Barranquitas, Puerto Rico

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Municipio Autónomo de Barranquitas
Town and Municipality
National Artisans Fair in Barranquita's plaza in 2008
National Artisans Fair in Barranquita's plaza in 2008
Flag of Barranquitas
Coat of arms of Barranquitas
"La Cuna de Próceres", "Cuna Feria de Artesanías", "El Altar de la Patria", "El Pueblo de Luis Muñoz Rivera"
Anthem: "Aquí en el centro de nuestra tierra"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Barranquitas Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Barranquitas Municipality
Coordinates: 18°11′12″N 66°18′23″W / 18.18667°N 66.30639°W / 18.18667; -66.30639Coordinates: 18°11′12″N 66°18′23″W / 18.18667°N 66.30639°W / 18.18667; -66.30639
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
 • MayorElliot Colón Blanco (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.6 - Guayama
 • Representative dist.26 and 28
 • Total33.21 sq mi (86.01 km2)
 • Land33 sq mi (86 km2)
 • Water0.004 sq mi (.01 km2)
 • Total28,938
 • Density870/sq mi (340/km2)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR secondary 143.svg PR secondary 152.svg PR secondary 156.svg PR secondary 162.svg

Barranquitas (Spanish pronunciation: [baraŋˈkitas]) is a small mountain town and municipality located in the Cordillera Central region of Puerto Rico, south of Corozal and Naranjito; north of Coamo and Aibonito; west of Comerío and Cidra; and east of Orocovis. Barranquitas is spread over 6 barrios and Barranquitas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Barranquitas is about one hour by winding roads from San Juan, the capital. It is nestled amid hills and mountains, and nearby, between Barranquitas and Aibonito, is located the San Cristóbal Canyon; one of the deepest canyons in the West Indies. For years, the overlook was used as a municipal garbage; in the last decade, the refuse was removed and the site restored.


Comerío to Barranquitas Road c. 1900-1917

Barranquitas's local Taino Indian Cacique (Chief) was called Orocobix and his yucayeque or tribe was known as the Jatibonicu Taino.

The town was founded in 1803 by Antonio Aponte Ramos.[2] Early in the 20th century, Barranquitas residents, known as Barranquiteños, had a short but legendary territory war with residents of the city of Comerío.

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Barranquitas with its significant amount of rainfall and its nearly category 5 winds.[3][4] Many residents did not receive help for weeks after the hurricane made landfall as entry into the municipality was hampered by downed trees and telephone poles, landslides, and highways that had split in two.[5][6]

In Barranquitas, up to 1000 homes, and its highways were destroyed by landslides. Forty days after the hurricane, none of Barranquitas' 29,000 residents had their electrical power restored. Barranquitas' agriculture industry was decimated with one farmer saying he'd lost his five thousand plantain trees, apio, and other minor crops.[5]

Scenes around Barranquitas after Hurricane María:


Barranquitas is a landlocked municipality in the middle of the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico, the main mountain range that crosses the island from west to east. It is bordered by the municipalities of Corozal, Naranjito, Coamo, Aibonito, Orocovis, and Comerío. Barranquitas has a surface area of 34 square miles (88.4 km2).[2]

The terrain is mostly mountainous. Some of the peaks found in the municipality are La Torrecilla and Farallón. Barranquitas is also the site of the San Cristóbal Canyon.[7]

Water features[edit]

Rivers of Barranquitas include the Río de Barranquitas, Río Grande de Manatí, Piñonas, Río Hondo, and Río Usabón.

There are 14 bridges in Barranquitas.[8]


Subdivisions of Barranquitas.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Barranquitas 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.[9][10][11][12]


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[13] and subbarrios,[14] 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.[15][16][17]

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 Barranquitas: El Amparo neighborhood, Cañabón barrio, La Vega neighborhood, Calle Abajo (Calle Melitón Pérez), La Loma, La Torre, Los Pinos, Quebrada Grande barrio, and Tres Caminos.[18]

Energy consortium[edit]

An Energy Consortium was signed in late February, 2019 by Villalba, Orocovis, Morovis, Ciales and Barranquitas municipalities. The consortium is the first of its kind on the commonwealth and intends to have these municipalities work together, to safeguard their communities, in the event of a catastrophe, by creating resilient, and efficient energy networks with backups.[19]



Barranquitas is the burial place of two prominent Puerto Rican politicians; Luis Muñoz Rivera (who was born in the town) and his son, Governor Luis Muñoz Marín (who was born in San Juan). This has made Barranquitas a popular tourist attraction among Puerto Ricans. The birthplace of Muñoz Rivera has been converted into a museum. The mausoleum of the Muñoz Rivera family is a place of interest. Among those buried there are Muñoz Rivera and his son and daughter-in-law, Luis Muñoz Marín, and his second wife Inés Mendoza de Muñoz.

