Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico

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Santa Isabel
Municipio Autónomo de Santa Isabel
Town and Municipality
Skyline of Jauca 2 barrio in Santa Isabel
Skyline of Jauca 2 barrio in Santa Isabel
Flag of Santa Isabel
Coat of arms of Santa Isabel
Tierra de Campeones,
La Ciudad de los Potros
Anthem: "En un pedazo del sur estás presente"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Santa Isabel Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Santa Isabel Municipality
Coordinates: 17°57′58″N 66°24′18″W / 17.96611°N 66.40500°W / 17.96611; -66.40500Coordinates: 17°57′58″N 66°24′18″W / 17.96611°N 66.40500°W / 17.96611; -66.40500
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
FoundedOctober 5, 1842
 • MayorBilly Burgos Santiago (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.6 - Guayama
 • Representative dist.27 
 • Total20,281
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR secondary 1.svg PR secondary 153.svg PR secondary 161.svg Ellipse sign 154.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 52.svg

Santa Isabel (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsanta isaˈβel]) is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the southern coast of the island, south of Coamo; east of Juana Díaz; and west of Salinas. Santa Isabel is spread over 7 barrios and Santa Isabel Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center). It is the principal city of the Santa Isabel Micropolitan Statistical Area and is part of the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.

Santa Isabel is known as La Ciudad de los Potros ("City of Colts") due to the number of potreros (or racehorse stud farms) in the area.


Before being founded, the area where Santa Isabel is located today was part of the boundary between the cacicazgos (or Taíno regions) of Guaynia and Guayama. During the Spanish conquest and settlement of Borinquen, the area became key to the settlement and agriculture of Coamo which at the time was the second town to be founded in the southern part of the island.[2] Numerous estancias were established in the region during the time to cultivate "frutos menores" or small crops for local use such as rice, corn, beans and root vegetables. The area where Central Cortada is located was originally called Estancia Descalabrado, and was owned by Catalan settler Juan de Quintana from 1737.[3] The municipality of Santa Isabel was officially founded on October 5, 1842 by Antonio Vélez. Vélez led a group of residents to obtain independence from the municipality of Coamo, which Santa Isabel was originally a part of.[4]

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 Santa Isabel was 4,858.


Santa Isabel is on the southern coast.[5]


Subdivisions of Santa Isabel.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Santa Isabel is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[6][7][8][9]


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[10] and subbarrios,[11] 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.[12][13][14]

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 Santa Isabel: Playita Cortada, Sector Islote,[15] Sector Canta Sapo, Sector Descalabrado, Sector El Río, Sector Florida, Sector la Pica, Sector Villa Pote, and Sector Villa Pulga (Villa del Mar).[16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[17]
1899 (shown as 1900)[18] 1910-1930[19]
1930-1950[20] 1960-2000[21] 2010[8] 2020[22]


Relic of the old sugar processing plant, Central Cortada, in Santa Isabel

Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

There are 29 beaches in Santa Isabel.[23] Some of the main attractions of Santa Isabel are:

  • El Malecón (boardwalk)
  • Indian Museum
  • Jauca Beach
  • Hacienda Alomar Ruins
  • Central Cortada (Cortada Sugarcane Refinery)



The surrounding areas produces fruits and vegetables. Campo Fresco, a Puerto Rican company, owns a plant in Santa Isabel, from where they produce Jugos Lotus juice and other drink brands.[24]


Aerospace, electrical and electronic, metal products and nutritional products.


Festivals and Events[edit]

Santa Isabel celebrates its patron saint festival in July. The Fiestas Patronales de Santiago Apostol is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[5]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Santa Isabel include:

  • Agroferia Santa Isabel - April
  • Carnaval de Baloncesto Barrio Ollas - July
  • City Foundation Anniversary - October
  • Encendido Navideño Barriada Felicia, Calle Elifaz Ostolaza - November



  • Escuela Martín G. Brumbaugh
  • Escuela John F. Kennedy
  • Escuela Esther Rivera
  • Escuela Ana L. Rosa Tricoche
  • Escuela Apolonia Valentín
  • Escuela Ana Valldejuly
  • Escuela Emilio Casas

Middle school[edit]

  • Escuela Manuel Martín Monserrate

High school[edit]

  • Escuela Elvira M. Colón

Second Units[edit]

  • Escuela S.U. Pedro Meléndez (Playita Cortada)

Private Education[edit]

  • Colegio Evangélico Fuente De Sabiduría (K-6)
  • Colegio LOGOS


Santa Isabel is known as Tierra de Campeones (Land of Champions) because of its rich sports tradition (especially in Baseball). The city is home to the Santa Isabel Potros baseball team. The Potros won the 1992 National Championship of the Federación de Béisbol Aficionado de Puerto Rico. The team plays its home games at Estadio Municipal Luis Guillermo Moreno.

