Orocovis, Puerto Rico
Municipio de Orocovis
Town and Municipality
Salto de Doña Juana waterfall in Orocovis
"Corazón de Puerto Rico", "El Centro Geográfico de Puerto Rico"
|Anthem: "Mi patria es una bella isla"|
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Orocovis Municipality
|Founded||November 10, 1825|
|• Mayor||Jesús E. Colón Berlingeri (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||5 - Ponce|
|• Representative dist.||26|
|• Total||71.1 sq mi (184.17 km2)|
|• Land||71.0 sq mi (184 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.17 km2)|
|• Density||330/sq mi (130/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
Orocovis (from Taino language, Orocobix meaning remembrance of the first mountain) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the Central Mountain Range, north of Villalba and Coamo; south of Morovis and Corozal; southeast of Ciales; east of Jayuya; and west of Barranquitas. Orocovis is spread over 17 barrios and Orocovis Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Since before the Spanish colonization in the 16th century, Taíno Indians were already established in the Orocovis region. They were led by the cacique Orocobix and his group of Taino was known as the Jatibonicu. After Spaniards settled in the island, the region was called Barros and designated as a barrio of Barranquitas.
On May 25, 1825, the neighbors of the region granted Don Juan de Rivera Santiago the powers to request the Governor authorization to found a municipality in Barros, where they had bought almost 14 acres of land from Doña Eulalia de Rivera, who donated an additional acre to establish several municipal works. However, due to the distance from bodies of water, the settlement was moved to another place. On November 10, 1825, Governor Miguel de la Torre granted permission to found the new municipality of Barros.
In 1838, the parish of San Juan Bautista de Barros was created and was blessed and inaugurated on October 29 of the same year. However, on 1875, a fire destroyed the church, the King's House, the priest's house and several homes.
In 1928, the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico approved a resolution to change the name of Barros to Orocovis, to honor the Taíno cacique of the same name, who lived in that region.
Carmen Maldonado, the mayor of Morovis, a bordering municipality, 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 mid-June, 2019 the group of H.e.a.r.t. 9/11 volunteers, along with volunteers in Puerto Rico continued their work, including building the roofs of many homes in Orocovis.
Flag of Orocovis
The Flag of Orocovis is formed by five vertical stripes: Two green stripes at the ends, representing the territories of Aibonito and Barranquitas; and a blue one in the center representing the regional domain of the cacique Orocobix prior to the Spanish colonization. These stripes are divided by two narrower white stripes, representing the territories granted by Barranquitas and Morovis to form the municipality in 1825.
Over the blue portion there's an oval with a sun. The sun has seventeen rays that represent the different regions of the town. The sun, being the center of our solar system, represents Orocovis as the center of the island of Puerto Rico.
Coat of arms
The oval is symbol of the letter "O", initial of the name of the town. In each quadrant appear representative elements of the town. In the left superior quadrant a Taíno Indian bust, symbol of the great "Chief Orocobix" and the Indian heritage of the town, silhouetted in gold on a silver-plated background. The Indian bust faces tobarrios the star or sun that appears in the superior right quadrant, which is in gold on a blue background and represents the territorial municipality with its seventeen rays or demarcations. In the inferior right quadrant, a plantain plant is observed representing the agriculture, silhouetted in gold on a silver-plated background. A bridge also silhouetted in gold on a blue background, above the river appears in the left inferior quadrant.
Most of Orocovis nicknames stem from its location in the center of the island. Some of them are: "Corazón de Puerto Rico" (Heart of Puerto Rico) and "Centro Geográfico de Puerto Rico" (Geographical Center of Puerto Rico). The center of the island of Puerto Rico is in a ward called "Pellejas", on Road 566, Km 5.7. Former sayings about the center of the Island being in front of the Catholic church was determined to be false by engineers from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.
Orocovis is mountainous with many valleys. Most of the Orocovis terrain runs through the Cordillera Central of the island. Most of the high peaks are in the southern region of the town within the limits of the municipality with Villalba and Coamo. The highest peak of the town is Cerro Mogote.
The rivers Toro Negro, Sana Muertos, Orocovis, Matrullas, and Bauta, and the creeks Doña Juana, Palmar and Cacaos are among the water bodies in the town. There are two lakes: El Guineo, formed within de Toro Negro River, and the Matrullas Lake formed by the Bauta River. El Guineo is Puerto Rico's highest lake.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Orocovis is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located 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 Orocovis: Ala de la Piedra, Alturas de Orocovis, Cacao, Sector Parcelas in Botijas 1, Botijas II, Comunidad Miraflores and La Pica (Luis M. Alfaro).
An Energy Consortium was signed in late February, 2019 by Villalba, Orocovis, Morovis, Ciales and Barranquitas municipalities. The consortium is the first of its kind for the island. It is intended to have municipalities work together to safeguard and create resilient, and efficient energy networks, with backups for their communities.
"The Musical Capital of Puerto Rico"
Orocovis is sometimes called "The Musical Capital of Puerto Rico" because many major Puerto Rican performers were either born or raised in the town, particularly bandleader Bobby Valentín, folk singer Andrés Jiménez, merengue singer Manny Manuel, salsa legend William "H. Christ" Corchado, and the Colón-Zayas family of musicians, which includes Emma (singer, multi-instrumentalist) and Edwin (a cuatro player).
- Bosque Estatal de Toro Negro
- Las Piscinas del Area Recreativa "Jesús M. (Tito) Colón Collazo" (Tito Colón Pool, Spring Water and Recreative Park)
- Las Cabañas (The Ribs, Restaurant)
- Área Recreativa de Damián (Recreative park of Damian)
- Ríos (rivers)
- Vistas Panorámicas (Panoramic View)
- Lugares Recreativos (Passive Parks)
- Toro Verde (Ecological adventure park)
Landmarks and places of interest
- Indian Cave
- Matrullas Lake
- El Guineo Lake
- Orocovis Museum
- Taíno Refuge
- Mirador Villalba - Orocovis
- Bosque Toro Negro (Toro Negro Rain Forest)
- Área Recreativa Cerro La Guaira (Recreative Park)
- Salto Doña Juana (Doña Juana Water Fall)
- Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park
Festivals and events
Orocovis celebrates its patron saint festival in June. The Fiestas Patronales de San Juan Bautista 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 Orocovis include:
- Children's Theater Festival – April
- Shrimp Festival – July
- Artisan Fair – September
- Youth Festival – October
- Puerto Rican National Meat Pie Festival – November
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2012)
Cattle, coffee, fruits, tobacco, and wheat. A young business growing hydroponics lettuce was in negotiations to be a supplier for Walmart in 2019.
Several small nutritional product industries
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
According to the 2000 census, Orocovis has a population of 23,844 with a population density is 378.4 people per square mile (145.5/km2). Although there was a decline in the population during the 1980s, it has steadily increased during the last decades.
|Race - Orocovis, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census|
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||87||0.4%|
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||5||0.0%|
|Some other race||2,618||11.0%|
|Two or more races||743||3.1%|
Orocovis has several public and private schools and public education is administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
There is no direct highway connection to Orocovis. Roads #137 and #155 lead from the north, while Roads #138 and 155 lead from the south. Orocovis lies at about an hour and a half from San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.
There are 17 bridges in Orocovis.
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