Manatí, Puerto Rico
Municipio Autónomo de Manatí
City and Municipality
Town Hall in Manatí
"Ciudad Metropolitana", "La Atenas de Puerto Rico"
|Anthem: "Atenas de Borinquen"|
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Manatí Municipality
|• Mayor||José Sánchez González (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 - Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||12, 13|
|• Total||56.19 sq mi (145.53 km2)|
|• Land||50 sq mi (120 km2)|
|• Water||9.86 sq mi (25.53 km2)|
|• Density||790/sq mi (300/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
|Major routes|| |
Manatí (Spanish pronunciation: [manaˈti], Manatee) is a city and municipality of Puerto Rico on the northern coast, north of Morovis and Ciales; east of Florida and Barceloneta; and west of Vega Baja. Manatí is spread over 8 barrios and Manatí barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Manatí was founded in 1799 by Don Pedro Menendez Valdes. The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church was built in the seventeenth century and is still standing in its original spot. Manati is known as La Ciudad Metropolitana (The Metropolitan City), and also as Las Atenas de Puerto Rico, (The Athens of Puerto Rico). It is named after a sea mammal, the manatee (the sea cow).
During those early years, the mayor of the town was Jose Aulet. Juan Ponce de León picked the Manatí leg of the Manuatabón River as the first area to pan for gold. The Aulet family owned lands rich in pineapples, sugar cane, and green bananas. The Aulets sold the land to the government in 1985.
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 Manatí was 13,989.
In 1853, the region shifted from mining to an expansion of agriculture, particularly cultivation and processing of sugar cane. The demand for and price of sugar remained high in international markets. The main commodity crop was sugar cane. Carpentry also became popular. During that year, the town consisted of 280 homes, 2 squares, 8 streets and a school with 50 pupils.
On September 20, 2017, the lives of Manatí residents were disrupted when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico causing widespread flooding, landslides, and damage to critical infrastructure.
Manatí is on the northern central coast.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Manatí is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and a large Catholic church are located in the center of the municipality, in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".
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 Manatí: Cerro Gandía, Cerro Quiñones and El Horno.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
In 2014, Manati welcomed its first hotel, the Hyatt Place Hotel and Casino, located next to Casino Atlántico and a LongHorn Steakhouse, which opened in April 2014. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, 3 meeting rooms and a fitness center. The official name was Hyatt Place Manati & Casino. Manati is popular for its beaches and is part of the Porta Altantico tourism district.
Landmarks and places of interest
Some of the places of interest in Manatí include:
- The Acropolis Sports Complex
- Biblioteca Nacional Francisco Álvarez 
- El Salón del Poeta
- Historic Zone
- Los Tubos Beach
- La Esperanza Beach
- Playa Cueva Las Golondrinas, where visitors have been cited for public indecency. Puerto Rico does not have nudist beaches.
- Mar Chiquita Beach
- Marqués de la Esperanza Hacienda Ruins
- Ruinas de la Oficina de la Central Monserrate
- The New Manati Arena
- Manati Baseball Stadium
Isidoro Colón established the "Candelaria" sugar mill in the years between 1860 and 1870, located between Manatí and Barceloneta. Manatí is the pineapple center of Puerto Rico. In addition in Manatí, there is cultivation of fruits, sugar cane, and coffee. Los Frutos del Guacabo is a farming company in Manatí that provides local fruit and vegetables to local chefs.
The industry of Manatí is shoes, woodwork, and a pineapple cannery as well as pharmaceuticals:
- Burlington store
This municipality has a flag.
Coat of arms
This municipality has a coat of arms.
Manati has two large, private hospitals, Doctor's Center Hospital, and Manati Medical Center Dr. Otero Lopez (formerly the government owned Hospital de Area). There is also the smaller Municipal Hospital.
The area surrounding PR-2 is known for having many medical offices.
Manati has 3 high schools: Petra Corretjer de O'neill High School, Fernando Callejo High School, and the Escuela Instituto Tecnologico Recinto De Manati, the latter also serving as a technical institute.
- Colegio Marista "El Salvador" Manati
- Colegio De La Inmaculada
- Piaget Bilingual Academy
- Academia Discipulos de Cristo
- Colegio Hispano Americano
- La Reine Christian Bilingual School
Manati's only university is the American University of Puerto Rico, Manati Campus. There are several technical institutes, such as Instituto de Banca y Comercio, Atenas' College, EDC college and Dewey University.
There are 15 bridges in Manatí.
Festivals and events
Manatí celebrates its patron saint festival in February. The Fiestas Patronales Virgen de la Candelaria is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Other festivals and events celebrated in Manatí include:
- Los Tubos beach festival – June/July
- Mar Chiquita festival – June
- Christmas festival – December
Notable natives and residents
Notable people from Manatí include:
- José Miguel Class, singer
- Noel Cuevas, professional baseball player
- Manuel Ramos Otero, poet and LGBT activist
- Carlos Santana Becerra, judge
- Yara Sofia, drag queen
- Antonio Vélez Alvarado, father of the Puerto Rican flag
- Carlos Beltrán, Professional Baseball Outfielder
- Iván Rodríguez, Professional Baseball Player
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