Morovis, Puerto Rico
Municipio Autónomo de Morovis
Town and Municipality
A small plaza in Morovis barrio-pueblo
"La Isla Menos Morovis" ("The island but Morovis")
|Anthem: "Oh Morovis, tu vives latente"|
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Morovis Municipality
|• Mayor||Carmen Maldonado González (PPD)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 - Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||28|
|• Total||38.7 sq mi (100.3 km2)|
|Elevation||1,230 ft (375 m)|
|• Density||840/sq mi (330/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
Morovis (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈɾoβis]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the central region of the island, north of Orocovis, south of Manatí, Vega Baja and Vega Alta; east of Ciales, and west of Corozal. Morovis is spread over 13 barrios and Morovis Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In 1815, a group of residents, under the leadership of Don Juan José de la Torre, began the process to separate Morovis from Manatí. In 1817, the government of Puerto Rico approved the separation, but it was not until 1818 that the requirements of a population of one thousand residents and the construction of a church and several other public buildings was fulfilled, that the town of Morovis was officially founded. In 1822, the mayorship was constructed and in 1823, the new church was built, dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Carmen on lands donated by Don Juan Evangelista Rivera. Its first mayor was Don Juan José de la Torre, with its second mayor being Don Juan Evangelista Rivera. Morovis has a particular nickname. It was the only municipality in Puerto Rico that did not suffer from a cholera epidemic in 1853; as a result, a common phrase, "la isla menos Morovis" ("(all) the island but Morovis") was coined, which identifies the town informally in Puerto Rico. The phrase is believed by most Puerto Ricans to have a negative connotation against moroveños, while, in reality, it means the opposite.
In 1875, Abino Casellas was mayor of Morovis and in 1879, Cruz Maria Castro was mayor.
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 Morovis was 11,309.
Morovis is a mountainous municipality located slightly north of the center of the island, which was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017. With a 2016 estimate of 31,603 residents at the time, 1500 to 2000 homes lost their roof and 500 wooden homes were completed destroyed. Roads and bridges were impacted by landslides and flooding, and residents were left without access to electrical power, telecommunication services and basic necessities for many months.
The community in San Lorenzo, a barrio of Morovis with about 1000 people, was isolated when the bridge into the barrio was washed away by the Morovis River. Then governor, Maldonado delivered food to residents, the municipal town hall became a food distribution center and she arranged for the purchase and delivery of a water truck to provide clean water daily to the residents who did not have access to clean water.
Maldonado spoke to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, requesting his help and Cuomo responded by contacting H.e.a.r.t. 9/11, a non-profit organization. In early 2019, Maldonado received and thanked volunteers from H.e.a.r.t. 9/11, mostly carpenters who came to Morovis to repair and rebuild homes damaged by the hurricane. In late 2019, H.e.a.r.t. 9/11 was still rebuilding roofs in Morovis, Puerto Rico.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Morovis is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located near the center of the municipality, in a small barrio referred to as "el pueblo".
Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions) 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 Morovis: Barrio Vaga, Santo Domingo-Pellejas, Ensanche, Parcelas Cuchillas, Comunidad José Otero Claverol, Parcelas San Lorenzo, Parcelas Torrecillas, Patrón, Sector Invasiones de Torrecillas, Sector Jobos, Sector Riachuelo, Sector Rosado, Barrio Unibón, Sector Vietnam, and Villa Roca.
An Energy Consortium was signed in late February, 2019 by the mayors of Villalba, Orocovis, Morovis, Ciales and Barranquitas municipalities. The consortium is the first of its kind for the island. It is intended to have those municipalities work together to safeguard and create resilient, and efficient energy networks, with backups for their communities. This is part of the hurricane preparedness plan of these municipalities, which were hit particularly hard by Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017.
Morovis National (Veterans) Cemetery
A new Puerto Rico National Cemetery for veterans is being built in Morovis within a 247.5-acre parcel of land that can be accessed from Highway 137 at Km. 11.2. It is being built to replace the existing Puerto Rico National Cemetery located in Bayamón. Construction was underway in 2019.
- Coffee and cattle
- Hydroponics "Cilantro"
- Light industry
Landmarks and places of interest
A well-known landmark in Morovis is "The Red Bridge" (Puente Colorao). It's an iron bridge which was built in 1912 and is located on PR-155 in barrio Morovis Norte. Cuevas Las Cabachuelas (Cabachuelas Caves) is a cave system in Puerto Rico which opened for tourism in 2019. It is located between the municipalities of Morovis and Ciales, Puerto Rico in the Cabachuelas Natural Reserve, established in 2012 and is of natural, cultural, archaeological, hydrological and geomorphological importance to Puerto Rico. Guided tours are offered by the Diógenes Colón Gómez Cultural Center in Morovis by reservation.
La Patria Bakery, home of the Pan de La Patita Echa', which translates to the "bread with its little crossed leg", is a 150-year old bakery that uses a brick oven for making bread. The bread has a curious name and look, resembling crossed legs.
The Julia M. Cheverez Electronic Library is located in the recreational square in Pueblo.
Each barrio has had a mural painted by a group of artists and ValorArte and the mural images are representative of values and ideas such as honor, peace, responsibility, leadership and culture.
Festivals and events
Morovis celebrates its patron saint festival in July. The Fiestas Patronales de Nuestra Sra. del Carmen in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Other festivals and events include:
- Tribute to Don Felo - May
- Marathon of the peasant (in Spanish: Maratón del Jíbaro) - June
- Matron Celebrations - July
- Cuatro Festival - July
- The Island Except Morovis - December
- Innocents' Day - December
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
|Race - Morovis, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census|
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||61||0.2%|
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||0||0%|
|Some other race||643||2.1%|
|Two or more races||422||1.4%|
Carmen Maldonado, the mayor of Morovis in 2017 managed the devastation in Morovis caused by Hurricane Maria, by galvanizing the people to action and working with the central government of Puerto Rico to bring aid to the citizens of Morovis. At the time, the bridge collapse in Morovis' San Lorenzo barrio was often featured on national news.
There are 15 bridges in Morovis. Major routes that go through Morovis include PR-137, PR-145, PR-155, PR-159, and PR-160.
The flag of Morovis is divided vertically in two equal parts. The immediate one to the mast is yellow and has the eagle of the coat of arms, in this case with the head facing right toward the pole. The other half is divided in seven vertical stripes of equal width, four red ones alternated with three yellow ones.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of the Municipality of Morovis is formed by an eagle in the left partition, which symbolizes San Juan Evangelista and sings in honor of the founder of the town, Don Juan Evangelista Rivera. The five "cuatros" (Puerto Rican instruments) observable in the right partition symbolize the fact that the town of Morovis is the main center of production of such typical Puerto Rican instruments. The shield in the center represents the Order of the Carmelite Nuns, and symbolizes as well the Virgen Carmen, matron of the town. The left half is a field of yellow color (yellow for gold) in which resides a saber (black) eagle, beak and claws in red, its head enclosed with a halo.
- Wesley Correa, basketball player, played for the local team 16 years
- Iluminado Davila Medina, cuatro musician
- Julio Negrón Rivera, master craftsman who makes the Puerto Rican cuatro, a musical instrument of Puerto Rico
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