Florida, Puerto Rico
Town and Municipality
"Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa", "La Tierra del Río Encantado", "Tierra de los Mogotes"
|Anthem: "Florida jardín hermoso"|
Location of Florida in Puerto Rico
|• Mayor||José Gerena Polanco (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 - Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||13|
|• Total||26 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|• Density||490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
Florida (Spanish pronunciation: [floˈɾiða]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located north of Ciales, south of Barceloneta, east of Arecibo, and west of Manatí. Florida is not like other municipalities of Puerto Rico with multiple subdivisions called barrios. It has one barrio called Florida Adentro and two other subdivisions: Florida Zona Urbana and Pajonal communidad. It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Florida was founded first as a barrio of Barceloneta in 1881 when a priest, Father Carrión, the mayor of Barceloneta, and other dignitaries arrived at a terrain of almost 4 acres. They decided to establish a new barrio and the owner of the place, Don Manuel Cintrón granted the land while he retained a piece of it. The barrio was first called Florida Adentro.
During the 20th century, several efforts were made to declare Florida as a municipality. First, on April 14, 1949, House Representative Francisco Díaz Marchand presented a project to create a legislative commission that would study the economic and social conditions of the barrio, to determine the suitability of it as an independent municipality. The project was unsuccessful. In 1960, Manuel Frías Morales presented a law that would permit the study to establish the municipality but it didn't succeed either.
Finally, on June 14, 1971, the Senate of Puerto Rico and Governor Don Luis A. Ferré approved the law that officially created the municipality of Florida. It is thus the youngest municipality established in the island.
It consists of three horizontal stripes, with the following colors and widths: green the superior and white the inferior, with five modules of width each one, the center one red, with a width of one module.
Coat of arms
Field of silver, in an abyss, a gules (red) anchored cross, like the one in the Asturian district of Llanes. The cross is anchored between two branches of bloomed poinsettias (Poinsettia Pulcherrima). A green terrace represents the hilly terrain of the town, with a stripe forming waves outlined in silver which represents the underground river of Encantado. At the top, a three tower gold crown distinct in municipalities coat of arms. The shield can be surrounded, to its flanks and bottom by two crossed coffee tree branches with fruits.
Florida derives its name from the abundant flowers and natural resources on its land. It is also known as La Tierra del Río Encantado due to an underground river called Encantado. Another nickname is the Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa due to its pineapple crops.
Florida is the second smallest municipality of Puerto Rico, with an area of 10 square miles. The municipality belongs to the coastal plains of the north of Puerto Rico and it's surrounded by small hills. Several caves are formed in the town like Román Cave, Miró Cave, and Juana Gómez Cave.
A newer municipality of Puerto Rico, Florida has one barrio called Florida Adentro and two subbarrios: Florida Zona Urbana and Pajonal and it does not have a barrio-pueblo like most of the other municipalities of Puerto Rico.
The following areas are neighborhoods in Florida:
- Parcelas Arroyo
- Parcelas Selgas
- Pueblo Viejo
- San Agustín
- Enchanted Cave
Municipalities depend on state and federal income. Florida's economy had mostly relied on agriculture, specifically pineapple crops and other fruit related products. Today that's history with the high taxes impose on small vendors,there had been a few of manufacturing plants establishing in the area, today about two remain some of them dedicated to plastic.
Special Communities Program
Spearheaded by then governor Sila María Calderón, Law 1-2001 was passed in 2001, to identify Puerto Rico's marginalized communities. In 2017, then governor Ricardo Rosselló created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program. Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Florida: Sector El Hoyo in Comunidad San Agustín, Comunidad Arroyo, Sector Polvorín in Comunidad La Ceiba, Comunidad La Fuente, Estancias de Arroyo in La Joya, Sector El Cerro in Pajonal, and Sectors La Charca and Los Quemaos (both) in Parcelas Selgas.
Florida is one of the least populated municipalities of Puerto Rico, perhaps due to its small size. The population, according to the 2000 census, was 12,237 with a population density of 1,236.7 people per square mile (475.6/km²). After its establishment in 1974, the population has steadily increased over the years, with 7,232 people in the 1980 census.
|Race - Florida, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census|
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||43||0.3%|
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||0||0.0%|
|Some other race||409||3.3%|
|Two or more races||198||1.6%|
After its initial establishment, Florida belonged to the Barceloneta region. In 1949 and 1960 there were some attempts to separate the barrio from Barceloneta, but these were unsuccessful. However, in 1974, Governor Luis A. Ferré and the Puerto Rican Senate officially declared Florida an independent municipality. Its first mayor was Jorge L. Pérez Piñeiro. The current mayor is José Gerena Polanco, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general elections.
There are several public and private schools distributed in the municipality of Florida. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
Like most other towns in the island, it has a public transportation system consisting of public cars.
There is only one bridge in Florida.
Mayors of Florida
- 1974–1981 - Jorge Luis Pérez Piñeiro
- 1981–1984 - Heriberto González Vélez
- 1984–1992 - Juan Ramon De León Vélez [Johnny]
- 1992–2004 - Maria Dolores Guzmán Cardona [Maggie]
- 2004–2012 - José Aaron Pargas Ojeda
- 2012–Present - José Gerena Polanco
- Charlie Montoyo - Current Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and former Major League Baseball player
- Alexis Mateo - Drag queen and contestant on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- Puerto Rico (1977). Acts and Resolutions of Puerto Rico. Equity de Puerto Rico. p. 822.
- "Florida Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
- 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.
- "Map of Florida at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- 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
- Ethnicity 2000 census
- Puerto Rico (1975). Acts of the Legislature of Puerto Rico. p. 544.
- Elecciones Generales 2008: Escrutinio General Archived November 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
- "Florida Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 20 February 2019.