Municipalities / Mayagüez
Galería Multimedios
Audio Gallery Video Gallery Photo Gallery     Increase/Decrease Text Size Send to a Friend Print Friendly Version Universal Accessibility Help Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades Official Web Site.

General Information

Versión español
Town square Almirante Cristóbal Colón
This municipality is located on the west coast of Puerto Rico and measures 78 square miles (201.1 square kilometers). The city is known as "the city of pure waters," "the birthplace of Eugenio María de Hostos," the "jelly roll city," "the city of the Indios (a baseball team), and "the mango 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.." It has also been called the "the Sultaness of the West," because, according to legend, there was an extraordinarily beautiful woman of Arab features with whom everyone fell in love. It is the fifth largest municipality in terms of area, and contains the following wards: Algarrobos, Bateyes, Guanajibo, Mona Island and Monito Islet, Juan Alonso, Leguísamo, Limón, Malezas, Mayagüez Pueblo, Mayagüez Arriba, Miradero, Montoso, Naranjales, Quebrada Grande, Quemado, Río Cañas Abajo, Río Cañas Arriba, Río Hondo, Rosario, Sábalos, and Sabanetas. According to the 2000 census, there are 98,434 mayagüezanos. The patron of the city is Our Lady of Candlemas.

Mayagüez is home to the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (formerly the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts) and the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo. The city is part of the development plan known as "Porta del Sol," which is directed at showcasing the natural resources, the gastronomy, the arts, and general culture of the western region. Mayagüez is also preparing for the Central American and Caribbean Games which are to be held there in 2010. Economic development has included registered trademarks that have been hallmarks for the city: Franco jelly roll, Cedó flan, and Fido sangría. The port area is undergoing constant development.


Mayagüez is located on the west coast of Puerto Rico. It is bordered on the north by Añasco and Las Marías; Cabo Rojo, Hormigueros and San Germán on the south; Maricao and Las Marías on the east and the Mona Channel on the west. The city is located in the western coastal valley region. The land is largely flat and fertile, thanks to the abundant rain, which falls mainly between May and November. Most of the higher elevations are to the northeast and east where the Urayoán ridge is located, but there are some notable elevations to the south, such as Los Matos Ridge (Río Hondo and Malezas wards) or the Las Mesas ridge (Quebrada Grande, Juan Alonso, and Rosario wards). The highest elevations are San Bernardo peak (1,594 feet), Las Mesas (1,247 feet), and Mount Leclerc (1,129 feet).

The hydrographic system is comprised of three main rivers: the Grande de Añasco, the Guanajibo and the Yagüez. The first of these serves as a border with Las Marías and Añasco, and empties into the Mona Channel, and the Cañas River and the Casanova and Cojilla brooks are its tributaries. The Guanajibo River marks the border with Cabo Rojo, and its tributaries, the Rosario and Hondo rivers, also run through that municipality. The Yagüez Rivers originates in Montoso ward and runs 13 miles down to the Mayagüez bay. Its tributaries are the Caricosa and Gandel brooks. Other brooks and channels in the municipality are Oro, Sábalos, Pulida, Guifén, and Grande brooks, and Corazones, Merle, Maní, Majagual, and Boquilla channels.

Grande and Maní beaches, Point Algarrobos, the Malecón (seaside promenade), Point Boca Negra and the Mayagüez bay are located at various points from north to south on the town coast. There are about 100 hectares (about 248 acres) of mangroves at the mouths of the Corazones and Boquilla channels.

Out at sea, the islands of Mona, Monito and Desecheo are also considered to be part of this municipality. Mona is the largest island, measuring about 55 square kilometers (21 square miles). The highest point on the island measures 80 meters (262 feet). Capes Norte, Noroeste, and Barrio Nuevo are located on the northern end of the island; Los Ingleses and Caigo o no Caigo points and the Uvero dock are located on the south; Point Este and Pájaros beach are located on the east, and towards the west there is Point Oeste and the Sardinera and Isabella anchorages. It is believed that the name of Mona Island is derived from its old indigenous name, Amona. Monito is a small islet located to the west of Mona.

Page: 1, 2, 3, 4,

Version: 08021702 Rev. 1
How to quote this article?
See Glossary
Internal Links
Economy of Puerto Rico, A Historical Perspective
External Links
Gobierno municipal
About the municipality
Arqueología y Etnohistoria, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
Oficina de Conservación Histórica
FPH is not responsible for the external links content.