Arroyo was founded in 1855. It covers 39 square kilometers or 15 square miles. It is known as Pueblo ingrato (The ungrateful 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.), el Pueblo grato (The pleasant town), and Los bucaneros (Buccaneers). Its patron is Virgin of Our Lady of Carmen. According to the Census of 2000, the municipality has 19,117 residents and is divided into eight areas: Cuatro Calles, Pueblo Este, Pueblo Oeste, Ancones, Guásimas, Palmas, Yaurel, and Pitahaya.
According to some historians, the name of the town comes from a small stream that travelers visited to refresh themselves and continue on their way. According to popular tradition, its nickname "the ungrateful town" comes from a shipwrecked man who arrived on the coast of the town at the beginning of the 19th century and was thrown into the sea by the residents because they feared he was infected with cholera. Another version of history tells the story of a foreigner who lived in the town and was known for his great generosity but was burned alive at the Arroyo bay when he caught the plague.
Today, this town has some pharmaceutical companies and part of its land is used as dairy farms. Geography
Arroyo is located on the south of the island. It borders with the municipality of Patillas on the north; the Caribbean Sea to the south; to the west with Guayama and to the east with the municipality of Patillas. Geographically, it belongs to the Ponce-Patillas alluvial plain subregion in the region known as the southern coastal plain. It is a very arid area, although its alluvial plains are very productive because of their artificial irrigation. On the eastern area, on its border with Patillas, are the hills: Bandera, Magdalena or Juan Amaro, and Yaurel. Monte Verde is located in the area between Ancones, Yaurel, and Pitahaya. Corazón hill is located in the mountain range that serves as border with the municipality of Guayama.
Its hydrographical system is made up by the following bodies of water: the Nigua or Laurel River, which crosses the municipality from north to south and flows into the Caribbean Sea, and the ravines Corazón, Antigua, Jácana, Yaurel or Zanjón. In addition, Arroyo has a mineral water spring in the old Colonia Virella, as well as a gush of thermal waters. Other geographical features in Arroyo are Figuras and Guilarte hills and Puerto Arroyo.
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