Caguas, Puerto Rico
Municipio Autónomo de Caguas
City and Municipality
"La Ciudad del Turabo" (Turabo Valley), "La Ciudad Criolla" (Creole City), "La Cuna de los Trovadores" (Cradle of Trovadores)
|Anthem: "Centro y Corazón de Puerto Rico"|
|Founded||January 1, 1775|
|• Mayor||William Miranda Torres (PPD)|
|• Senatorial dist.||7|
|• Representative dist.||31,32|
|• Total||59.07 sq mi (153.00 km2)|
|• Land||58.68 sq mi (151.97 km2)|
|• Water||0.40 sq mi (1.03 km2)|
|Elevation||211.0 ft (64.3 m)|
|• Density||2,200/sq mi (830/km2)|
|• American Indian/AN||0.6%|
|• Native Hawaiian/PI||0.1%|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
00725, 00726, 00727
|Major routes|| |
Caguas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɣwas]), founded in 1775, is a city and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico, south of San Juan and Trujillo Alto, west of Gurabo and San Lorenzo, and east of Aguas Buenas, Cidra, and Cayey.
Caguas is located 20 miles (32 km) from San Juan. It is located in the Valle de Caguas or Caguas Valley (also known as Valle del Turabo or the Turabo Valley), at the eastern ranges of the Central Mountain Range. It is known as La Ciudad Criolla (Criollo City), Valle del Turabo (the Turabo Valley) and La Cuna de los Trovadores (The Cradle of the Trovadores). Its name originates from the Taíno cacique Caguax, who was a regional chief. Caguas is a principal city of both the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area.
Caguas was founded on January 1, 1775, as San Sebastián del Piñal de Caguax, with the name later being shortened and modernized to its current form. The name of the city comes from the native name Caguax who was a local Taíno chief and early convert to Christianity. The site of the historic downtown area of Caguas and its central square dates to 1779. In 1820 the settlement was granted the title of Villa and it was granted city rights in 1894.
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 Caguas was 19,857.
The city grew considerably in size during the 1970s and quickly became an exurb of San Juan to the north due to its location. The region of Caguas became an important pharmaceuticals manufacturing center during this time. Pharmaceutical companies originally came to Puerto Rico in the late 1960s and 1970s to take advantage of the now-expired federal tax incentive known as Section 936. This incentive allowed U.S.-based manufacturers to send all profits from local plants to stateside parent plants without having to pay any federal taxes.
Although not typically seen as part of the colloquial Área Metro of San Juan (San Juan, Cataño, Bayamón, Guaynabo and Carolina), the municipality of Caguas is located in the census-based San Juan Metropolitan Area due to its role as a commuter town. The average commute time for residents of the municipality is 30.5 minutes. Caguas is the fourth most populous city in the San Juan Metropolitan region and the most populous city in Puerto Rico that is not located in a coastal area.
Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Caguas with its wind and rain. Rivers were breached causing flooding of low-lying areas, and infrastructure and homes were destroyed. The hurricane caused $90 million in damages in Caguas.
The city and municipality of Caguas are located approximately 30 minutes from the coastline both on the east (Humacao) and the north (San Juan). It is east of Aguas Buenas and Cidra, north of Cayey, south of San Juan, and west of Gurabo and Trujillo Alto. It also shares borders with Guayama and Patillas via a five-point border at the summit of Cerro La Santa, with Cayey and San Lorenzo. This is the tallest point of the Sierra de Cayey, not to be confused with Montaña Santa which is another mountain in the same massif located on the boundary between the municipalities of Patillas and San Lorenzo. At this point there are two tall antennas which provide signal to Puerto Rico's principal TV stations such as WKAQ-TV and WAPA-TV. No road passes exactly at this point, and it can be approached nearby through Puerto Rico Highway 184.
Valle de Caguas
The city is located in one of the largest valleys in Puerto Rico, the Valle de Caguas or Caguas Valley (also known as Valle del Turabo or the Turabo Valley). Being located in a valley, Caguas has the distinction of being relatively flat except near the borders with all the mentioned municipalities except Gurabo. The valley is bordered by the Altos de La Mesa and San Luis ranges in the north, the Sierra de Luquillo on the northeast, the San Lorenzo batholith to the east, the Sierra de Cayey on the south and the main range of the Cordillera Central to the west.
