Moca, Puerto Rico
Municipio Autónomo de Moca
City and Municipality
"Rebeldes", "Los Vampiros", "La Ciudad del Mundillo"
|Anthem: "Doce barrios, doce estrellas"|
|Founded||June 22, 1772|
|• Mayor||Angel “Beto” Pérez Rodríguez (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||4 - Mayagüez|
|• Representative dist.||17,18|
|• Total||133.0 km2 (51.4 sq mi)|
|• Land||133 km2 (51 sq mi)|
|• Water||0 km2 (0 sq mi)|
|• Density||280/km2 (720/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
Moca (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmoka]) is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico, located in the north-western region of the island, north of Añasco; southeast of Aguadilla; east of Aguada; and west of Isabela and San Sebastián. Moca is spread over 12 barrios and Moca Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center). It is part of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The name comes from the Moca tree (Andira inermis) which are very common in this region.
The Moca tree was officially adopted as the representative tree of the town on February 19, 1972. Moca is famous for its Mundillo lace. Mundillo is a Puerto Rican-style of handmade bobbin lace. Mundillo almost synonymous with the small town of Moca.
Moca known as La Capital del Mundillo (the Mundillo Capital), and is famous for its lace or Mundillo. It was founded by Don José de Quiñones on June 22, 1772. Diverse versions exist on the date of its foundation. Manuel de Ubeda and Delgado, in his "Isla de Puerto Rico. "Estudio histórico, geográfico y estadístico", published in San Juan in 1878, says Moca was founded in 1774. On the other hand, Cayetano Coll y Toste, in the "Boletín histórico de Puerto Rico", maintains it was founded on June 22, 1772.
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 an unincorporated territory of the United States. In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Moca was 12,410.
On May 16, 2010, Moca was the epicenter of a strong 5.8 earthquake. The earthquake was felt in the entire island and also in the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands. Damage was reported in various towns.
Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Moca. About 1300 homes were impacted by landslides and flooding, bridges collapsed and residents were left without access to electrical power, telecommunication services and basic necessities. Close to a month and a half later, 25% of the 31,117 residents of Moca had electrical power and access to drinking water and 75% did not.
Climate: Tropical with hardly noticeable seasonal changes, temperatures in Moca range from highs of between76 and 98 °F (24 and 37 °C) and lows between 50 and 75 °F (10 and 24 °C).
Hydrography: The Río Culebrinas crosses its territory from east to west, and its tributaries include the gorges of Los Gatos, Lassalle, de las Damas, Vieja, Los Romanes, the Morones, Higuillo, Chiquita, Yagruma, Echeverria, Aguas Frias, Las Marias, de los Méndez, La Caraíma, Grande, y Dulce. Cerro Moca, Monte El Ojo, Monte Mariquita of the Jaicoa Mountain Range.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Moca is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio called Moca barrio-pueblo.
Barrios (which are roughly comparable to 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 social exclusion. A map shows these communities occur in nearly every municipality of Puerto Rico. Of the 742 places that were on the list in 2014, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Moca: Aceituna, Sector Isleta in Cruz barrio, Parcelas Acevedo and Parcelas Mamey in Moca barrio-pueblo, and Loperena.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020
- Agriculture: Fruits, dairy farming, cattle and bovine ranching.
- Industrial: Alarms, clothing, electronic machinery, footwear, plastic products.
- Services: Lawyers, engineers, appraisers
Landmarks and places of interest
- Enrique Laguerre House
- Enriqueta Hacienda
- Julia's Mundillo Shop
- Our Lady of Monserrate Parish Church
- Hacienda Labadie
- Palacete Los Moreau
Festivals and events
Moca celebrates its patron saint festival in late August or early September. The Fiestas Patronales Nuestra Señora de la Monserrate is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Moca also had a volleyball team named Los Rebeldes, which played in LVS (Liga de Voleibol Superior) from 1998 to 2005. The team went to the post season every year, and obtained a controversial second place in its 1998 final with Los Changos of Naranjito. In addition, Los Rebeldes were National Champions against Los Changos in the 2000 final. Los Rebeldes swept the Los Changos 4–0 in the finals.
Moca is famous for El vampiro de Moca, considered a predecessor to the Chupacabra urban legend. El vampiro de Moca was believed to exist when cows, sheep and goats were found dead with what appeared to be fang holes on their necks.
Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, Moca is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is José Avilés Santiago, from the New Progressive Party (PNP). Avilés was elected at the 2000 general election.
The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.
Erick De Jesus designed Moca's flag. The rectangular flag consists of a magenta equilateral triangular field, the color of the Moca tree flower. In this field appear five-point stars, silver-plated, surrounding a greater gold star, also with five points.
Coat of arms
It has oblong form. Divided in a silver-plated field and blue sky united by a purple rhombus (diamond shape), the color of the Moca flower. The rhombus has religious symbolisms. The rhombus is surrounded, in its inferior part, by two branches of the Moca tree; in its superior part, an arc of eleven silver-plated five-point stars. Within the rhombus is a gold monogram (of the Virgin Mary) topped by a Christian crown of the same metal. A silver-lined crown in form of a three-tower castle crowns the shield. On the frontal portion of the crown, carved in gold, the word Moca. The stones of the castle are lined in blue. The doors and windows are purple.
- List of Puerto Ricans
- History of Puerto Rico
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Moca, Puerto Rico
- Did you know-Puerto Rico?
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