Loíza is located on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico and measures 50.3 square kilometers (19.4 square miles). It is known as the "The Capital of Tradition," "The santeros" and "The coconut producers." According to the 2000 census, there were 32,537 loiceños. The towntown, founding: A group of vecinos that wanted to found a town had to grant a power of attorney to one or more other vecinos to represent them before the governor and viceroy. This person could authorize the founding of the town and the establishment of a parish. The grantors of the power of attorney had to be a majority in the given territory and more than ten in number. Once the case had been made, the governor appointed a capitán poblador or settlement official to represent the vecinos and one or more delegates, who usually lived in nearby cabildos vecinos to receive the necessary documentation. Proof was required that the settlement was so far from a church that it was very difficult for the settlers to partake of sacraments and municipal services. In general, proof was provided of the absence or bad condition of roads and bridges. If the petition was approved, it was required that the vecinos mark off the new municipality and build public works such as a church, a parish house, a government house (Casa del Rey), a slaughterhouse, and a cemetery, and to set aside land for the town square or plaza and the commons (ejidos). The vecinos were expected to cover the cost of building these works by levying special assessments. Usually one of the land owners donated some land for the founding. Once the requirements had been met, the governor authorized the founding of the town and the parish, and he appointed a Lieutenant at War who usually was the same capitán poblador. includes the wards of Canóvanas, Loíza Aldeaaldea: a village or group of houses that did not constitute a municipality and is attached to a larger town. In essence, it is a sparsely settled place lacking its own jurisdiction., Medianía Alta, Medianía Baja, Torrecilla Alta, and Torrecilla Baja. The patron saint is Saint Patrick, but the festivities in honor of the patron saint are dedicated to Saint James the Apostle. The festival is one of its principal attractions, especially because of the colorfully dressed vejigantes. Loíza is one of the few places in Puerto Rico where our African heritage is vividly represented. In Loíza the heritage of music and dance is kept alive in the bomba and plena, notably by the Hermanos Ayala and the Mayombe Group.
The town of Loíza has many points of interest along its coast, including La Torrecilla and Piñones lagoons. The Piñones State Forest, a unique ecosystem whose rich variety of fauna and flora live on more than 3,500 cuerdas of mangroves, is located in Loiza. There are many bird species, 46 of which are endangered species.
The principal sources of income are fishing and tourism, although employment is concentrated in manufacturing, retail sales, and the hotel industry. The municipality has had paper, electronics, and leather factories. Agriculture is based on truck farming and coconuts. In 2002, revenues from agriculture came to $746,137, which reflects the low level of this economic sector. In 2006 Loíza had 10 schools, a primary medical care center, mail and telephone service, and primary and secondary highways.
Loíza is located on the northern coastal plain and is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the municipality of Canóvanas, on the east by Río Grande and on the west by the town of Carolina. The low-lying territory is no higher than 100 meters (328 feet) above sea level. The Piñones State Forest, 60 percent of which consists of red mangrove, along with some black and white mangrove, runs along the coast of Loíza. There are several bird species in the forest. The Piñones lagoon, the habitat for approximately 38 varieties of fish, constitutes 30 percent of the forest's territory.
There also mangroves in the Piñones-Torrecilla-Vacía Talega area and on the banks of the Herrera Rivera River. Points Maldonado, Vacía Talega, Iglesia, and Uvero and the large and well-lit cave known as the Indian or María de la Cruz Cave (Loíza Aldea) are also located along the coast. Archeological research is being done in the cave to study the indigenous past of the region.
The hydrographic system is comprised of the Río Grande de Loíza and Herrera rivers. The Río Grande de Loíza deserves special mention, having been the inspiration for renowned poets such as Julia de BurgosBurgos: A Spanish province, part of the autonomous community of Castile and, located in the northern area of the Iberian Peninsula. and Evaristo Ribera Chevremont. The river originates in Espino (San Lorenzo) ward and runs into the sea at Loíza Aldea. At approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) long, it is the third longest river on the island, but the largest in terms of volume. There is a dam on part of the river, forming the Carraizo reservoir, which is the source of most of the drinking water in the metropolitan area.
Version: 07122003 Rev. 1