Quebradillas, Puerto Rico

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Municipio de Quebradillas
City and Municipality
View of the Guajataca Tunnel and coast line of Guajataca Beach
View of the Guajataca Tunnel and coast line of Guajataca Beach
Flag of Quebradillas
"La Guarida del Pirata", "La Ciudad del Cooperativismo"
Anthem: "De lejos canto, porque anhela el corazón"
Location of Quebradillas in Puerto Rico
Location of Quebradillas in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°28′26″N 66°56′19″W / 18.47389°N 66.93861°W / 18.47389; -66.93861Coordinates: 18°28′26″N 66°56′19″W / 18.47389°N 66.93861°W / 18.47389; -66.93861
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
FoundedJune 7, 1823
 • MayorHeriberto Velez Velez (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.15
 • Total27.7 sq mi (71.66 km2)
 • Land23.2 sq mi (60 km2)
 • Water4.5 sq mi (11.66 km2)
 • Total25,919
 • Density940/sq mi (360/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major routesPR primary 2.svg PR secondary 119.svg Ellipse sign 113.svg

Quebradillas (Spanish pronunciation: [keβɾaˈðiʎas]) is a municipality of the island of Puerto Rico located in the north-western shore bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of San Sebastián; east of Isabela; and west of Camuy. Quebradillas is spread over seven wards and Quebradillas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Quebradillas is called "La Guarida del Pirata" (The Pirate's Hideout). A well known beach in the area, Puerto Hermina, is home to an old structure known to have been a hiding place for pirates and their contraband.


The town was founded in 1823 by Felipe Ruiz. This town derives its name from the large amount of streams flowing through it. The name literally means "small streams".


Quebradillas[1] is home to one of the 20 designated forest preserves in Puerto Rico, the Guajataca Forest. The forest serves as a great example of an unusual topography known as karst country. Karst is characterized by dissolved limestone formations such as sinkholes and haystack-shaped hills known as "mogotes". It is also home to the beautiful man-made reservoir, Guajataca Lake (2.5 mi or 4.0 km long), where you can fish for largemouth bass, peacock bass, tilapia and bluegill (in Spanish known as "chopa"). You can also go hiking or camping. The Puerto Rico Council of the Boy Scouts of America maintains a campground on the lake known as Camp Guajataka. The name Guajataca comes from the name of a Taíno Indian chief who lived in this area. This Indian chief also gives his name to Guajataca Beach to the north where Río Guajataca flowing from Guajataca Lake meets the Atlantic Ocean. Guajataca Beach is popular with surfers and is known for its white sands and wild waters. This beach is ideal for sunning and collecting seashells.


Subdivisions of Quebradillas.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Quebradillas is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[2][3][4]

  1. Cacao
  2. Charcas
  3. Cocos
  4. Guajataca
  5. Quebradillas barrio-pueblo[5]
  6. San Antonio
  7. San José
  8. Terranova


The general climate of the town is subtropical.

Climate data for Quebradillas, Puerto Rico
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 82.5
Average low °F (°C) 66.3
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.2
Source: Weatherbase [6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1899 (shown as 1900)[8] 1910-1930[9]
1930-1950[10] 1960-2000[11] 2010[3]


Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

  • El Merendero (Scenic Park and Ocean Look-Out)
  • Guajataca Lake Reservoir (Inland)
  • La Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head at Puerto Hermina Beach)
  • The Old Liberty Theater (Downtown)
  • El Museo de Muñecas (Doll Museum)[houses over 1,000 Barbie dolls] - in Barrios Cocos
  • Guajataka Scout Reservation
  • Puerto Hermina Beach Pirate Ruins[12]
  • El Puente Blanco (Old White Train Bridge)
  • Casa Rafols-Iribas, site of Casa de la Cultura Cacique Mabodamaca (non-profit organization dedicated to preserve the culture, the arts and the historical sites of the town of Quebradillas)
  • Los Chorritos Pirata (aquatic park)
  • Mini golf course
  • Mosaic of nature
  • Miradero Guajataca
  • Race kart course (proposed)



A small shopping center called Quebradillas Plaza is located in this municipality along with some manufacturing industries.

An event which negatively affected the region in the decade of the 1990s was the disappearance of tax exemptions to the private corporations [section 936 of the code of the US Internal Revenue Service ], which at the time was the ideal excuse for the closing of one of the greater manufacturers of textiles in the northwest area of the island. This decline of the industry of the needle occurred similarly in the bordering cities like Isabela and Camuy, generating a regional economic decline as the locals greatly depended on these jobs. In nearby towns like Hatillo, Mayagüez and Aguadilla, the arrival of mega stores and new shopping centers attracted the jobs that used to be in Quebradillas, helping to create the general vision of the town as "ghostly" because there is little movement in the city.

