San Germán, Puerto Rico

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San Germán, Puerto Rico
Municipio Antónomo de San Germán
City and Municipality
Porta Coeli Church is the most recognized landmark of San Germán.
Porta Coeli Church is the most recognized landmark of San Germán.
Flag of San Germán, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms of San Germán, Puerto Rico
Nicknames: 
"La Ciudad de las Lomas", "Ciudad de las Golondrinas", "Ciudad Fundadora de Pueblos", "Ciudad Cuna del Baloncesto Puertorriqueño", "Ciudad Peregrina"
Anthem: "San Germán es mi pueblo querido"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting San Germán Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting San Germán Municipality
Coordinates: 18°N 67°W / 18°N 67°W / 18; -67Coordinates: 18°N 67°W / 18°N 67°W / 18; -67
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Founded1511
1512 (on 2nd site)
Barrios
Government
 • MayorVirgilio Olivera Olivera (NPP)
 • Senatorial dist.Mayagüez
 • Representative dist.20
Area
 • City and Municipality54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)
 • Land54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation
528 ft (161 m)
Population
 (2020[1])
 • City and Municipality31,879
 • Density580/sq mi (230/km2)
 • Metro
136,212
 • CSA
251,260
Demonym(s)Sangermeños
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00683, 00636
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR primary 2.svg PR secondary 101.svg PR secondary 102.svg PR secondary 114.svg PR secondary 120.svg PR secondary 122.svg PR secondary 166.svg Ellipse sign 118.svg Ellipse sign 119.svg

San Germán (Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ xeɾˈman]) is a historic town and municipality located in the Sabana Grande valley of southwestern region of Puerto Rico, south of Mayagüez and Maricao, north of Lajas, east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo, and west of Sabana Grande. San Germán is spread over eighteen barrios plus San Germán Pueblo (the historic downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is both a principal city of the San Germán–Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area. San Germán is the second oldest city of Puerto Rico, after San Juan.[2] The island of Puerto Rico was once split between the San Juan and the San Germán municipalities. The latter covered the western half of Puerto Rico, and extended from the western shores of the island to Arecibo in the north and Ponce in the south.

History[edit]

Oldest church in Puerto Rico

The population of San Germán when Alonso Manso was named the first bishop of Puerto Rico in 1511 was "about 50 residents".[3] Outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico, San Germán was one of the largest settlements in the 16th century, as well as Coamo and Aguada.[4]

Spanish settlement in San Germán occurred early in the conquest and colonization of Puerto Rico. After the destruction of a small early settlement near modern-day Añasco during a Taíno uprising which started in February 1511, in 1512[5] the new settlement was built by Miguel Diaz at Guayanilla[6] and named after Germaine of Foix, the new queen of King Fernando.[7][8] This town was attacked by French corsairs in August 1528, May 1538 and 1554. The construction of a small fort began in 1540, but work stopped in 1546 when the population of the town began moving inland to the current modern location.[citation needed]

An early written reference to the new town occurs in 1573. A letter sent to Spain's king Philip II mentions a city with the names of Nueva Salamanca y San Germán. Spanish conquerors used the name Nueva Salamanca to honor the city of Salamanca in Spain.[citation needed]

On May 12, 1571, the Royal Audience (Real Audiencia) of Santo Domingo authorized that both the populations of San Germán and Santa María de Guadianilla be merged into a single city due to the constant French attacks.[9] The new city was built on the Hills of Santa Marta, next to the Guanajibo River in 1573. Its official name was Nueva Villa de Salamanca, named after the city of Salamanca in Spain. However, the population called the city San Germán el Nuevo (New San Germán) and, eventually, the Villa de San Germán (City of San Germán).

San Germán is also known as the "founder of towns", given the fact that in 1514 the Spanish Crown separated the island into two administrative territories (Partidos). The borders of the two partidos were established as the Camuy River to the north and the Jacagua River to the south. They were named the San Juan Partition and the San Germán Partition.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

San Germán is in the southwest region of the island. The town is located on the Sabana Grande valley which is bound by the Cordillera Central to the north and the Santa Marta Hills and the Lajas Valley to the south. Mountains in San Germán include Alto del Descanso (2,520 ft; 768 m) and Tetas de Cerro Gordo (2,897 ft; 883 m). San Germán has a number of rivers: Río Caín, Río Duey, Río Rosario, Río Guanajibo (Estero), Río Hoconuco, Guamá River and Rio El Brujo.[10]

Hurricane Maria[edit]

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in San Germán with the significant amount of rainfall.[11][12]

Barrios[edit]

Subdivisions of San Germán.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, San Germán is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[13][14]

Sectors[edit]

Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[15] and subbarrios,[16] 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.[17][18][19]