This valley is fed mainly by the Grande de Loíza River, one of Puerto Rico's major rivers that feed into the Atlantic Ocean, and numerous tributaries such as the Cagüitas, along which the contemporary settlement of Caguas was built. The city's nickname Valle del Turabo comes from the Turabo River, which is another tributary that flows from the south. The Gurabo River, another major tributary, feeds into the Grande de Loíza at a region where the valley narrows into a rift valley that runs from west to east and ends in Humacao in the southeastern coast of the island.
As with other parts of Puerto Rico, the region of Caguas is susceptible to earthquakes. The municipality is located along the Great Northern Puerto Rico fault zone (GNPRfz) and in recent times the region experienced moderate size earthquakes in 1990 and 2010.
- The Río Grande de Loíza divides this municipality from Gurabo.
- Other rivers: Río Turabo, Río Caguitas, Río Cañaboncito, Río Bairoa and Río Cañas.
The climate is classified as a Tropical monsoon climate, meaning the daily mean temperature from month to month is never less than 64.4 °F (18 °C), and there is a distinct wet and dry season. Rainfall is common in relative abundance throughout most of the year, although there is less rain than in the eastern coastal valleys. The land, however, is fertile and deep.
|Record high °F (°C)||92
|Average high °F (°C)||79.3
|Daily mean °F (°C)||70.9
|Average low °F (°C)||62.5
|Record low °F (°C)||50
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||3.05
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.10)||9||7||6||12||18||11||8||10||14||10||18||9||100|
|Source: Southeast Regional Climate Center |
Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions) and subbarrios, 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.
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 Caguas: Bairoa La 25, Morales neighborhood, Parcelas Viejas in Borinquén, Sector La Barra, and Comunidad La Quebrada in Río Cañas, Hoyo Frío in Las Carolinas, Lajitas, Las Carolinas, Los Muchos, Los Panes in Beatriz, and Savarona.
Landmarks and places of interest
- Caguas City Hall (Alcaldia de Caguas, the city hall building)
- Primera Iglesia Bautista de Caguas
- Gautier Benítez High School
- Escuela Vocacional Aguayo Aldea
- Logia Union y Amparo #44
- Puente No. 6 or (Spanish: Puente La Concepción)
- Carretera Central
Other landscapes, landmarks and tourist attractions in Caguas include:
- Jardín Botánico y Cultural William Miranda Marín (Botanical and Cultural Gardens), located in Cañabón.
- Caguas Museum of Art
- Caguas Museum of Folk Arts
- Caguas Museum of History
- Caguas Tobacco Museum
- Dulce Nombre de Jesús Cathedral (Catedral de Caguas), the old city hall and other historical buildings at Plaza Palmer, the main town square.
- Hacienda Catalina Ruins, located in the area of Las Catalinas Mall
- Hacienda Country Club
- La Casa del Ajedrez (The House of Chess)
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 Caguas passport page lists the Jardín Botánico William Miranda Marin, the Catedral Dulce Nombre de Jesús, the Plaza de Recreo Santiago R. Palmer and the Museo de Artes Populares as places of interest for locals.
Festivals and events
Caguas celebrates its patron saint festival in July. The Fiestas Patronales de Nuestra Sra. del Carmen is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Other festivals and events include:
- Rosario Cantado a los Reyes – 4 January
- Three Kings Festival – 5 January
- Criolla Beatriz – February
- Criolla Borinquen Fair – March
- Criolla Cañabón Fair – April
- Felipe "La Voz" Rodríguez' Birthday – 8 May
- Al Fresco – Every last Friday of each month
- Cross Festival – 23–31 May
- Typical Criole Festival – 1–2 June
- Latin American Musical
The Criollos de Caguas baseball team is considered one of the greatest of all-time in all of Latin America, having won 18 national Puerto Rico titles and 5 Caribbean World Series titles The team is a member of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico (LBPPR). Three of the first five Puerto Ricans that played Major League Baseball in the U.S. mainland, at one point in their careers played for the Criollos de Caguas (Luis Rodríguez Olmo, Victor Pellot Power, Roberto Clemente).
The Criollos de Caguas basketball team, founded in 1968 by Dr. Héctor "Tato" Dávila and Lcdo. Libertario Pérez Rodríguez, was a basketball team that did not enjoy as much success as their baseball counterparts. However, in the early 2000s, they showed a lot of progress by reaching the national playoffs various times. The team was a member of the BSN. In 2006, the team won its first BSN national basketball championship, defeating Flor Melendez and his Santurce Crabbers in five games.