Other known places of interest in Barranquitas are the San Cristóbal Canyon, and the ruins of Hacienda Margarita. El Cortijo Castle is an old, historical structure, which is currently a museum. Camp Morton (Campamento Morton) is a popular spot for activities and retreats.

To stimulate local tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company launched the Voy Turistiendo (I'm Touring) campaign in 2021. The campaign featured a passport book with a page for each municipality. The Voy Turisteando Barranquitas passport page lists Cañon de San Cristobal, Plaza Bicentenaria, Museo de la Familia Muñoz Rivera, and the Feria de Artesanías, as places of interest.[20]


National Artisans Fair in the town's plaza in 2008

Festivals and events[edit]

Mural in Barranquitas that says "a country without art is a country without culture"

Barranquitas celebrates its patron saint festival in June. The Fiestas Patronales de San Antonio de Padua is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[2][21]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Barranquitas include:

  • Apio Festival or Festival del Apio – April/May
  • National Crafts Fair of Barranquitas – July and has been celebrated for over 50 years
  • Viva Mi Calle Festival – November
  • Lighting of Christmas Tree – December


Barranquitas doesn't have professional sports teams, but there are some amateur sports teams based in the city. The most popular amateur sport is baseball. The team of Barranquitas is known as the "Proceres" (is an adjective for an important person in history) due to the fact that the town has been the birthplace for many historical figures. The other popular sport is volleyball.



Tobacco growing in vicinity of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico (1941)

Some of the crops grown in Barranquitas include plantain, coffee, lemon, ají dulce, yam, and other fruits and vegetables. The main crop in Barranquitas is the apio. The apio is a root vegetable (from the legume Apios tuberosa / Apios Americana), and it is eaten like potatoes (not to be confused with celeriac).[22][5]


Footwear and clothing is manufactured in Barranguitas.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
1899 (shown as 1900)[24] 1910-1930[25]
1930-1950[26] 1960-2000[27] 2010[11] 2020[28]

Many of the Puerto Ricans born in the town are known to have light-colored eyes and have strong European features. Some also have an apparent mestizo look to them. The reason for this phenomenon is due to the migration of many Taino Indians during the Spanish colonization. Tainos often fled to the mountainous region to escape slavery. Many poor Spanish and other European immigrants moved to this region as well and settled as coffee growers. Eventually, the Taino and European immigrants intermarried and created what is called the "mestizo".


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Barranquitas is Elliot Colon Blanco, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2018 primaries and the re-elected on General Elections of 2020.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VI, which is represented by two senators.


The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.[29]


The flag of the municipality consists of three horizontal stripes; white on the upper edge representing the silver enamel of the town's shield, green in the center representing the vegetation and yellow on the lower edge representing the gold enamel of the ravines of the San Cristóbal Canyon.[30]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms of Barranquitas has silver, a canyon, two ravines, gold slopes, a tree, gold leaves, a bell and a crown. The ravines are reminders of the San Cristóbal Canyon, located in the territorial boundary of Barranquitas and Aibonito, a neighboring municipality. The yagrumo trees are characteristic of the high mountainous areas of Puerto Rico and symbolize the elevation of Barranquitas.[30]


The Interamerican University of Puerto Rico has a campus in Barranquitas.[31]

All public schools in Puerto Rico are administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. The schools located in Barranquitas are the following:[32] Many of the schools in Barranquitas educate children on agriculture and cultivating crops.[33]

School Level Barrio Public Location(s) Coords
Escuela La Torre K-6 Cañabón Yes Carr 770 km 2 (mile marker 1.2) Hm 1 (yard marker 110) Sector La Torre

18°12′25″N 66°20′18″W / 18.207048°N 66.338311°W / 18.207048; -66.338311 (Escuela La Torre)

Escuela Cañabón Abajo K-6 Barrancas Yes Carr 172
Escuela Mana Abajo K-6 Barrancas Yes Carr 771 km 9 (mile marker 5.6) Hm 2 (yard marker 220) Sector Mana Abajo 18°14′09″N 66°18′22″W / 18.235955°N 66.306095°W / 18.235955; -66.306095 (Escuela Mana Abajo)
Escuela El Portón K-6 Honduras Yes Carr 156 km 17 (mile marker 11) Hm 7 (yard marker 770) Sector El Portón

18°11′29″N 66°18′23″W / 18.191368°N 66.306278°W / 18.191368; -66.306278 (Escuela El Portón))

Escuela El Farallón K-6 Quebradillas Yes Carr 152 km 7 (mile marker 4.3) Hm 6 (yard marker 660)

18°14′16″N 66°17′36″W / 18.237845°N 66.293371°W / 18.237845; -66.293371 (Escuela El Farallón)

Escuela Sinforoso Aponte K-6 Quebradillas Yes Carr 152 km 7 (mile marker 4.3) Hm 6 (yard marker 660)

18°12′45″N 66°17′27″W / 18.212475°N 66.290946°W / 18.212475; -66.290946 (Escuela Sinforoso Aponte))

