Peñuelas, Puerto Rico

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Municipio Autónomo de Peñuelas
Town and Municipality
Daniel Webster School in Peñuelas
Daniel Webster School in Peñuelas
Flag of Peñuelas
"La Capital del Güiro" ("The Güiro Capital"), "El Valle de los Flamboyanes" ("The Valley of the Poinciana Trees")
Anthem: "Así es mi pueblo"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Peñuelas Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Peñuelas Municipality
Coordinates: 18°3′34″N 66°43′21″W / 18.05944°N 66.72250°W / 18.05944; -66.72250Coordinates: 18°3′34″N 66°43′21″W / 18.05944°N 66.72250°W / 18.05944; -66.72250
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
 • MayorSr. Gregory Gonzalez Souchet (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.5 - Ponce
 • Total137.42 km2 (53.06 sq mi)
 • Land114 km2 (44 sq mi)
 • Water23.42 km2 (9.04 sq mi)
 • Total24,282
 • Density180/km2 (460/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groups
(2000 Census)[1]
83.3% European
4.5% African
0.3% Arawak
0.1% Asian
0.1% Native Hawaiian/PI
9.4% Some other ethnicity
2.4% Two or more ethnicities
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR primary 2.svg PR secondary 132.svg PR secondary 385.svg Ellipse sign 127.svg

Peñuelas (Spanish pronunciation: [peˈɲwelas]) is a municipality in Puerto Rico located in the southern coast of the island, south of Adjuntas, east of Guayanilla, west of Ponce and north of the Caribbean Sea. Peñuelas is spread over 12 barrios and Peñuelas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the Yauco Metropolitan Statistical Area. Peñuelas is known as "La Capital del Güiro" (The Güiro Capital) and "El Valle de los Flamboyanes" (The Valley of the Poinciana Trees). Penuelas has about 20,000 inhabitants.


In 1754, a group of workers had settled over the bay of Tallaboa. Later gradually retreated deeper into the valley, heading tobarrios the most fertile land which would then be part of the town of Peñuelas. For the year 1788, approximately 80 families inhabiting the valley, which focused mainly on agriculture and livestock. Peñuelas Township was founded August 25, 1793 by Diego de Alvarado.[2]

In 1874, the town had been developed and had a population of 9206, according to a census of that year. The town had four main roads, some streets, a brick church and the town hall, which also served as a prison, barracks and even cemetery.

On March 1, 1902 the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico approved a law to consolidate certain municipal districts, so Peñuelas neighborhoods were attached to the town of Ponce. In 1905, the same Assembly repealed the law and it became again the municipality.

The first incident of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts of the 1950s occurred during the early hours of October 29, 1950, in Peñuelas, when the insular police of that town surrounded the house of the mother of Melitón Muñiz Santos, the president of the Peñuelas Nationalist Party in the bario Macaná, under the pretext that he was storing weapons for the Nationalist Revolt. Without warning, the police fired upon the Nationalists in the house and a firefight between both factions ensued, which resulted on the death of two Nationalists and the wounding of six police officers.[3] Nationalists Meliton Muñoz Santos, Roberto Jaume Rodriguez, Estanislao Lugo Santiago, Marcelino Turell, William Gutirrez and Marcelino Berrios were arrested and accused of participating in an ambush against the local insular police.[4]


Peñuelas is located on the southern coast, slightly west of the center.[5]

Rivers near Peñuelas include:

Peñuelas Roman Catholic Church

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in northern side of Peñuelas with the significant amount of rainfall.[6][7]


Subdivisions of Peñuelas.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Peñuelas is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[8][9][10][11]

Within barrios are communities: Santo Domingo community in Santo Domingo barrio and Tallaboa community in the barrio of Encarnación.


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[12] and subbarrios,[13] 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.[14][15][16]

Special Communities[edit]

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 Peñuelas: Maldonado neighborhood (Los Chinos), Santo Domingo barrio, Comunidad Caracoles, and Comunidad La Moca in Tallaboa Alta.[17]


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 Peñuelas was 12,129.

Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
1899 (shown as 1900)[19] 1910-1930[20]
1930-1950[21] 1960-2000[22] 2010[10]


Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

There are 15 beaches in Peñuelas.[23] The main attractions in Peñuelas are:

  • Charco La Soplaera (natural water pool)
  • Convento Caverns
  • Don Angel Pacheco Monument
  • Guilarte Forest
  • Unknown Soldier Monument
  • Parque de Bombas
  • "La Negra Cocola" 0-4-2T Baldwin Steam Locomotive on static display in town plaza
  • Museum of Art and History
  • Cancha Carlos Rentas Gallardo (Quebrada Ceiba)





Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, Peñuelas is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Gregory Gonsález Souchet, from the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Gonsález was elected at a special election in 2018 after the incumbent Walter Torres Maldonado stepped down from the mayoral position.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district V, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Ramón Ruiz and Martín Vargas Morales, from the Popular Democratic Party, were elected as District Senators.[24]



It has a rectangular bottom in canary yellow and stands for the sun, symbol of the physical life. In the center it has a purple or violet cross: symbol of Christianity and its ecclesiastical order; it represents the spiritual life. The cross purple extends to all the points of the yellow rectangle.[25]

Coat of arms[edit]

