San Germán, Puerto Rico
Municipio Autónomo de San Germán
City and Municipality
Porta Coeli Church, the most recognized landmark of San Germán.
"La Ciudad de las Lomas",
"Ciudad de las Golondrinas", "Ciudad Fundadora de Pueblos", "Ciudad Cuna del Baloncesto Puertorriqueño","Ciudad Peregrina"
|Anthem: "San Germán es mi pueblo querido"|
Location of San Germán in Puerto Rico
|• Mayor||Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry (PPD)|
|• Senatorial dist.||Mayagüez|
|• Representative dist.||20|
|• City and Municipality||54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)|
|• Land||54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||528 ft (161 m)|
|• City and Municipality||35,527|
|• Density||650/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
San Germán (Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ xeɾˈman]) is a municipality located in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, south of Mayagüez and Maricao, north of Lajas, east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo, and west of Sabana Grande. San Germán is spread over eighteen wards plus San Germán Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is both a principal city of the San Germán–Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area. San Germán is the second oldest city of Puerto Rico, after San Juan. The island of Puerto Rico was once split between the San Juan and the San Germán municipalities. The latter covered the western half of Puerto Rico, and extended from the western shores of the island to Arecibo in the north and Ponce in the south.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Tourism
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Special communities
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Government
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Symbols
- 12 Education
- 13 Notable Puerto Ricans from San Germán
- 14 Gallery
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Spanish settlement in the original city of San Germán occurred early in the conquest and colonization of Puerto Rico. After the destruction of a small early settlement near modern-day Añasco during a Taíno uprising which started in February 1511, the new settlement was built by Miguel Diaz at Guayanilla and named after Germaine of Foix, the new queen of King Fernando. This town was attacked by French corsairs in August 1528, May 1538 and 1554. The construction of a small fort began in 1540, but work stopped in 1546 when the population of the town began moving inland to the current modern location.
An early written reference to the new town occurs in 1573. A letter sent to Spain's king Philip II mentions a city with the names of Nueva Salamanca and San Germán. Spanish conquerors used the name Nueva Salamanca to honor the city of Salamanca in Spain.
On May 12, 1570, the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo (see Audiencia) ordered that both the populations of San Germán and Santa María de Guadianilla be merged into a single city due to the constant attacks. The new city was built on the hills of Santa Marta, next to the Guanajibo River in 1573. Its official name was Nueva Villa de Salamanca, named after the city of Salamanca in Spain. However, the population would call the city San Germán el Nuevo (The New San Germán) and, eventually, the Villa de San Germán (The Village of San Germán).
San Germán is also known as the founding city of towns, given the fact that in 1514 the Spanish crown separated the island into two administrative territories (Partidos). The borders of the two partidos were established as the Camuy River to the north and the Jacagua river to the south. They were named the San Juan Partition and the San Germán Partition.
San Germán is in the southwest. Mountains in San Germán include Alto del Descanso (2,520 ft; 768 m) and Tetas de Cerro Gordo (2,897 ft; 883 m). San Germán has a number of rivers: Río Caín, Río Duey, Río Rosario, Río Guanajibo (Estero), Río Hoconuco Guamá and Rio El Brujo.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, San Germán is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".
|Record high °F (°C)||91.0
|Average high °F (°C)||87.1
|Daily mean °F (°C)||75.0
|Average low °F (°C)||62.1
|Record low °F (°C)||44.1
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||2.51
|Source: The Weather Channel|
San Germán is the site of the Porta Coeli church, one of the earliest Spanish churches built in Latin America. Porta Coeli is still a major attraction that brings both domestic and international tourists every year.
Landmarks and places of interest
- Puente de Bolas (Bridge of Balls)
- Museo Farmacia La Botica
- Casa Morales
- Ceiba de la Libertad
- Historic Gallery
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió Museum
- Casa Cruz de la Luna
- Ramírez de Arrellano y Rossell Museum
- Santo Domingo Plazuela
- Three Races and One Culture Mural
- San Germán Historic District
- Porta Coeli
- Inter-American University of Puerto Rico
- Church San Germán de Auxerre
- La Barrica, Original Spanish Tavern. Circa 1847
The urban center of San Germán is mainly composed of Spanish colonial houses. Many have been restored and conserve their Spanish look while other houses are somewhat abandoned and in poor condition. There are ongoing projects employing public and private funding to preserve and restore many houses and monuments and to maintain San Germán's colonial era look.
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Festivals and events
- Patron Celebrations (St. Germain d'Auxerre and Santa Rosa de Lima) - July
- Festival de la Pana - July
- Anón Festival - September
- Christmas Festival - December
- Christmas Parade - Early December
- Patron Celebrations (The Virgin of the Rosary) — Celebrated in San Germán's Ward, Rosario Poblado, which borders Mayagüez.
San Germán is home to one of Puerto Rico's oldest basketball franchises, dating back to the 1930s, the San Germán Athletics (los Atléticos de San Germán), nicknamed "The Orange Monster". Many glories of Puerto Rican basketball have played in San Germán, a city that is also known as "The Crib of Puerto Rican Basketball". Some of those players are Arquelio Torres, José "Piculín" Ortiz, Eddie Casiano, Nelson Quiñones, Elías "Larry" Ayuso, Christian Dalmau, and so many others. Their home court is The Arquelio Torres Ramírez Court, which houses approximately 5,000 fans.
