Ceiba, Puerto Rico

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Town and Municipality
Facade of building with letters that read Alcaldia
Town Hall of Ceiba
Flag of Ceiba
"Los Come Sopas", "La Ciudad del Marlin", "Los Sin Sopa"
Anthem: "Ceiba"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Ceiba Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Ceiba Municipality
Coordinates: 18°14′17″N 65°37′40″W / 18.23806°N 65.62778°W / 18.23806; -65.62778Coordinates: 18°14′17″N 65°37′40″W / 18.23806°N 65.62778°W / 18.23806; -65.62778
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
FoundedApril 7, 1838
 • MayorAngelo Cruz Ramos (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.8 - Carolina
 • Representative dist.36
 • Total77.33 sq mi (200.28 km2)
 • Land27.2 sq mi (70.5 km2)
 • Water50.11 sq mi (129.78 km2)
 • Total13,631
 • Density180/sq mi (68/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00735, 00742
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesEllipse sign 3.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 53.svg

Ceiba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsejβa]) is both a small town and municipality in northeast Puerto Rico. It is named after the famous Ceiba tree. Ceiba is located in the north-east coast of the island, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, south of Fajardo, north of Naguabo and southeast of Río Grande. Located about one hour's driving distance from San Juan, Ceiba is spread over 7 barrios and Ceiba Pueblo (the downtown area and administrative center). It is part of the Fajardo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Ceiba, situated near Fajardo, used to be home of an American military Naval base, the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Most of the units were relocated and the base was closed in 2004. Ex-governor Sila María Calderón suggested turning the property into a major international airport, to serve as a relief to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, and to increase the number of international airlines that operate into Puerto Rico. She was met with skepticism about these plans from such groups as environmentalists, economists and others, but in 2008, José Aponte de la Torre Airport was inaugurated at the base's former site.

Locals are commonly known as "Los Come Sopa" (The Soup Eaters). Even though there is no official reason as to why they are called this, a few stories have been suggested. Among the tales is the belief that since the town did not have a local meat market people had to travel long distances in order to buy some meat and therefore mostly ate soup.

Ceiba is also known as "La Ciudad del Marlin" (The town of the Marlin).


Ceiba was founded on April 7, 1838 by Luis de la Cruz. Ceiba derives its name from an Indian word Seyba, which is the name for a famous tree that grows in the island, the Ceiba pentandra (Kapok).[1]

Ceiba was consolidated with Fajardo in the 1899 population count / census by the U.S.[2]

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Ceiba with the significant amount of rainfall.[3][4]


Ceiba is home of the Ceiba Forest (787) which extends along the coastline between Ceiba and Fajardo. 95% of the forest is classified as mangrove. Various species of birds can be seen as well as turtles and manatees. Its rivers includes; Río Daguao, Río Demajagua and Río Fajardo.[1]

The municipality extends northwest into the seas between Fajardo and Culebra and thereby includes the reefs and islets named Arrecifes Hermanos and Arrecifes Barriles.[5] The reef are closest to the coastal barrio of Machos, but barrio boundaries are not defined in that area.[6]


Subdivisions of Ceiba.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Ceiba is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo", near the center of the municipality.[7][8][9][10]

  1. Ceiba barrio-pueblo
  2. Chupacallos
  3. Daguao
  4. Guayacán
  5. Machos
  6. Quebrada Seca
  7. Río Abajo
  8. Saco


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[11] 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.[12][13][14]

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 Ceiba: Saco, Las Calderonas, Parcelas Aguas Claras, Parcelas Nuevas, Prado Hermoso, and Quebrada Seca.[15][16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[17] 1920-1930[18]
1930-1950[19] 1960-2000[20] 2010[9]


Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

Bridge on PR-971 between Fajardo and Ceiba near Las Tinajas, Charco Frio and Hacienda Tinajas, tourist attractions just inside the eastern side of the El Yunque National Forest

There are 60 beaches in Ceiba, including Los Machoes Beach.[21] Other places of interest include:

  • Ceiba Historic Mural
  • Medio Mundo Beach
  • Roosevelt Roads Base (a former United States Navy installation which is now closed)
  • The cellist Pablo Casals lived in Ceiba.


Festivals and events[edit]

Ceiba 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.[1][22]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Ceiba include:

  • Maratón de los Enamorados - February
  • Festival de Chiringas - April
  • Festival de Marlin or Marlin Festival- May or June
  • Fiesta Nacional de la Raza - October
  • Maratón del Pavo - November


Former IBF world Jr. Middleweight boxing champion Carlos Santos hails from Ceiba. Ceiba also has an amateur AAA baseball team Los Marlins de Ceiba. Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Pro golfer is from Ceiba.


As in most towns of Puerto Rico it was founded on the Christian ideas and faith statements of the Roman Catholic Church which prevailed in previous centuries through Spaniard tradition. The town still maintains a central Roman Catholic church which can be found in the town square.


Manufacturing (plywood, apparel, hardware products).


José Aponte de la Torre Airport offers commercial (mostly domestic) flights on four airlines; it also houses an MD-82 jet donated by American Airlines to local air mechanics students.

There are 29 bridges in Ceiba.[23]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Ceiba include:

  • Carlos Santos - former IBF Junior Middleweight Champion of the World.
  • Luis Vigoreaux - radio and television show host, announcer, comedian and producer. Luis Vigoreaux was found murdered on January 17, 1983. His wife Lydia Echevarria arranged his murder.
  • Domingo Quiñones - although born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Domingo Quiñones moved to Ceiba at the early age of 4 and lived there until the age of 14.
  • Pablo Casals - built his home in Ceiba at the age of 80; the place was known as "El Pesebre".
  • Rogelio Figueroa Garcia - was born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico; however, was raised in Parcelas Aguas Claras (Barrio El Corcho) in Ceiba. He is a Puerto Rican engineer, a politician, and the co-founder of the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico (PPR) political party.
  • McJoe Arroyo - IBF Super Flyweight world boxing champion
  • Jaron Brown - is a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. He was born in Ceiba, PR.


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Ceiba is Angelo Cruz Ramos, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general elections.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VIII, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Pedro A. Rodríguez and Luis Daniel Rivera were elected as District Senators.[24]



Ceiba's flag derives its design and colors from the municipal coat of arms. This maintains the same symbolism given to the coat of arms. It is made of two vertical lines of the same width, red in the left side and green on the right. The red side depicts a yellow cross.[25]


It depicts a shield with golden field with a Ceiba tree in the middle. In the upper part of the shield it has a red horizontal line with a golden cross in the middle and two golden flowers in each side. The cross symbolizes the Christian faith as well as a recognition to Don Luis de la Cruz who founded the town. The golden flowers represent sugar cane flowers. Above the shield there is a golden Spanish fort.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Ceiba Municipality". enciclopediapr.org. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-06-23. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  2. ^ 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. 41.
  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. ^ Census 2000 map of Ceiba Municipio[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Census 2000 map of Machos barrio[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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 2019-01-04.
  10. ^ "Map of Ceiba at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  11. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". factfinder.com. US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Agencia: Oficina del Coordinador General para el Financiamiento Socioeconómico y la Autogestión (Proposed 2016 Budget)". Puerto Rico Budgets (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza: Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (1st ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, p. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  16. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "Las 1,200 playas de Puerto Rico [The 1200 beaches of Puerto Rico]". Primera Hora (in Spanish). April 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  22. ^ J.D. (2006-05-02). "Ceiba". Link To Puerto Rico.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  23. ^ "Ceiba Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  24. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2012-12-03 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  25. ^ a b "CEIBA". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.

External links[edit]