The adornment above the shield, a stone wall, represents the perpetuity. The cross represents Santo Cristo de la Salud that stopped the sea that flooded Peñuelas. The purple arm represents the priesthood and the town of Peñuelas. The canary yellow represents the sun. The blue and white symbolize the choppy sea and the regal ensign represents the faith in Christianity, "In God We Trust".[25]



There are several poems that allude to the people of Peñuelas. Among them are the book, The Literature Peñuelas "Yagrumal" or "The Cultural History Peñolano Almanac, " which is classified into several volumes and contain poetry about the different neighborhoods and sections of the people of Peñuelas. Some of the poets who took the time to create works in relation to this southern town are E. Myriam Rodríguez Hernández, Manuel Díaz Rodríguez, Karina Arroyo, Carlos J. Velazquez Cruz (creator and editor of the journal Yagrumal), Elan Rafael Novoa, Miguel Feliciano Román, Silvio Echevarría Rodríguez, Rigoberto Ramirez Cruz, Marcos Ortiz Gelpi, Peter J. Ramos, Ramon Rivera (Bonye), among others.

Festivals and events[edit]

Peñuelas celebrates its patron saint festival in late October / early November. The Fiestas Patronales de San Jose is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[26]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Peñuelas include:[5]

  • Endless Fun Festival – April
  • Festival of the Cross – May
  • National Güiro Festival – May
  • Festival of the Flamboyan Tree – Summer
  • Children's Festival – August
  • Folk Festival – October
  • The Cantatas – December


Peñuelas AA Amateur Baseball team is called Los Petroleros de Peñuelas (The Peñuelas' Oilers.) The origin of this name dates back to the days when Peñuelas was home to a major petro-chemical complex known as CORCO. Although CORCO closed operations in 1980, the name stuck throughout the years.

Also known as Luis "Tite" Arroyo's hometown, a baseball hero. Another hometown hero is Ivelisse Echevarria, who was inducted into the International Federation Softball Hall of Fame in 2003 and is considered by many to be the greatest softball pitcher born in Puerto Rico. Myrian "Betty" Segarra, who was inducted into the International Federation Softball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the best first base in the woman softball in Puerto Rico.


Public bus service which connects you to Ponce city (east) and Guayanilla (west). There are 24 bridges in Peñuelas.[27]


6 Elementary schools, 4 Intermediate Schools, 1 High School

Prominent "Peñolanos"[edit]

  • Erasmo Quiñones Rosado - (1948-2009) Puerto Rico Police Department Lieutenant Colonel
  • Alfonso Santiago - Head of History at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
  • Lorenzo A. Balazquide - writer.
  • Francisco Martinez - distinguished leader of the Popular Democratic Party in Peñuelas.
  • Silvio Echevarría Rodríguez - writer, journalist, and labor leader.
  • Manuel Diaz Rodriguez - educator, writer and independence activist
  • Raquel Chalice - Amada Elementary School teacher Tallaboa.
  • Germain Martinez-Ortiz - Chemical's petrochemical CORCO in 1970.
  • Francisco A. Rodriguez Gonzalez- Distinguished International Professional Engineer-U.S. DOD, Research & Development, Merck Global Information Technology Research and Manufacturing Leader
  • Candelario Miguel Angel Arce - House Representative (1949–1956), delegate to the Constituent Assembly (1948–1952), Mayor (1957–1968).
  • González Gelcia Bigas - Distinguished educator and independence activist peñolana
  • Luis E. Díaz Hernández - Former director of Puerto Rican Culture Institute and Director of the Department of History at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
  • Waldemar Purcell Gatell - Author of "Anthology of Storytellers Peñolanos
  • Jose A. (Tony) Santos - Musician and writer. Creator of the Peñuelas anthem "That's my town. "
  • Jorge M. Estrada Cruz - Pastor and writer. Author of Donde Esta El Dios De Elias? "Where is the God of Elijah?
  • Glorizel Pacheco Diaz - Taekwondo Nivel 3-DAN Black Belt

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Demographics/Ethnic U.S 2000 census" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  2. ^ "La Historia de Puerto Rico a través de sus Barrios: Barrio Tallaboa de Peñuelas [The History of Puerto Rico through its Barrios: Tallaboa Barrio of Peñuelas]" (video). (in Spanish). Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  3. ^ El ataque Nacionalista s La Fortaleza. by Pedro Aponte Vázquez. Page 7. Publicaciones RENÉ. ISBN 978-1-931702-01-0
  4. ^ Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico-FBI files
  5. ^ a b "Peñuelas Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-08-28. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  6. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  7. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  8. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969. Archived from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  11. ^ "Map of Peñuelas at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  12. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  13. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Peñuelas Municipio, PR" (PDF). U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Agencia: Oficina del Coordinador General para el Financiamiento Socioeconómico y la Autogestión (Proposed 2016 Budget)". Puerto Rico Budgets (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  15. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza: Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (first ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  16. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ 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. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  21. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  22. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  23. ^ "Las 1,200 playas de Puerto Rico [The 1200 beaches of Puerto Rico]". Primera Hora (in Spanish). April 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  24. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  25. ^ a b "PENUELAS". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  26. ^ Torres Guzmán, Sandra (2014-10-29). "Peñuelas: Regresan las fiestas patronales". La Perla del Sur (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  27. ^ "Peñuelas Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External links[edit]