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 San Germán: Ancones, Comunidad El Retiro, Comunidad Las Quebradas, La Tea, Parcelas Las Carolinas, Parcelas Minillas en Barrio Minillas, Parcelas Sabana Eneas, and Rosario Peñón.[20]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for San Germán, Puerto Rico (1898-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91.0
(32.8)
91.9
(33.3)
95
(35)
95
(35)
95
(35)
99.0
(37.2)
99.0
(37.2)
97.0
(36.1)
98.1
(36.7)
97.0
(36.1)
98.1
(36.7)
98.1
(36.7)
99.0
(37.2)
Average high °F (°C) 87.1
(30.6)
87.1
(30.6)
88.0
(31.1)
89.1
(31.7)
90.0
(32.2)
91.0
(32.8)
91.9
(33.3)
91.9
(33.3)
91.0
(32.8)
90.0
(32.2)
89.1
(31.7)
88.0
(31.1)
89.5
(32.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 75.0
(23.9)
75.0
(23.9)
75.9
(24.4)
78.1
(25.6)
80.1
(26.7)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
80.1
(26.7)
78.1
(25.6)
75.9
(24.4)
78.5
(25.8)
Average low °F (°C) 62.1
(16.7)
62.1
(16.7)
64.0
(17.8)
66.0
(18.9)
69.1
(20.6)
71.1
(21.7)
70.0
(21.1)
70.0
(21.1)
70.0
(21.1)
69.1
(20.6)
66.9
(19.4)
63.0
(17.2)
67.0
(19.4)
Record low °F (°C) 44.1
(6.7)
51.1
(10.6)
50.0
(10.0)
50.0
(10.0)
55.9
(13.3)
57.9
(14.4)
53.1
(11.7)
57.9
(14.4)
60.1
(15.6)
55.9
(13.3)
53.1
(11.7)
48.9
(9.4)
44.1
(6.7)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.51
(63.8)
2.19
(55.6)
2.19
(55.6)
3.43
(87.1)
5.14
(130.6)
2.70
(68.6)
3.13
(79.5)
5.23
(132.8)
6.20
(157.5)
7.29
(185.2)
5.71
(145.0)
2.33
(59.2)
48.05
(1,220.5)
Source: The Weather Channel[21]

Tourism[edit]

San Germán's historic downtown is the site of the Porta Coeli church, one of the earliest Spanish churches built in the Americas. Porta Coeli is still a major historical attraction that attracts both domestic and international tourists every year.[citation needed]

Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

Plaza Santo Domingo, located in the San Germán Historic District
Plaza Francisco Mariano Quiñones and the Church San Germán de Auxerre

The urban center of San Germán is mainly composed of Spanish colonial houses. Many have been restored and conserve their Spanish look while other houses are somewhat abandoned and in poor condition. There are ongoing projects employing public and private funding to preserve and restore many houses and monuments and to maintain San Germán's colonial era look.[citation needed]

Culture[edit]

Festivals and events[edit]

Park in San Germán

San Germán celebrates its patron saint festival in late July / early August. The Fiestas Patronales de San German Euserre is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[22][10]

Other festivals and events celebrated in San Germán include:

  • Festival de la Pana - July
  • Anón Festival - September
  • Christmas Festival - December
  • Christmas Parade - Early December
  • Patron Celebrations (The Virgin of the Rosary)—Celebrated in San Germán's Rosario Poblado, which borders the municipality of Mayagüez.

Sports[edit]

San Germán is home to one of Puerto Rico's oldest basketball franchises, dating back to the 1930s, the San Germán Athletics (los Atléticos de San Germán), nicknamed "The Orange Monster". Many glories of Puerto Rican basketball have played in San Germán, a city that is also known as "The Crib of Puerto Rican Basketball". Some of those players are Arquelio Torres, José "Piculín" Ortiz, Eddie Casiano, Nelson Quiñones, Elías "Larry" Ayuso, Christian Dalmau, and so many others. Their home court is The Arquelio Torres Ramírez Court, which houses approximately 5,000 fans.

The Athletic's fan base is most commonly referred to as their sixth man, or "The Orange Monster". This is because for a visiting team it's extremely hard to win in San Germán due to how vigorous and "into" the game the fans are.

The Athletics have been to 26 National Superior Basketball (BSN) Finals, of which one was cancelled (1953) due to confiscation because of a fight between players from San Germán and the Ponce Lions, giving birth to Puerto Rican basketball's most intense rivalry.

Championships (14): 1932, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997 Sub-Championships (11): 1931, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1986

Economy[edit]

Agriculture[edit]

The area around San Germán grows fruits (banana, pineapple) and sugarcane on mid-scale. Dairy farms are also present in small scale. Some locals grow other produce on a small scale.

