Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico

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Aguas Buenas
Town and Municipality
Town Hall of Aguas Buenas
Town Hall of Aguas Buenas
Flag of Aguas Buenas
Coat of arms of Aguas Buenas
Coat of arms
La Ciudad de las Aguas Claras,
Los Mulos,
El Oasis de Puerto Rico,
Los Ñocos
Anthem: "Yo Soy Aguas Buenas"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Aguas Buenas Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Aguas Buenas Municipality
Coordinates: 18°15′25″N 66°06′11″W / 18.25694°N 66.10306°W / 18.25694; -66.10306Coordinates: 18°15′25″N 66°06′11″W / 18.25694°N 66.10306°W / 18.25694; -66.10306
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
FoundedMay 25, 1838
 • MayorJavier García Pérez (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.1 – San Juan
 • Representative dist.
 • Total30.12 sq mi (78.01 km2)
 • Land30.12 sq mi (78.00 km2)
 • Water0.004 sq mi (.01 km2)
 • Total28,659
 • Density950/sq mi (370/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR secondary 156.svg PR secondary 173.svg link: Puerto Rico Highway 174

Aguas Buenas, commonly known as "La Ciudad de las Aguas Claras" (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaɣwaz ˈβwenas]) or "The City of Clear (Good) Waters", is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the Central Mountain Range, north of Cidra, south of Bayamón, Guaynabo and San Juan; east of Comerio; and north-west of Caguas. Aguas Buenas is spread over 9 barrios and Aguas Buenas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Aguas Buenas was originally a sector of Caguas known as Aguabuena. In 1798, a group of residents started establishing their houses near some of the rivers in the area and started calling the sector Aguas Claras.

The quantity of residents incremented with time and on July 25, 1832, they organized a meeting and commissioned Francisco de Salas Torres and Ramón Díaz to do the necessary arrangements for the region to be declared a municipality. A resident, Julian López, offered part of his estate to be used for the construction of a town square, a church, the city hall, and the priest house.

The town was officially founded on May 25, 1838, and the name was changed to Aguas Buenas. Francisco de Salas Torres was declared the first mayor. Initially, the economy of the town relied on coffee plantations and commerce. At the end of the 19th century, the town's population was close to 7,000.

In 1906, mayor Don José E. Morales bought nearly six acres of terrain from Don Guillermo Díaz Delgado. In these lands, the sectors of La Pajilla, El Pueblito and El Guanábano were established, expanding the town's area.


The terrain is moderately mountainous located in the Cayey mountain range ("Sierra de Cayey"), part of the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. The highest peaks are La Peña, Santa Bárbara, La Tisa, and La Marquesa.[1]

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Aguas Buenas with the significant amount of rainfall.[2][3] 1,000 homes in Aguas Buenas suffered significant damage as a result of the hurricane. A year after the hurricane struck, many older residents refused to leave their damaged homes and continued to live in their homes, without a reconstructed roof, but with a blue tarp for a roof.[4]

Water features[edit]

Several rivers flow through Aguas Buenas. Some of them are the Bayamón River, and several small rivers that are part of the Río Grande de Loíza, like Bairoa, Caguitas, and Cañas.


Subdivisions of Aguas Buenas.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Aguas Buenas is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a small barrio referred to as "el pueblo", near the center of the municipality.[5][6][7][8]

  1. Aguas Buenas barrio-pueblo[9]
  2. Bairoa
  3. Bayamoncito
  4. Cagüitas
  5. Jagüeyes
  6. Juan Asencio
  7. Mula
  8. Mulita
  9. Sonadora
  10. Sumidero


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[9] and subbarrios,[10] in turn, are further subdivided into smaller local populated place areas/units called sectores (sectors in English). The types of sectores may vary, from normally sector to urbanización to reparto to barriada to residencial, among others.[11][12][13]

Special Communities[edit]

Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico (Special Communities of Puerto Rico) are marginalized communities whose citizens are experiencing a certain amount of social exclusion. A map shows these communities occur in nearly every municipality of the commonwealth. Of the 742 places that were on the list in 2014, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Aguas Buenas: Vázquez neighborhood, Las Parcelas in Bayamoncito barrio, Sonadora barrio, Cagüitas Centro, Pajilla sector in Centro Urbano, Jagüeyes Abajo, Las Corujas, and Parcelas Santa Clara in Sumidero barrio.[14]


Some of the landmarks and places of interest in Aguas Buenas are located in its town square. Places of interest in Aguas Buenas include:

  • Finca Artesanal
  • La Charca Recreational Center
  • Aguas Buenas Caves
  • El Mirador Walkway
  • Luis A. Ferré Plaza
  • City Hall
  • Lecture House
  • Christ Redeemer House
  • Jagüeyes Country Club
  • Monte La Tiza
  • Maximiliano Merced fire station
  • Juan Nieves Cotto baseball park
  • Holy Spirit parish



Aguas Buenas has an amateur baseball team called the Tigers.