The Athletic's fan base is most commonly referred to as their sixth man, or "The Orange Monster". This is because for a visiting team it's extremely hard to win in San Germán due to how vigorous and "into" the game the fans are.
The Athletics have been to 26 National Superior Basketball (BSN) Finals, of which one was cancelled (1953) due to confiscation because of a fight between players from San Germán and the Ponce Lions, giving birth to Puerto Rican basketball's most intense rivalry.
Championships (14): 1932, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997 Sub-Championships (11): 1931, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1986
The area around San Germán grows fruits (banana, pineapple) and sugar cane on mid-scale. Dairy farms are also present in small scale. Some locals grow other produce on a small scale. Other industries in the municipality include Baxter Serum Mfg., Cordis, Insertco (print shop for medical instructions inserts), Wallace Silversmiths de Puerto Rico, General Electric (production of circuit breakers) and several other companies in the service industry.
Major employers of the city include Fresenius Kabi, CCL, Wallace International, General Electric and several business owners.
Motion pictures filmed In San Germán
- Act of Valor (2012) Which follows a Navy Seal squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA Agent Morales (Roselyn Sánchez).
- Dinero Sangre (1986) In a banana republic a ruthless mercenary waits to make a killing in gold. Only two people stand in his way (Guy Ecker)
Since 2001, when law 1-2001 was passed, measures have been taken to identify and address the high levels of poverty and lack of resources and opportunities affecting people living in specific places (barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods) of Puerto Rico. In 2004, the following places in San Germán were on the list of Comunidades especiales de Puerto Rico or marginalized communities:
- Comunidad El Retiro
- Comunidad Las Quebradas
- La Tea
- Parcelas Las Carolinas
- Parcelas Minillas en Barrio Minillas
- Parcelas Sabana Eneas
- Rosario Peñón
In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program and Jesús Vélez Vargas, its director stated that the program was evolving.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
|Racial - (self-defined) San Germán, Puerto Rico|
- 2010 Census
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|American Indian and
|Some other race||2,992||8.4%|
|Two or more races||727||2.1%|
Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, San Germán is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry, from the Partido Popular Democrático Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Negrón was first elected in the 2000 general election.
There are 44 bridges in San Germán.
White - The purity of the blood of the great families who colonized San Germán.
Purple - Color of the Shield of Juan Ponce de León, first governor of Puerto Rico.
Coat of arms
First Quarter: The Mitre and the Staff in a green field represent St. Germain of Auxerre, the Patron Saint of the city.
Second Quarter: The second quarter exhibits the arms of the Kingdoms of Aragón and Sicily, where don Fernando the Catholic reigned.
Third Quarter: In this quarter the arms combine with the County of Foix and the Kingdom of France, which constitute the family shields of Germaine de Foix whose name is perpetuated as the name of the city of San Germán.
Fourth Quarter: Is Ponce de León's shield, The Crown: Is a civic or municipal standard and is used as a stamp for towns and cities; San Germán was assigned five towers to denote that this population formally obtained the title of city from the Spanish crown in the nineteenth century.
San Germán has 15 public schools: 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 4 second units and 2 high schools:
- Amina Tió de Malaret (Elementary)
- Antonia Martínez (Elementary)
- Bartolomé de las Casas (Elementary)
- Carmen Borrás Batistini (Elementary)
- Georgina Alvarado (Elementary)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Elementary)
- Herminia C. Ramírez (Elementary)
- Mariano Abril (Elementary)
- Julio Víctor Guzmán (Middle)
- Luis Muñoz Rivera (Second Unit)
- Federico Degetau (Second Unit)
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones (Second Unit)
- Galo Rosado (Second Unit)
- Laura Mercado (High School)
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió (High School)
It also has several private schools, such as Colegio San José, Academia Sangermeña and Academia Presbiteriana.
The main campus of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico is located adjacent to the downtown area of San Germán. It was founded in 1912 as the Polytechnical Institute of Puerto Rico, the first private university on the island.
Notable Puerto Ricans from San Germán
- PFC Joseph R. (José) Martínez destroyed a German infantry unit and tank in Tunisia, during World War II, by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, by General George S. Patton, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration.
- Ubaldino Ramírez de Arellano — Senator
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió — poet, author of the original lyrics of Puerto Rico's national anthem, La Borinqueña, and pro-independence advocate
- Benjamín Marcantoni - opera singer
- Benicio del Toro — Award-winning actor
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones — Abolitionist and politician
- Samuel R. Quiñones — Longest-serving President of the Puerto Rico Senate, serving for twenty years.
- List of Puerto Ricans
- History of Puerto Rico
- National Register of Historic Places listings in San Germán, Puerto Rico
- Did you know-Puerto Rico?
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- Fuson, Robert (2000). Juan Ponce De Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida. Blacksburg, Virginia: McDonald & Woodward. p. 79. ISBN 0-939923-82-3.
- Thomas, Hugh (2003). Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 231. ISBN 0-297-64563-3.
- Floyd, Troy (1973). The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492-1526. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 139.
- "San Germán Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
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- , The Weather Channel accessed 8 January 2014.
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- Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
- "San Germán Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article San German.|