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Coamo, Puerto Rico

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Municipio Autónomo de Coamo
Hot Springs of Coamo (Los Baños de Coamo)
Hot Springs of Coamo
(Los Baños de Coamo)
Flag of Coamo
Coat of arms of Coamo
"La Villa de San Blás de Illescas", "Los Maratonistas", "La Villa Añeja", "Ciudad de las Aguas Termales"
Anthem: "Allá muy cerca del pueblo"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Coamo Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Coamo Municipality
Coordinates: 18°04′48″N 66°21′29″W / 18.08000°N 66.35806°W / 18.08000; -66.35806
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
 • MayorHon Juan Carlos García Padilla (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.Guayama
 • Representative dist.27
 • Total78.05 sq mi (202.15 km2)
 • Land78.04 sq mi (202.13 km2)
 • Water7 sq mi (0,017 km2)
486 ft (148 m)
 • Total34,668
 • Density440/sq mi (170/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR secondary 14.svg PR secondary 138.svg PR secondary 143.svg PR secondary 150.svg PR secondary 153.svg PR secondary 155.svg PR secondary 238.svg Ellipse sign 154.svg
Downtown plaza area
Downtown plaza area

Coamo (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈamo]) is a town and municipality founded in 1579 in the south-central region of Puerto Rico, located north of Santa Isabel; south of Orocovis and Barranquitas; east of Villalba and Juana Díaz; and west of Aibonito and Salinas. Coamo is spread over 10 barrios and Coamo Pueblo – the downtown area and the administrative center of the city. It is both a principal city of the Coamo Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.

Coamo is a small town nestled in a valley about 10 miles (16 km) east of Ponce (about 30 minutes by car). It was named San Blas Illescas de Coamo by its first settlers. Saint Blaise (San Blas) was the Catholic saint who remains the town's patron. Illescas is the Spanish town where the town founders originated (nowadays in Toledo province, Castile-La Mancha, Spain).

There are several theories regarding the origin of the word "Coamo". Some think it comes from an indigenous word that means "valley" but it is also plausible that Coamo derives its name from Coamex (or Coamey), who was a celebrated local cacique (or "chieftain" in the Taino language). Archeological digs near the region have produced some of the best examples of the island's pre-Columbian cultural artifacts.

Coamo has a series of natural hot springs, Los Baños de Coamo. The Battle of Coamo was a decisive battle of the Spanish–American War (1898).


Founded on July 15, 1579, Coamo is the third-oldest settlement of the island's post-Columbian period (after San Juan in the north and San Germán in the west). By 1582, there were twenty families living in Coamo, in the same area where the Tainos had had their village of Guayama. Coamo officially became a town in 1616, and was given the title of "Villa" by Spanish Royal Decree in 1778.

Coamo was the administrative center that encompassed most of the southern half of the island during the early colonial period. As the agricultural and sugar industries grew and became the mainstays of the colony's economy, the province would eventually subdivide into several distinct municipalities, and the administrative center of the region would later shift west to the coastal town of Ponce.

Coamo is the home of a series of natural hot springs, Los Baños de Coamo, which have attracted visitors since before the Spaniards landed.[2] These springs were once rumored to have been Juan Ponce de León's legendary fountain of youth. In the early nineteenth century, a system of pools of varying depths, sizes and temperatures was constructed at the site of these springs to serve as a spa for the colonials. During the American invasion in the Spanish–American War (1898), this site was the scene of one of the decisive battles of that conflict (the Battle of Coamo). The American troops took possession of the island, and the spa was subsequently abandoned. Though the site lay in ruins for most of the twentieth century, it continued to be a landmark to the Coameños, who would often go to bathe in its healing thermal waters. The pools remain, but the old buildings which once hosted the island's affluent and colonial soldiers are gone, except for the remains of one central wall structure. It has been preserved and incorporated into a fountain courtyard on the grounds of a popular tourist hotel and rest area and has replaced the ancient Spanish ruins.