Festivals and events[edit]

Aguas Buenas celebrates its patron saint festival in September. The Fiestas Patronales Nuestra Señora de la Monserrate is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[1]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Aguas Buenas include the Salsa, Bomba & Plena Festival held in late summer, an Agricultural festival held in May and the Festival Folklórico de Campo y Pueblo held in January. An annual Carnival is held in March.


After its foundation, the economy of Aguas Buenas relied mostly on coffee plantations.[1]


Puerto Rico was ceded by Spain in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 and became a territory of the United States. In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Aguas Buenas was 7,977.

Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1899 (shown as 1900)[16] 1910-1930[17]
1930-1950[18] 1960-2000[19] 2010[7]
Total Population 28,659
Population by Sex/Age[20]
Male 14,047
Female 14,612
Under 18 7,185
18 & over 21,474
20-24 1,962
25-34 3,953
35-49 5,572
50-64 5,352
65 & over 3,787
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 28,513
Non Hispanic or Latino 146
Population by Race
White 20,770
African American 3,604
Asian 25
American Indian and Alaska Native 178
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 5
Other 2,781
Identified by two or more 1,296

As of 2010, Aguas Buenas has a population of 28,659. Although that represents a decrease of 373 when compared to 2000, its population had steadily increased since 1930. That year, Aguas Buenas registered a population of 12,885.[21]

According to the 2010 Census, 72.5% of the population identifies themselves as White, and 12.6% as African-American. Also, according to the census, the population is equally divided by gender (49% are males, while 51% are females). Finally, 25% of the population is under 18 years old. The next biggest percentage of population (19.4%) is between 35 and 49 years old.[22]


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Aguas Buenas is Javier García Pérez, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2016 general elections. The city hall is located in front of the town square.

Since 2011, the city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district I, which is represented by two Senators.[23] In 2012, José Nadal Power and Ramón Luis Nieves were elected as District Senators.[24]


The following have been the Mayors of the Aguas Buenas Municipality, from its foundation to the present:

Years Mayor Years Mayor
1838-1841 Francisco de Salas Torres 1903-1904 Jacobo Córdova
1841 Miguel Díaz 1904-1909 José E. Morales Díaz
1841-1843 José Mariano Benítez 1909-1911 Carlos Muñoz Díaz
1843 Miguel Díaz 1911-1913 José G. López Alvarado
1842-1846 José Manuel de la Vega 1913-1917 José E. Morales Díaz
1846-1848 Marcos Díaz 1918-1927 Enrique Lizardi
1848-1850 Manuel Otero 1927 José G. Sánchez
1848-1856 Manuel Otero 1927-1929 Alfredo Disdier Pacheco
1856 Valentín Pérez 1929-1933 José G. López Ferrer (Rafael)
1856-1857 Isidoro García 1933-1937 Rafael González López
1857 Valentín Pérez 1937-1940 Pedro G. López
1857-1859 José Tomás de Sarraga 1940-1944 Rafael González López PPD
1859 Valentín Pérez 1944-1948 Rafael Batalla Reyes PER
1859 Tomás Paz 1948-1956 Miran Carrasquillo Cartagena PPD
1859 Buenaventura de las Barcenas 1956-1960 Ramón López Batalla PPD
1859 Valentín Pérez 1960-1964 Ángel Rivera Rodríguez PPD
1859-1862 Manuel Boscana Guillermetty 1965-1972 Ángel T. Arroyo García PPD
1860 Valentín Pérez 1972-1980 Gregorio Torres Velásquez PPD
1862 Santiago Pereira 1981-1988 Gudelio Díaz Morales PPD
1862-1867 Juan Eugenio Vizcarrondo 1989-1999 Carlos Aponte Silva PNP
1867-1898 José Martínez Balasquides 1999- 2004 Buenaventura Dávila Roldán PNP
1867-1898 Agustin J. Díaz 2004 – present Luis Arroyo Chiqués PPD
1898-1902 Buenaventura Díaz    
1903 Pío Rechani