Caguas is home to the Bairoa Gym, one of the most important boxing gyms in all Puerto Rico and a place where many visiting champions have trained at; such as boxing Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto, his brother Jose Miguel, Alberto Mercado, Juan Carazo, Alfredo Escalera and others.
The Criollas de Caguas women's volleyball team has won 9 national Puerto Rico titles and has made it to the finals more than 15 times. The team is a member of the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino (LVSF).
The Criollos de Caguas FC soccer team is considered one of the most successful clubs in the island winning multiple tournaments and cups in Puerto Rican soccer including the National League Title in 2015.
In September 2005, city mayor William Miranda Marín levied the first municipal tax in Puerto Rico via city ordinance. Area merchants now charge a one cent tax for every dollar spent at all retail businesses. The tax has become known around the island as the "Willie Tax." It resulted in an estimated $500,000 monthly income for the city. However, the municipal tax was increased to 1.5% after the establishment of the 5.5% state tax, for a total of 7%, and the tax was declared illegal by the Puerto Rico's Supreme Court.
In 2006, Miranda Marín began calling Caguas "El Nuevo País de Caguas" ("The New Country of Caguas").
During the early part of the 20th century, Caguas hosted one of Puerto Rico's most important sugar manufacturers, which gave employment to thousands of Cagüeños.
Numerous businesses and important buildings have opened in Caguas since the 1970s, including the imposing 23 story apartment building Caguas Tower, its adjacent competitors Bonneville Apartments, and the 10 floor Menonita Hospital. There are also several shopping centers:
- Plaza del Carmen Mall
- Plaza Centro Mall
- Las Catalinas Mall
- Los Prados Mall
- Bairoa Shopping Center
- Villa Blanca Mall
- Angora Shopping Center
- Plaza Degetau
- Plaza Caguitas
- Del Rio Shopping Center
- Metro Plaza (Caguas, Puerto Rico)
In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Caguas was 19,857.
In 2020, Caguas had a population of 127,244 compared to 142,893 in 2010. This shows an 11% decrease in the population in the municipality. The population density in 2020 was 2,200 people per square mile (830/km2). Hispanic or Latino of any race constitute 98.4% of the population of the municipality. There are also communities of Dominicans, Cubans and Colombians.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The mayor of the city of Caguas were
1953 to 1969 - Angel Rivera PPD
1969 to 1973 - Miguel Hernandez Rodriguez (New Progressive Party (PNP))
1973 to 1977 - Angel O. Berrios Diaz (PPD)
1977 to 1981 - Miguel Hernandez Rodriguez (PNP)
1981 to 1997 - Angel O. Berrios Diaz (PPD)
1997 to 2010 - William Miranda Marín (PPD)
2010 to present - William Miranda Torres (PPD)
The city belongs to the Senatorial district VII (Humacao), which is represented by two Senators. In 2016, Miguel Laureano (PNP) and José Luis Dalmau (PPD) were elected as District Senators.
The municipio or municipality has an official flag and coat of arms.
Flag and coat of arms
The coat of arms consists of a shield with a blue field. Upon the field are two sets of three golden arrows, forming a cross of St. Andrew. Above the cross is a crown which represents Caguax, cacique of the Turabo Valley region at the time of the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Arrows were used as a remembrance of the first Christian place of worship established in the region which was dedicated under the patronage of St. Sebastian. There are pineapples interspersed to reflect the native agriculture. A castellated wall surmounts the shield to show the city's having been granted status as a municipality by the Spanish Crown.
On the flag, the shield sits atop another blue field on which the cross of arrows motif is repeated.
Public transportation in Caguas, as in most of Puerto Rico, is limited to small "guaguas públicas" (Mini Bus). There is inexpensive but slow service to and from San Juan and Rio Piedras. Several buses and public taxi services serve the town to a limited degree. In 2019, 91.55% of the population relied on their own cars or carpool services to commute.
Caguas is served by one freeway, one tolled expressway and one main divided highway. Puerto Rico Highway 30 connects Caguas to the eastern part of the island. There is no freeway/expressway to the west, due mainly to the fact that there is no sufficient population west of Caguas to develop a new freeway or expressway; good access to the municipalities of Cidra (southwest) and Aguas Buenas (northwest) are possible via PR-172 and PR-156, respectively. Puerto Rico Highway 52 connects Caguas to the north (San Juan) and south (Cayey, Ponce). Puerto Rico Highway 1 is an alternate route to San Juan and Guaynabo with two lanes per direction; in south Caguas it becomes rural near Borinquen, therefore the only good access to Cayey is the expressway (PR-52) and a $1.00 toll has to be paid (only in the south direction). The only municipality bordering Caguas with a poor-access road is San Lorenzo, via PR-183; but good access to San Lorenzo is possible by entering Gurabo via PR-30, and then taking PR-203 south.
