Maunabo, Puerto Rico

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Municipio de Maunabo
Town and Municipality
Maunabo coastline
Maunabo coastline
Flag of Maunabo
"La Ciudad Tranquila", "Los Jueyeros", "Los Come Jueyes"
Anthem: "Maunabo pueblito del sureste de mi amada patria Borinquén"
Location of Maunabo in Puerto Rico
Location of Maunabo in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°00′25″N 65°53′57″W / 18.00694°N 65.89917°W / 18.00694; -65.89917Coordinates: 18°00′25″N 65°53′57″W / 18.00694°N 65.89917°W / 18.00694; -65.89917
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
 • MayorJorge L. Márquez Pérez (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.7 - Humacao
 • Representative dist.34
 • Total72.21 km2 (27.88 sq mi)
 • Land55 km2 (21 sq mi)
 • Water17.21 km2 (6.64 sq mi)
 • Total12,225
 • Density170/km2 (440/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major routesPR primary 3.svg PR primary 53.svg PR primary 760.svg PR primary 901.svg
Tunnel under construction, 2008

Maunabo (Spanish pronunciation: [mauˈnaβo]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the southeastern coast, northeast of Patillas and south of Yabucoa. Maunabo is spread over 8 wards and Maunabo Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Mayor of the town is Jorge L. Márquez Pérez (PPD). This town has a population of 14,425. The Zip code of Maunabo is 00707.

With an almost unspoiled culture—due to the high mountains that separate the town from the rest—Maunabo still is a very colonial city and the lack of large commercial chains gives it a unique personality compared to the rest of the island.

Currently, the town is constructing the first tunnels[1] of the island that go under the eastern side mountains connecting it with the neighboring town of Yabucoa.[2] A Chilean construction company is in charge of the contract. The tunnels have been named Vicente Morales Lebrón,[3] after an environmental activist who, as a result of the 1956 tropical storm Betsy that damaged the only road that connected the town with the north side of the island, proposed the tunnels to be built.

The warm, unspoiled and untamed blue and green waters of the beaches of Maunabo are one of its major attractions. The three beaches (Los Bohios, Los Pinos and Playa Punta Tuna) are mostly visited by the locals all year round. The beaches also attract tourists that explore other regions beyond San Juan and other major cities. Surfers love these wild and dangerous waters. The Punta Tuna beach[4] is also known by the locals as Playa Escondida or the "hidden beach", crowned by the Punta Tuna Lighthouse on one side and separated from the main road by lush sea grape trees on the other. The beach is only accessible by foot through a short dusty road.

The sand at Los Pinos beach (the name means "the pines" and it comes from a pine-tree-lined hill on the side of the beach) shines with black carbon minerals and legend has it that these come from sea volcanoes or from underwater fossil fuel deposits. The minerals tend to stick to anything that is wet and thus it is rarely visited.

The Los Bohios beach is the most popular beach in town,[citation needed] attracting thousands of visitors each year.[citation needed] The beach has swimming and barbecuing areas, with fresh water facilities to wash off the salt water.

The town is also known for its Punta Tuna Lighthouse[5] built by the Spanish at the end of the 19th century before the Island was turned over to the United States as spoils of the Spanish–American War of 1898. Though it has never ceased working under the active management of the U.S. Coast Guard, for almost 30 years the lighthouse was not accessible to the public. Due to Law 180[6] presented by Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, the doors of the lighthouse were opened once again to the public on February 2006. The lighthouse is also a permanent symbol in the town's coat of arms.[7]

The town is also known for its annual crab carnival "Festi-Carnaval Jueyero" which attracts thousands of visitors for a three-day celebration with live music, street fairs, contests and lots of crab-themed food. The carnival is celebrated during the first week of September, at the peak of the summer heat. As crab is known to be an aphrodisiac, the Carnival also becomes a meeting point for many people. During those three days people are allowed to drink on the streets. Lately, the festivities have been closely monitored by the police.[citation needed]

Maunabo is also known for its advances in the media. Being almost "disconnected" from the rest of the Island by its high mountains, the maunabeños created their own newspaper called La Esquina[8] "The Corner" in English, on August 30, 1975 by Ramón "Chito" Arroyo and José Orlando Rivera. It started as a community one-sheeter distributed free of charge only in Maunabo, but its popularity was so overwhelming that a year later it was transformed into a monthly tabloid. Today, the paper still is free of charge, home delivering 40,000 copies not only in Maunabo but also in the southeastern towns of Guayama, Arroyo, Patillas, Yabucoa and Humacao, and read by more than 190,000 people. Recently, the paper opened its new offices in Maunabo where they also work on La Esquina Online and other projects.