Business[edit]

Most businesses are located in or near the downtown area (San Germán Pueblo). Plaza del Oeste is the main shopping center.[citation needed]

Industry[edit]

Major employers of the city include Fresenius Kabi, CCL, Wallace International, Baxter Serum Mfg., Cordis, Insertco (print shop for medical instructions inserts), Wallace Silversmiths de Puerto Rico, General Electric (production of circuit breakers) and several other companies in the service industry.[citation needed]

Motion pictures filmed In San Germán[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
190020,246
191022,1439.4%
192023,8487.7%
193023,768−0.3%
194026,47311.4%
195029,55311.6%
196027,667−6.4%
197027,9901.2%
198032,92217.6%
199034,9626.2%
200037,1056.1%
201035,527−4.3%
202031,879−10.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
1899 (shown as 1900)[24] 1910-1930[25]
1930-1950[26] 1960-2000[27] 2010[14] 2020[28]
Racial distribution
Racial - (self-defined) San Germán, Puerto Rico
- 2010 Census[29]
Race Population % of Total
White 29,614 83.4%
Black/African American 1,989 5.6%
American Indian and
Alaska Native
129 0.4%
Asian 41 0.1%
Native Hawaiian
Pacific Islander
5 0.0%
Some other race 2,992 8.4%
Two or more races 727 2.1%

Government[edit]

The new City Hall on Luna Street was built in 1989.

Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, San Germán is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Virgilio Olivera Olivera from the New Progressive Party. Olivera was elected in the 2020 general election.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district IV, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, María Teresa González and Gilberto Rodríguez were elected as District Senators.[30]

Transportation[edit]

By the 16th century there was a rough road called Camino de Puerto Rico (Camino Real) connecting San Germán (which was located near the mouth of the Añasco River) to other areas of Puerto Rico, including San Sebastián, Arecibo, Toa Alta, and Caparra.[4]

In 2019, there were 44 bridges in San Germán.[31]

Symbols[edit]

The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.[32]

Flag[edit]

Green - The Episcopal dignity and also the color of the Shield of Christopher Columbus and his son, don Diego Colón, Viceroy of the Indies, who named the city in honor of Germane de Foix.[33]

White - The purity of the blood of the great families who colonized San Germán, according to a history book by Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra, a Spanish Benedictine monk.[33]

Purple - Color of the Shield of Juan Ponce de León, first governor of Puerto Rico.[33]

Coat of arms[edit]

First Quarter: The Mitre and the Staff in a green field represent St. Germain of Auxerre, the Patron Saint of the city.[33]

Second Quarter: The second quarter exhibits the arms of the Kingdoms of Aragón and Sicily, where don Fernando the Catholic reigned.[33]

Third Quarter: In this quarter the arms combine with the County of Foix and the Kingdom of France, which constitute the family shields of Germaine de Foix whose name is perpetuated as the name of the city of San Germán.[33]

Fourth Quarter: Is Ponce de León's shield.

The Crown: Is a civic or municipal standard and is used as a stamp for towns and cities; San Germán was assigned five towers to denote that this population formally obtained the title of city from the Spanish crown in the nineteenth century.[33]

Education[edit]

The following schools are in San Germán:[34]

  1. Bartolome de Las Casas: PK-6
  2. Georgina Alvarado: PK-5
  3. Henry W. Longfellow: PK-5
  4. Herminia C. Ramirez: PK-5
  5. Julio Victor Guzman: KG-8
  6. Laura Mercado: 6-12
  7. Lola Rodriguez de Tio: 9-10
  8. Mariano Abril: PK-6
  9. (Second Unit) Francisco Maria Quinones: KG-8

The main campus of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico is located adjacent to the downtown area of San Germán. It was founded in 1912 as the Polytechnical Institute of Puerto Rico, the first private university on the island. The Colegio San José, was a private school which was established in San Germán in 1930 and closed in 2017.

Notable Puerto Ricans from San Germán[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  2. ^ "Página Oficial de Municipio Autónomo de San Germán, Puerto Rico". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  3. ^ Historia general y natural de las Indias, islas y tierra-firme del mar oceano (in Spanish). 23 October 1851. p. 466. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b Luis F. Pumarada O'Neill (July 31, 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: Historic Bridges of Puerto Rico, c. 1840 - 1950" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-03-03. Retrieved 2020-05-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Fuson, Robert (2000). Juan Ponce De Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida. Blacksburg, Virginia: McDonald & Woodward. p. 79. ISBN 0-939923-82-3.
  7. ^ Thomas, Hugh (2003). Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 231. ISBN 0-297-64563-3.
  8. ^ Floyd, Troy (1973). The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492-1526. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 139.
  9. ^ "Revista/review Interamericana (San German, Puerto Rico)" (in Spanish). VII. Inter American University Press. 1 January 1957: 640. Archived from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ a b "San Germán Municipality". enciclopediapr.org. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". Fact Finder. US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  16. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): San Germán Municipio, PR" (PDF). www2.census.gov. 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.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ [1] Archived 2014-01-08 at the Wayback Machine, The Weather Channel accessed 8 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Puerto Rico Festivales, Eventos y Actividades en Puerto Rico". Puerto Rico Hoteles y Paradores (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-02-26. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  23. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  29. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Fact Finder. Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  30. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  31. ^ "San Germán Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Ley Núm. 70 de 2006 -Ley para disponer la oficialidad de la bandera y el escudo de los setenta y ocho (78) municipios". LexJuris de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g "SAN GERMAN". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 23 February 2007. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  34. ^ "Search For Schools and Colleges". National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  35. ^ "Log In ‹ Home of Heroes—WordPress". Home of Heroes. Archived from the original on 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2019-03-02.

External links[edit]