Escuela Petroamérica Pagán K-6 Pueblo Yes Calle Muñoz Rivera #14

18°11′11″N 66°18′27″W / 18.186292°N 66.307554°W / 18.186292; -66.307554 (Escuela Petroamérica Pagán)

Escuela La Vega (Stephen S. Huse) K-6 Pueblo Yes Carr 771 km 0 (mile marker 0) Hm 3 (yard marker 330) Bda La Vega

18°11′24″N 66°18′54″W / 18.190083°N 66.315011°W / 18.190083; -66.315011 (Escuela La Vega (Stephen S. Huse))

Escuela S.U. Palo Hincado (Federico Degetau) K-9 Palo Hincado Yes Carr 156 km 11 (mile marker 6.8) Hm 4 (yard marker 440)

18°11′23″N 66°20′34″W / 18.189742°N 66.342675°W / 18.189742; -66.342675 (Escuela S.U. Palo Hincado (Federico Degetau))

Escuela S.U. La Loma (Antonio Vázquez Ramos) K-9 Quebrada Grande Yes Carr 156 km 20 (mile marker 12) Hm 1 (yard marker 110)

18°11′04″N 66°16′40″W / 18.184485°N 66.277771°W / 18.184485; -66.277771 (Escuela S.U. La Loma (Antonio Vázquez Ramos))

Escuela S.U. Helechal K-9 Helechal Yes Carr 162 km 7 (mile marker 4.3) Hm 4 (yard marker 440)

18°10′09″N 66°18′53″W / 18.169233°N 66.314842°W / 18.169233; -66.314842 (Escuela S.U. Helechal)

Escuela S.U. Lajitas (Ramon T Rivera) K-9 Barrancas Yes Carr 771 km 5 (mile marker 3.1) Hm 4 (yard marker 440) 18°13′26″N 66°18′48″W / 18.223767°N 66.31327°W / 18.223767; -66.31327 (Escuela S.U. Lajitas (Ramon T Rivera))
Escuela Pedro Laboy 7-9 Quebradillas Yes Carr 152 km 6 (mile marker 3.7) Hm 5 (yard marker 550)

18°13′49″N 66°17′06″W / 18.23034°N 66.284873°W / 18.23034; -66.284873 (Escuela Pedro Laboy)

Escuela José Berríos Berdecia 7-9 Pueblo Yes Calle Melitón Pereles

18°11′16″N 66°18′33″W / 18.187759°N 66.309088°W / 18.187759; -66.309088 (Escuela José Berríos Berdecia)

Escuela Pablo Colón Berdecia (Superior Vocational) 10-12 Pueblo Yes Calle Barcelo Final

18°11′11″N 66°18′05″W / 18.186302°N 66.301289°W / 18.186302; -66.301289 (Escuela Pablo Colón Berdecia (Superior Vocational))

Escuela Luis Muñoz Marín (Superior Commerce) 10-12 Quebradillas Yes Calle A Sector Nuevo

18°11′30″N 66°18′28″W / 18.191551°N 66.307908°W / 18.191551; -66.307908 (Escuela Luis Muñoz Marín (Superior Commerce))

San Francisco de Asís School K-9 Helechal No Carr 719 km 2 (mile marker 1.2) Hm 5 (yard marker 550) Sector Hoya Honda

18°10′05″N 66°18′34″W / 18.168068°N 66.30937°W / 18.168068; -66.30937 (San Francisco School)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  2. ^ a b c "Barranquitas Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2020-08-22. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ a b c "María, un nombre que no vamos a olvidar. María desmembró las vías de Barranquitas" [Maria, a name we will never forget. María tore up Barranquitas' roads]. El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2021-08-24.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-11-05. Retrieved 2020-04-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-04-13. Retrieved 2020-04-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Barranquitas Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  9. ^ 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 2019-01-04.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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 2018-12-28.
  12. ^ "Map of Barranquitas at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  13. ^ a b "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  14. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Barranquitas 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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ Vazquez, Priscilla. "Asociación de Industriales de Puerto Rico". Industriales Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  20. ^ Pasaporte: Voy Turisteando (in Spanish). Compañia de Turismo de Puerto Rico. 2021.
  21. ^ J.D. (2006-05-02). "Barranquitas". Link To Puerto (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  22. ^ Reyes Villanueva, Omar; Virgen Berrios, María. Barranquitas en Blanco y Negro. Isabela, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico es Corp. p. 34.
  23. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  29. ^ "Ley Núm. 70 de 2006 -Ley para disponer la oficialidad de la bandera y el escudo de los setenta y ocho (78) municipios". LexJuris de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  30. ^ a b "BARRANQUITAS". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  31. ^ "Exitosa presentación del libro Barranquitas en Blanco y Negro". Lacordillera (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2011-07-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-04-11. Retrieved 2020-04-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]