The flag of Aguas Buenas features a blue triangle with the base at the hoist. The triangle has a solitary white star, like the national banner. A second triangle appears interposed with the first one, in yellow, with its point reaching the other end of the flag. The main field of the flag, under both triangles, is color green.[25]

Coat of arms[edit]

Designed by Francisco Diaz Rivera in 1975, the coat of arms features a four-paneled shield. The upper left panel shows the Virgin of Monserrate, while the upper right panel features a Taíno, a symbol of the original inhabitants of this region. At the bottom right panel, lies a cornucopia containing the native fruit of Aguas Buenas. This panel represents how the agriculture was the primary source of income for the town. In the lower left panel, there are four maracas and a güicharo, typical instruments of the "jibaros" of Aguas Buenas and Puerto Rico. The crown, as with other municipalities of Puerto Rico, consists of three towers.[26]


To reach the town of Aguas Buenas, visitors must take the Puerto Rico Highway 52 to the city of Caguas. From there, road #156 leads directly into the town square. Other roads lead to nearby towns like Comerío.

There are 13 bridges in Aguas Buenas.[27]


There are around 14 public schools in Aguas Buenas. As with all other municipalities, education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. These are divided as follows:

Elementary Schools

  • Dr. Gustavo Muñoz Díaz
  • Ezequiel Ramos La Santa
  • Jagüeyes Abajo
  • José R. González
  • Luis Santaella
  • Luis T. Baliñas
  • Mulitas Alvelo
  • Ramón Luis Rivera/Juan Asencio
  • Santa Clara

Junior High Schools

  • Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos
  • Luis Muñoz Marín
  • Su Bayamoncito
  • Su Sumidero

High Schools

  • Josefa Pastrana


Bajo el azul del cielo de mi patria

En el oriente de la Cordillera

Aguasbonenses forjando la historia

Defendiendo el honor de su bandera.

De sol a sol sembrando nuestros frutos

El orgullo labrado en nuestra tierra

La siega de un futuro va anunciando

El brillo de la solitaria estrella.

Que se levanta en medio del combate

Por negarse a ser solo una quimera

Raices firmes que en el pecho laten

Afirmando la patria y la conciencia.

Aguas Buenas, estirpe de valientes

Pedazo del terruño borinqueño

Un pueblo que se une en la conquista

De lo que es ser un buen puertoriqueñio.

Yo soy Aguas Buenas!

Notable "Aguasbonenses"[edit]

  • Victor Hernández Cruz – Poet
  • Gustavo Muñoz Díaz – Dramatist
  • Jacobo Córdova Chirino (1901–1955) – Journalist & Humorist
  • José Arsenio Torres – Professor
  • Luis Rechani Agrait (1902–1997) – Dramatist
  • Pio Rechani – Journalist
  • Rafael Nicolau – Journalist
  • Josefa Pastrana Lopez (1899–1958) – Professor
  • Joyce Giraud – Actress

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Aguas Buenas Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  3. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  4. ^ "Aguas Buenas: la vida atrapada en azul [Aguas Buenas: Life trapped in blue]". El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  5. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969. Archived from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  6. ^ Gwillim Law (20 May 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  8. ^ "Map of Aguas Buenas" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  9. ^ a b "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  10. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Aguas Buenas Municipio, PR" (PDF). U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Agencia: Oficina del Coordinador General para el Financiamiento Socioeconómico y la Autogestión (Proposed 2016 Budget)". Puerto Rico Budgets (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  12. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza: Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (first ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  13. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  14. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza:Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (Primera edición ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, p. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department, Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930, 1920, and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities, Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "2010 US Census Population Data for Aguas Buenas, PR". US Census 2010. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Población de Puerto Rico por Municipios: 1930-2000". CEEPUR. Archived from the original on 2013-03-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico". US Census 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-07-27.
  23. ^ Distribución de Distritos Senatoriales de Puerto Rico Archived 2011-11-16 at the Wayback Machine on ElectionsPuertoRico
  24. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  25. ^ "AGUAS BUENAS". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  26. ^ Melendez, Juanita (May 20, 1975). "Escudo de Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Letter to Instituto Cultural de Puerto Rico.
  27. ^ "Aguas Buenas Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]