Aibonito, Puerto Rico
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Town and Municipality
"La Ciudad de las Flores", "La Ciudad Fría", "El Jardín de Puerto Rico", "La Nevera De Puerto Rico"
Location of Aibonito in Puerto Rico
|Founded||March 13, 1824|
|• Mayor||William Alicea Pérez (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||6 – Guayama|
|• Representative dist.||27|
|• Total||31.5 sq mi (82 km2)|
|• Land||31.5 sq mi (82 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
|Elevation||2,401 ft (731 m)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
Aibonito (Spanish pronunciation: [aiβoˈnito]) is a small mountain municipality in Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the Mountain range of Cayey, north of Salinas; south of Barranquitas and Comerio; east of Coamo; and west of Cidra, and Cayey. Aibonito is spread over 8 wards and Aibonito Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Aibonito is located at a relatively high elevation (its main plaza is the highest in the island at 2,401 ft [731 m] above sea level), which makes its climate cooler than most of Puerto Rico's towns. It holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Puerto Rico; because of this, the municipality's nicknames include "The Cold City" and "The Fridge of Puerto Rico."
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Tourism
- 4 Culture
- 5 Economy
- 6 Government
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Symbols
- 9 Notable people
- 10 See also
- 11 References
After the Spanish arrived, it is believed that a ranch was established in the region by Pedro Zorascoechea in 1630, which led the development of a hamlet. However, it wasn't until 1822 when Don Manuel Veléz presented himself before the government, representing the inhabitants of the area, to ask for Aibonito to be officially declared a town. This was authorized on March 13, 1824, by Governor Don Miguel de la Torre. The first Catholic church in Aibonito was built in 1825. The building was replaced by the current church, which was started in 1887 and completed in 1897. After the town was officially constituted, wards started developing in the area.
On the Spanish–American War of 1898, around 800 Spanish and Puerto Rican soldiers were able to defeat the invading American troops due to their strategic placement in the Asomante mountain. This scrimmage came to an end when the Spanish government surrendered on August 12, 1898. The Spanish and Puerto Rican forces at Asomante never surrendered and would have held their position indefinitely if not for the buckling of the Spanish government in Madrid.
There are several stories regarding the name of the town. Some people say that it is derived from the Taíno word "Jatibonicu", which was the name of a Cacique (leader) of the area. This name was also used to refer to a river in the area and was also the name used by the tribe of Orocobix, Taíno chief of the area. Finally, there's a legend that tells of a Spanish soldier called Diego Alvarez who on May 17, 1615, reached one of the highest peaks in the area and upon watching the view, exclaimed "Ay, que bonito!" ("Oh, how pretty!") which eventually was turned into the name of the region.
Aibonito is located in the Cayey mountain range ("Sierra de Cayey"), part of the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. Aibonito is the town with the highest elevation in Puerto Rico, located at 2,401 feet above sea level. Some of its mountains are La Sierra (2,394 ft), Asomante (2,042 ft) and Buena Vista (2,042 ft).
Aibonito holds the record for the lowest temperature in Puerto Rico. That is 38 °F (3 °C) on March 9, 1911. The highest temperature record is 98 °F (37 °C) recorded on September 29, 1920. Aibonito is among Puerto Rico's coolest towns.
|Record high °F (°C)||84
|Average high °F (°C)||72.3
|Daily mean °F (°C)||67.9
|Average low °F (°C)||58.5
|Record low °F (°C)||43
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||3.05
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.10)||9||7||6||8||8||7||8||15||24||18||19||16||145|
|Source: Southeast Regional Climate Center |
Landmarks and places of interest
- Cañón de San Cristóbal – Between Barranquitas and Aibonito
- Casa Manresa – Aibonito
- La Piedra de Degetau – Aibonito
- La Trinchera de Asomante – Aibonito
- Casa Museo Federico Degetau – Rescued in 2004 and open to the public since October 2012.
- Edificios Militares en los prebios de la Escuela elementar Degetau- Aibonito.
- El puente la llorosa
- La Iglesia católica San Jose 1898
Aibonito had a BSN basketball franchise called the Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1986 they beat the defending champions, Atléticos de San Germán, in seven games to win their only championship. In 1987, the Polluelos reached the finals once again, but that time, they lost in seven games to the Titanes de Morovis. Recently, the Polluelos have not been able to see action on the BSN's tournaments because of economic and team ownership problems. Also Aibonito had a Double AA baseball. The franchise is also Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1966 they won the only baseball championship.
Aibonito is known for its annual Flower Festival, held in July. During this event, many visitors from other towns and countries come to Aibonito to see a huge display of various flowers and others. Aibonito also celebrates a Festival de la Montaña in November. Finally, the town's Fiestas Patronales are held in July.
Aibonito has several plantations of tobacco and coffee. They are also known for their flower plantations. Also, a popular chicken producer in the island, To-Ricos, operates from Aibonito.
Baxter International has one of its factories located in Aibonito. They produce medical tools for the hospitals and other medical uses.
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. On November 4, 2008, William Alicea Pérez (of the New Progressive Party), won the elections, beating former mayor Jose Alberto Diaz (PPD) by 3,658 votes.
There are 15 bridges in Aibonito.
The flag of Aibonito features four equal horizontal bands of blue, white, red, and yellow; a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears the town's coat of arms.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms features a four-paneled shield. The upper left corner features the Asomante mountain with a sword in front, representing the last battles of the Spanish–American War that took place there. The upper right corner features a white band on a blue field, symbolizing the fog that covers the region in winter. To each side of the band, a purple color flower and a golden lily. The lower left corner features the gold tower of Casa Manresa, to symbolize the spiritual value of the institution. In the lower right corner a divided green mountain which represents the Cañon San Cristóbal with a seashell above it that symbolizes Apostle James.
- Obie Bermudez, artist
- Rubén Berrios Martínez, politician
- Rafael Pont Flores, journalist
- Eliu Rivera, New Jersey politician
- Ramón Vázquez, baseball player and coach
- Orlando Rosa, 1996 Olympian Freestyle Wrestling
- "Aibonito Municipality General Info (Location, Square Miles, Economy and Geography)". enciclopediapr.org. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
- "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
- 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.
- Gwillim Law (May 20, 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
- "Map of Aibonito at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". factfinder.com. US Census. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
- "AIBONITO, PUERTO RICO". The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill campus). March 2012. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- "El Béisbol Recuerda A Héctor Ferrer". Isla News PR (in Spanish). November 6, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- Pariser, Harry S. (2003). Explore Puerto Rico, Fifth Edition. San Francisco: Manatee Press. pp. 52–55. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived January 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
- "Aibonito Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- "Aibonito". Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010.