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Coamo with the significant amount of rainfall.[3][4][5] As of October 9, no one in Coamo had electrical service, only 15% of Coamo had access to clean drinking water, and several people on dialysis had died. Around 2,000 homes were partially or completely destroyed. The iconic Hotel Los Baños de Coamo was a total loss.[6]


Coamo is located in the South Central region of Puerto Rico.[7]


Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Coamo is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a small barrio referred to as "el pueblo", near the center of the municipality.[8][9][10][11]


Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[12] and subbarrios,[13] 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.[14][15][16]

Special Communities

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 Coamo: Zambrana neighborhood, Cuyón, Sector Varsovia in El Cerro, Río Jueyes, and Sector Sabana Hoyo.[17][18]



Coamo is an agricultural center where mangoes, corn, guanabanas, tamarindo, quenepas, avocados, oranges and plantains are grown, and where poultry and cattle are raised.


Coamo is a trading center for machinery, aircraft radio components, and clothing.


The house of Florencio Santiago, a philanthropist from Pasto, Coamo
The house of Florencio Santiago, a philanthropist from Pasto, Coamo

Landmarks and places of interest

There are eight places in Coamo listed on the US National Register of Historic Places:[19]

Some of the landmarks of Coamo are:[20]


Festivals and events

Coamo celebrates its patron saint festival in February. The Fiestas Patronales de San Blas Illescas y La Virgen Candelaria is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[7][21]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Coamo include:

  • San Blas Half Marathon – February[22]
  • Crafts festival in honor of the municipal flag – June
  • Coamo Anniversary – July
  • Concert and lighting of the Christmas tree – December


Coamo is famous for being the host of the San Blas Half-Marathon, a yearly world-class professional marathon that attracts the best competitive runners in the world. It was inaugurated in 1963 by Delta Phi Delta fraternity in honor to the founder of the town. World-class international and local runners compete in a 13.1094-mile (21.0975 km) half-marathon. It is Puerto Rico's biggest race, and the crowds are always large.

The Maratonistas de Coamo (from the BSN) is the only professional team which the town hosts. The team has played in Coamo with mixed success since joining the league in 1985.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
1899 (shown as 1900)[24] 1910-1930[25]
1930-1950[26] 1960-2000[27] 2010[10] 2020[28]
Race - Coamo, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census[29]
Race Population % of Total
White 30,264 80.5%
Black/African American 2,165 5.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native 101 0.3%
Asian 25 0.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 6 0.0%
Some other race 3,799 10.1%
Two or more races 1,237 3.3%


All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Coamo is Juan Carlos García Padilla, of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). He was elected at the 2000 general elections.

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.[30]


There are 31 bridges in Coamo.[31]


Coamo's first school was built in 1901.[32]


The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.[33]


The flag of Coamo derives its colors from the coat of arms. Its colors are red, yellow, and black.[34]

Coat of arms

The top left and the lower right have a red background with a gold Episcopal hat each. These parts of the coat of arms represent the old seat of San Blas de Illescas. The horse and the bull represent the cattle wealth of the population. The gold color that serves as background in contrast with the black color, recalls the yellowish reddish tone of the fields of Coamo during the droughts. The heavy border of the coat of arms contains the following figures: two flames; three bell towers with gold bells outlined in red; two red crosses with arms ending in three petals; and a circle with a surface divided by horizontal blue and silver-plated stripes.[34]

Notable people

Some of its notable people include:[20]


See also


  1. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  2. ^ "Destination Puerto Rico: Exploring Historic Ponce". YouTube. 14 October 2010. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  4. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  5. ^ "With Bottles And Buckets, Puerto Ricans Seek The Water To Survive". Archived from the original on 2019-10-24. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  6. ^ "María, un nombre que no vamos a olvidar" [Maria, a name we will never forget.]. El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  7. ^ a b "Coamo Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  8. ^ 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 2018-12-30.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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 2018-12-30.
  11. ^ "Map of Coamo at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  12. ^ a b "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  13. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Coamo 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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Puerto Rico: Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos" (PDF). Government of Puerto Rico. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Coamo Municipality Places of Interest". Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ J.D. (2006-05-02). "Coamo". Link To Puerto (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  22. ^ The Christian Science Monitor (2012-04-16). "Boston Marathon is a hot one, but is it the hottest marathon ever?". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  23. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ Bureau, US Census. "PUERTO RICO: 2020 Census". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  29. ^ "Ethnicity 2000 census" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  30. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived December 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  31. ^ "Coamo Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Coamo, Puerto Rico". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  33. ^ "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.
  34. ^ a b "COAMO". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.


  • Historia de Coamo, "La Villa Añeja", Ramon Rivera Bermúdez, 1980.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 October 2021, at 00:38
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