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is about 35 minutes away by car.
There are 86 bridges in Caguas.
- Colegio Católico Notre Dame
- Elohim Christian Academy
- New Generation Christian Academy (formerly CLA)
- Caguas Military Academy
- Colegio Bautista
- Colegio Católico San Juan Apóstol
- Academia Cristo de los Milagros
- Dr. Juan José Osuna High school
- José Gautier Benítez High school
- Escuela Libre de Música - Antonio S. Paoli
- Manuela Toro Morice High School
- Republic of Costa Rica Vocacional High School of Caguas
- Eloisa Pascual "Bairoa III" High School
- Rio Cañas High School
- Santa Rosa Superior School
- Thomas Alva Edison School
- Colegio San José Superior
- Escuela Secundaria Especializada en Ciencias, Matemáticas y Tecnología (CIMATEC)
- Caguas Private School (CPS)
- San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
- Huertas Junior College
- Instituto EDIC
- Columbia College
- Turabo University at Gurabo (Gurabo, Puerto Rico)
- Hospital Hima San Pablo
- Menonita Caguas Regional Hospital
- San Juan Bautista Medical Center
- Corporacion SANOS
Caguas cathedral 'Dulce Nombre de Jesús' founded in 1729. On the facade hangs an image of native son Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, whose body rests in the cathedral.
Entrance to the Botanical and Cultural Gardens in Caguas
- "Demographics/Ethnic U.S 2000 census" (PDF). Topeurtorico.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- Florencio Morales Ramos: Ramito, “el Cantor de la Montaña”. Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine David Morales. Our Country Music. Undated. Accessed 8 December 2018.
- Grupo Editorial EPRL (June 4, 2015). Fundación Puertoriqueña de las Humanidades (ed.). "Caguas". Enciclopedia de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- Joseph Prentiss Sanger; Henry Gannett; Walter Francis Willcox (1900). Informe sobre el censo de Puerto Rico, 1899, United States. War Dept. Porto Rico Census Office (in Spanish). Imprenta del gobierno. p. 161. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
- "American FactFinder - Results". archive.ph. 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
- "Caguas, PR | Data USA". datausa.io. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
- Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed MC-130H Hercules 90-0161 Caguas". Aviation-safety.net. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "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.
- "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.
- "El Nuevo Día: María, un nombre que no vamos a olvidar". María, un nombre que no vamos a olvidar (in Spanish). 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- "Orgullo y alegría en el Valle del Turabo". Elnuevodia.com. 19 January 2017. Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- "Caguas Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-06-04. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
- earthquake.usgs.gov https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usp0004f8n/executive. Retrieved 2021-09-06. Missing or empty
- earthquake.usgs.gov https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usp000hrud/executive. Retrieved 2021-09-06. Missing or empty
- "CAGUAS, PUERTO RICO". The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill campus). Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Map of Caguas at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". factfinder.com. US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
- "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map 000 (2010 Census): Caguas Municipio, PR" (PDF). www2.census.gov. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map 001 (2010 Census): Caguas Municipio, PR" (PDF). www2.census.gov. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map 002 (2010 Census): Caguas Municipio, PR" (PDF). www2.census.gov. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- "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.
- 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
- "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
- 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
- "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Puerto Rico: Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos" (PDF). geoisla.com. Government of Puerto Rico. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
- Pasaporte: Voy Turisteando (in Spanish). Compañia de Turismo de Puerto Rico. 2021.
- Parés Arroyo, Marga (2017-10-14). "Hospitales de la montaña viven una odisea tras la tempestad [Hospitals in the mountain are living an odyssey after the hurricane]". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
- "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.
- "CAGUAS". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "Caguas, PR | Data USA". datausa.io. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
- "Caguas Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- Caguas and its barrios, United States Census Bureau
- Carrasquillo, Rosa E. (2006). Our Landless Patria: Marginal Citizenship and Race in Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1880–1910. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. OCLC 61204347.
- Eastern Center Virtual Library (in Spanish)
- Caguas Community Portal (in Spanish)
- Huertas Junior College (in Spanish)
- San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
- Columbia College (in Spanish)
- Grand Valley State University(in Spanish)
- Jardín Botánico y Cultural William Miranda Marín (in Spanish)
- Caguas, Puerto Rico on Facebook