In the late 18th century, the site called Corozal was part of the jurisdiction of Toa Alta, but was not officially one of its sectors. The distance between the sites and the constant floods on the Cibuco River made communication impossible with the center of Toa Alta. This led some of the residents to organize and request the governorgovernor: in the Spanish colonies, the governor was the figure immediately beneath the viceroy in political and legal affairs. Like the alcaldes mayores, the governors could not be vecinos, encomenderos or owners of land or mines in the jurisdiction. When the title was added to that of Captain General, the position also implied the highest military authority. Governorships were applied to sparsely populated colonies or frontier zones. Puerto Rico was a frontier zone. to grant authorization to form an independent 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.. Their request was granted in 1795. When, some researchers claim the town was founded.
However, the founding of a new town was conditioned on meeting certain requirements, including the construction of a church and government buildings, marking the borders of the territory, and holding elections. The official year of the founding of Corozal is believed to be 1803 or 1804, the date when a rudimentary church existed, a fence had been built around the cemetery, and a military commander had been elected to serve as the leader of the territory. Later, this official took on the title of mayor.
In 1828, the territory had 1,985 residents. During that era, the Corozal economy was based on the production of coffee, tobacco, sugar cane and other crops, as well as the raising of livestock. In 1853, there were 28 sugar cane presses, numerous coffee estates and fruit orchards. For a brief period of time, gold mining also took place.
In 1855, Corozal had two public schools, one in the center of town and the other in the rural zone. The municipality was divided into the sectors of Corozal Pueblo, Cuchilla, Dos Bocas, Habras, Maná, Negros, Padilla, Palmarejo, Palmarito, Palos Blancos and Sibuco. Despite various natural disasters, including a deadly cholera epidemic (1855) and the ravages of the San Roque (1893) and San Ciriaco (1899) hurricanes, the population grew to 11,508 residents by 1899.
With the passage of the Law for the Consolidation of Certain Municipal Terms in 1902, Corozal once again became part of Toa Alta. It was reconstituted as a municipality in 1905 when the law was reversed. Later, in 1948, the existing Magueyes sector and the urban center of town were reconstituted, creating the new sector called Pueblo.
Today, agriculture still has a role in Corozal but on a smaller scale. The municipality also has factories producing clothing, food products and machinery. The current population is approximately 70,000 inhabitants.
The Corozal flag is inspired by its coat of arms. It consists of three horizontal bands of equal width: yellow above, green in the center, and blue below. The central band carries the town's coat of arms.
Coat of Arms
On a field of gold are three corozo palms with fruit in front of mountains and behind waves of water in blue and silver. Above is the crowned wall in gold with three towers, outlined in green. Under the coat of arms, on a flowing white ribbon, is the phrase: "In God and Corozal, We are United." The motto expresses the spirit of brotherhood among corozaleños under the fatherhood of God. The palms represent the name of the town and its river, whose banks are luxuriously planted with these palm trees. The mountains represent the tall and striking Corozal hills and symbolize the "strength of character and forward looking nature" of the sons of Corozal. The waves represent the Corozal River and the gold stones represent the precious metal that was collected from the river's sands until recently. The gold color of the background of the coat of arms is a symbol of industriousness and also alludes to the gold found in Corozal. The crowned wall is a symbol on the coats of arms of the cities and towns.
Version: 09032604 Rev. 1