At the same time, since the Island lacks mass public transportation, people must resort to private cars (known as carro publico,public car in English) used as a bus as a mode of transportation. This, coupled with the fact that the only road to access the important cities, the Puerto Rico Highway 2, is congested most of the day, makes it difficult for people in the area to find work and thus contributes to the general economic decline.

Ironically, the town possesses one tunnel that at the beginning of the 20th century was utilized by steam driven trains that traveled throughout the Island. The disappearance of the same is considered as one of the most ironic facts of the modern history of Puerto Rico, since these railways were very extensive, built through earthly bluffs and were of great utility. Today, their absence only aggravates the problem of mass transit and the dependence on privately owned vehicles as the only method of transportation.[13]

The economy, entering into the 21st century, is based on retail sales. Many small businesses are located along the two main thoroughfares that cross Quebradillas. These consist mainly of light hardware, bakeries, pharmacies, seafood restaurants, American fast food chains and automobile car repair shops.

The town has bank branches for Banco Popular and local savings and credit Unions. These credit unions are most noted for their involvement in common and cultural activities, sponsoring and participating in festivals of typical music [Festival of the Gourd in December], sports and educational activities.

Special communities[edit]

Since 2001 when law 1-2001 was passed,[14] measures have been taken to identify and address the high levels of poverty and the lack of resources and opportunities affecting specific communities in Puerto Rico. Initially there were 686 places that made the list.[15] By 2008, there were 742 places on the list of Comunidades especiales de Puerto Rico. The places on the list are barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods and in 2004 included the following areas in Quebradillas:[15][16]

  1. Guajataca
  2. Montadero
  3. Parcelas Italas, Terranova
  4. San Antonio
  5. Sector Las Piedras Barrio Cocos

In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to aid the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program and Jesús Vélez Vargas, its director stated that the program was evolving with more streamlined ways to help the residents of these marginalized communities.[17][18]


Festivals and Events[edit]

  • Three Kings Wake - January
  • Guajataka Downhill Races & Music Fest - January
  • Kite Festival - February
  • Guajataca Carnival - February
  • Patron Celebrations - October
  • Competition and Festival of the Güiro "Goyo el de Bironcho" - December


The town's official basketball team is Los Piratas'[19] who have won a dramatic number of tournaments in the past. Presently the team has made a "comeback" and has won the championship of the island (2013).

  • Basketball teams
  • Surfing - Guajataca Beach and Puerto Hermina (Pirates Cove)
  • Skateboarding - San Jose Skatepark
  • Baseball - Los Cocos Park
  • Longboarding


The town's government is a small unit with few powers it can execute. Small elections are hosted in specific schools every four years to choose a town mayor.


There are 4 bridges in Quebradillas.[20]



It has two red quarters. The red stands for struggle, effort and sacrifice. The other two quarters have each five green and white stripes, similar to those that appear in the shield.

Coat of arms[edit]

The three waved stripes represent the quebradillas, over the green background of the vegetation. The fish and the walking stick (distinctive of the traveler), are insignias of San Rafael Arcángel, by allusion from the episodes narrated in the book of Tobías in the Old Testament.


The town features many public and private schools. There is also a public electronic library near Los Chorritos Pirata water park.

New schools have been created thanks to a government initiative to have "21st century" schools.

Public Schools[edit]

  • Manuel Ramos Hernandez
  • Juan Alejo de Arizmendi
  • Eugenio Maria De Hostos
  • Luis Muñoz Rivera
  • Honorio Hernandez
  • Pedro Albizu Campos
  • Ramon E. Betancez
  • Ramon Avila Molinari
  • Ramon Saavedra
  • Jose De Diego

Private Schools[edit]

  • Colegio San Rafael
  • Soles del Jardín
  • Pequeños Aprendiendo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Quebradillas Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Map of Quebradillas" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  5. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". factfinder.com. US Census. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Quebradillas, Puerto Rico". Weatherbase. 2011. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-11-25. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Puerto Hermina Ruins". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  13. ^ Oliver, Lance (April 16, 2000). "The Prettiest Face Of Puerto Rico". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  16. ^ 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. 277, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  17. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  18. ^ ElVocero.com, Por. "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  19. ^ Look for quebradillas "The pirates" for the main page.
  20. ^ "Quebradillas Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]