  • Class A Baseball Teams (Wild Passages of Paso Seco, Marlins de Felicia and Jueueros de Jauca)
  • Double A Baseball Team (Ponies of Santa Isabel)
  • Basketball Carnival (Ollas neighborhood) - July
  • Interbarrio Children's Basketball League - August–November
  • Sporting Goods Store (BBB Sports)
  • Double A Youth Baseball Team (Potritos U19)
  • Soccer Teams (Santa Isabel Soccer Club)
  • Collegiate Volleyball (UAGM Santa Isabel)


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. Enrique "Quique" Questell (of the New Progressive Party) was elected at the 2004 general election and served from 2005. Questell lost to Rafael "Billy" Burgos Santiago in the November 2020 elections.[25]

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VI, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Miguel Pereira Castillo and Angel M. Rodríguez were elected as District Senators.[26]


There are 12 bridges in Santa Isabel.[27]


The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.[28]


The flag is divided horizontally into three stripes; white at the top, yellow in the center and red at the bottom, and may be decorated with sugarcane stems.[29]

Alternate flag of Santa Isabel with sugar cane stem ornamentation

Coat of arms[edit]

The crown stands for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (Isabel in Spanish). The shells are a symbol of St. James the patron saint of the town, as well as for the many shells found in the beaches near the town.[29]

Notable Santaisabelinos[edit]

  • Adolfo L. Monserrate Anselmi - former member Puerto Rico House of Representatives
  • Carmelo Colón Rivera - Educator, Spanish Language Doctor, Poet.
  • Hiram Vega Cruz - Educator and composer.
  • Denny Agosto Vega - Musician, drummer, band member (Polyesnso).
  • César Miranda Rodríguez
  • Benito Santiago - Baseball player; won unanimously the 1986 the National League Rookie of the Year Award with the San Diego Padres.
  • Elvira M. Colón - Teacher.
  • Carlos Muñoz - Student from Escuela Superior Elvira M. Colón, the first from Santa Isabel to win Premios El Nuevo Día Educador
  • Melwin Cedeño - Actor, comedian, Merengue musician, and singer.
  • Carlos Colón Sr. - professional wrestler known as El Acróbata de Puerto Rico. Owner of the World Wrestling Council (WWC). Former WWE wrestler. Inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2014.
  • Mario Ortiz - Accomplished trumpet player, arranger and band leader of the 60's.
  • Elvin F. Torres Serrant - Musical Director of Limi-T 21. Released their first album in 1990 breaking new grounds in the genre of Merengue.
  • Javier Bermúdez - Lead singer of Limi-T 21.
  • Luigi Texidor - Singer for La Sonora Ponceña, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican All-Stars and Fania All-Stars.
  • Pedro María Descartes - Legislator, mayor and leader of the Autonomist Movement during the 18th century.
  • Melvin Rivera Velázquez - Journalist, historian and head of Global Bible Publishing of the United Bible Societies. Editor of the Santa Isabel history blog
  • Carlos Correa - Baseball player; First Overall Pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, 2015 American League Rookie Of The Year, Shortstop for the Houston Astros.
  • José Guzmán - Former professional Baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers.
  • Carlos Irrizarry - Painteret the Certi Hi
  • Mariano Civico - Salsa Singer.
  • Roque Delpín Reyes - Former Mayor 1993–1997.
  • Dr. José D. Quiles Rosas - Current president of Federación de Béisbol Aficionado de Puerto Rico, former Santa Isabel Potros team owner.
  • George Nenadich on air personality on Sirius XM. The only Latino on air personality on 2 channels on Sirius XM. La Jungla de Rumbon ch767 Fri 7-10pm and on Caliente ch158 with Salsa Nation Sat 10-12pm. Born and raised in Paterson NJ from Puerto Rican parents. Mother from Santa Isabel, Playita Cortada sector PR and Father from Fajardo, PR.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  2. ^ "Santa Isabel PR ¡Historia viva!". Santa Isabel PR (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  3. ^ "Cortada". Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  4. ^ "Antonio Vélez: El joven fundador de Santa Isabel" [Antonio Vélez: The young founder of Santa Isabel]. Santa Isabel PR (in Spanish). 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  5. ^ a b "Santa Isabel Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  6. ^ 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 2019-01-01.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Map of Santa Isabel at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  10. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  11. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Santa Isabel 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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Dura realidad en Playita Cortada e Islote". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 2017-10-14. Archived from the original on 2020-08-22. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  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. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  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. ^ "La planta de jugos Campofresco en Santa Isabel". Santa Isabel PR. Archived from the original on 2017-08-28. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  25. ^ "Enrique Questell Alvarado reconoce la victoria de Rafael "Billy" Burgos en Santa Isabel". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 2020-11-04. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  26. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  27. ^ "Santa Isabel Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ a b "SANTA ISABEL". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.

External links[edit]