, by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, by General George S. Patton, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration.
- Ubaldino Ramírez de Arellano - senator
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió - poet and author of the original lyrics of Puerto Rico's national anthem, La Borinqueña
- Benicio del Toro - Award winning actor
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones - Abolitionist and politician
- Samuel R. Quiñones - Longest serving President of the Puerto Rico state senate, 20 years.
- "Página Oficial de Municipio Autónomo de San Germán, Puerto Rico". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Fuson, Robert (2000). Juan Ponce De Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida. Blacksburg, Virginia: McDonald & Woodward. p. 79. ISBN 0-939923-82-3.
- Thomas, Hugh (2003). Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 231. ISBN 0-297-64563-3.
- Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General on CEEPUR
- Martinez's DSC Citation
- San German, Puerto Rico
- San Germán and its barrios, United States Census Bureau
- San Germán travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official Webpage of the San German Atleticos
- Welcome to Puerto Rico!