Maunabo was founded in 1799. Maunabo derives its name from a Taino Indian river name "Manatuabón".[9]

When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Maunabo was 6,221.[10]


Maunabo[11] is surrounded by high mountains on two sides. The three major peaks are Pico Hutton on Sierra Guardarraya with an elevation of 1,799 feet (548 m); Cerro Santa Elena also known as El Sombrerito (or the "hat" for its unusual shape) on Sierra de Pandura with an elevation of 1,722 feet (525 m); and Cerro de la Pandura with an elevation of 1,692 feet (516 m). The wind on these high points is so strong that it is hard to hear anything else but it blowing past your ears. At Sierra Guardarraya the strong winds have affected the growth of vegetation and the tall grass only grows flat to the ground.

In the lush and tropical vegetation of Cerro de la Pandura you will find one of the Island's most endangered species of coquí, the little frogs that sing like birds at night and which are endemic to the Island (though just recently a new species have flourished in the islands of Hawaii where they are considered a pest and are being exterminated by the local government). Known as the coquí Guajón[12] (Eleutherodactylus cooki), this coquí can be found in the mountains shared by the neighboring towns of Yabucoa, Patillas and San Lorenzo. Though discovered in 1932 by Chapman Grant of the U.S. Army, it was not until 1997 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared[13] it an endangered species.

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Maunabo with the significant amount of rainfall.[14][15]


Subdivisions of Maunabo.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Maunabo is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[16][17][18]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
1899 (shown as 1900)[20] 1910-1930[21]
1930-1950[22] 1960-2000[23] 2010[17]


Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

Faro Punto de Tuna
  • Cantera Caverns
  • Punta Tuna Light - Built by the Spaniards in 1892 is located on Punta Tuna.
  • Punta Tuna Beach


Festivals and events[edit]

  • Pablo Ramírez Marathon - February
  • Sugar Cane Fiesta - April
  • Patron Celebrations - May
  • San Pedro Festival - June
  • San Isidro Labrador Festival - June
  • Festi-Carnaval Jueyero (Crab Festival) - September
  • Palo Seco Festival - November
  • Christmas Festival - December
  • Año Viejo Marathon - December 31



  • Fruits and vegetables; Cattle.


  • Fishing, guitar strings, plantain

Special communities[edit]

Since 2001, when law 1-2001 was passed,[24] measures have been taken to identify and address the high levels of poverty and lack of resources and opportunities affecting people living in specific places (barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods) of Puerto Rico. In 2004, the following places in Maunabo were on the list of Comunidades especiales de Puerto Rico or marginalized communities:[25][26]

  1. Calzada
  2. Sector Batey Columbia in Calzada
  3. Sector García in Talante
  4. La Pica
  5. La Playa
  6. Matuya Bajo

In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program and Jesús Vélez Vargas, its director stated that the program was evolving.[27][28]


Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, Maunabo is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Jorge L. Márquez Pérez, from the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Márquez was elected at the 2000 general election.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VII, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Jorge Suárez and José Luis Dalmau were elected as District Senators.[29]


There are 22 bridges in Maunabo.[30]



Maunabo's flag consists of a green cloth crossed diagonally by a white stripe. In each corner of the two remaining green triangles, there are two yellow ox yokes.


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ " USA Nationwide Winery/Distillery Index. The Go To source for locating Wineries/Distilleries and Direct Winery/Distillery Deals in the US: Special Discounts, Offers and Coupons". Travel and Sports.
  5. ^ "Website Disabled". Tuna Point Lighthouse.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-01-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Maunabo, Puerto Rico". Welcome To Puerto Rico.
  8. ^ "Periódico La Esquina".
  9. ^ Manuel Ubeda y Delgado (1878). Isla de Puerto Rico: estudio histórico, geográfico y estadístico de la misma (in Spanish). Academia Puertorriqueńa de la Historia. pp. 274–.
  10. ^ 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. 163.
  11. ^ "Maunabo Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  15. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Map of Maunabo at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  21. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  23. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  26. ^ 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. 276, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  27. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  28. ^, Por. "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  29. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  30. ^ "Maunabo Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]