Municipio Autónomo de Vega Baja
City and Municipality
"Ciudad del Melao Melao"
|Anthem: "Melado Melado"|
Location of Vega Baja in Puerto Rico
|Founded||October 7, 1776|
|• Mayor||Marcos Cruz Molina (Partido Popular Democrático)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 - Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||12|
|• Total||144.28 km2 (55.71 sq mi)|
|• Land||122 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|• Water||22.28 km2 (8.60 sq mi)|
|• Density||410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
|Major routes|| |
Vega Baja (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbeɣa ˈβaxa]) is a municipality located on the coast of north central Puerto Rico (U.S.). It is north of Morovis, east of Manatí, and west of Vega Alta. Vega Baja is spread over 12 wards and Vega Baja Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan–Caguas–Guaynabo metropolitan statistical area.
- 1 History
- 2 Noteworthy events
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Tourism
- 6 Economy
- 7 Special Communities Program
- 8 Culture
- 9 Government
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Symbols
- 12 Education
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The name Vega Baja in Spanish means lower side of the riverplain. Geographically, the North of Puerto Rico goes down and is slightly higher than the level of the Atlantic Ocean and Vega Baja is a coastal town. Other historians believed that the name Vega Baja comes from La Vega. Vega is a surname of one of the families involved in the foundation of Vega Baja. It is also believed that the name comes from the region of Spain La Vega Baja del Segura.
Although is generally believed that Vega Baja was founded in 1776, after the division of Vega Alta from La Vega, historians have verified that it was many years later when it was officially recognized by the Spanish government. The foundation day is October 7 and it is also the day of commemorating the "Virgin of the Rosary". Vega Baja was originally known as Vega-baxa del Naranjal de Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Vega Baja of the Orange Grove of Our Lady of the Rosary). Orange comes from its previous name based on the fruit that was cultivated in the place.
Cibuco is one of the rivers that goes through Vega Baja, and is a variation of the name "Sebuco", a chief or Cacique Taíno Indian of the region. These "cells" of Taíno Indians were known to settle in the vicinity of the rivers. Although the Cibuco River is prone to floods due to heavy seasonal rains, the benefits provided to the land by the river are numerous.
Taino carvings have been found on some of the exposed reefs in the vicinity of the Cibuco river. Among these carvings is one depicting a face and others shaped as fish. They are an indication that these reefs were frequented for spear fishing and perhaps other day-to-day activities. Other places like Carmelita, Maisabel, Cueva Maldita and Paso del Indio are known as archaeological sites where the aborigines established their communities.
In 1990, over a million dollars in cash was found buried in plastic barrels, thought to have been deposited by drug smugglers for later retrieval. The sudden wealth of a few residents attracted attention and prompted an investigation by FBI and local police.
Vega Baja is on the northern coast.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Vega Baja is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio called "Pueblo" (barrio-pueblo on the US Census).
The United States took control of Puerto Rico from Spain in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 and conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, finding that the population of Vega Baja was 10,305.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
Landmarks and places of interest
There are 14 beaches in Vega Baja. Some main attractions of Vega Baja include:
- Casa Alcaldía
- Casa Alonso Museum
- Casa Portela Museum
- El Trece Recreational Area
- House of Culture and Tourism
- Man of the Sugar Cane Monument
- Melao Melao Artisan Center
- Migrante Square
- Museo del Salon de la Fama del Deporte Vega Baja Melao Melao
- Playa Puerto Nuevo and Recreational Area
- Plaza José Francisco Náter
- Teatro América
- Teatro Fénix
- Tortuguero Lagoon
- Tortuguero Recreational Area
- Trinitarias Park
The abundant fertility of its soil, has meant Vega Baja has much agricultural and farming land. In addition, Vega Baja has one of the most visited beaches of the northern coastline, Playa de Puerto Nuevo (Playa Mar Bella). This beach attracts thousands of beachgoers annually, making it a center for local tourism, especially during the hot summer months. It boasts a natural rock formation of enormous proportions both in height and length colloquially named La Peña. This rock feature shelters the beach portion from the open seas just behind it. During rough marine conditions, the rock feature protects beachgoers, while the spectacle of waves crashing from behind and cascading down its face can be appreciated in the relative safety of the beach.
- Pineapple, cattle feed (hay). In decades past, the land portion situated between the neighborhood of Monte Carlo and the neighborhood of Los Naranjos, was the site for the cultivation of sugar cane.
- Clothing, leather articles; electrical and electronic equipment, machinery
- Medical, and pharmaceutical.
Special Communities Program
Spearheaded by then governor Sila María Calderón, Law 1-2001 was passed in 2001, to identify Puerto Rico's marginalized communities. In 2017, then governor Ricardo Rosselló created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program. Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Vega Baja: Alto de Cuba, Callejón Pérez and Sector El Hoyo in Barrio Algarrobo, Guarico Viejo, and La Trocha-Río Abajo.
Festivals and events
Melao Melao Marathon - October
Matron Celebrations - October
Christmas Festival - December
"Blue Marlin" Fishing Tournament
Vega Baja, like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, elect a mayor every four years to administer the city. The educator Marcos Cruz Molina is the mayor since 2013 and Ebrahim Narváez is the President of the Municipal Legislature.
The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two senators. In 2012, José "Joito" Pérez and Ángel "Chayanne" Martínez were elected as District Senators. Rafael (Tatito) Hernández is the Eleventh District Representative and Hector Torres the Twelve District Representative at the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico.
There are 23 bridges in Vega Baja.
Vega Baja's flag consists of a yellow cloth crossed by a green band. The band relates to the fertile valley and the river.
Coat of arms
The Vega Baja coat of arms has a v-shaped green band with overlapping roses in silver and three oranges trees, with gold fruit. At the top part is a five-tower crown, silver, black and green. The main colors of the shield; green and gold are used traditionally in civic, scholastic and sports activities. The crown five tower indicates that the town holds the rank of "Villa" by royal decree.
The anthem of Vega Baja is "Melado Melado" with lyrics as written in 1974 by Adrián Santos Tirado and music by Roberto Sierra.
- Agapito Rosario Rosario
- Almirante Sur II
- Cabo Caribe
- Centro Comunal
- Dr. Jesús M. Armaiz
- Federico Degetau
- Fernando Rosario Vázquez
- José de Diego
- José Gualberto Padilla
- Manuel Negrón Collazo I
- Manuel Padilla Dávila
- Ofelia Díaz
- Rafael Hernández
- Rosa M. Rodríguez
- San Vicente
- Ángel Sandín Martínez
- Brígida Álvarez Rodríguez
- Centro De Adiestramiento
- Segunda Unidad Pugnado Afuera (S.U.P.A) o Segunda Unidad Manuel A. Martínez Dávila
- Segunda Unidad Almirante Norte (S.U.A.N)
- Lino Padrón Rivera
- Juan Quirindongo Morell
- Brigida Alvarez Rodriguez
- Academia Regional Adventista Del Norte
- Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario
- Fountain Christian Bilingual School
- North Point Military Academy
- Academia Eden Montesory
- Christian Military
- Academia El Arca Centro Educativo
- Believer's Academy
- Mech Tech
- Lemoyne, James (April 18, 1990). "Talk of a Puerto Rico Town: Buried Treasure, No Kidding". NYT. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- "Vega Baja Municipality". enciclopediapr.org. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
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- 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.
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- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
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- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Las 1,200 playas de Puerto Rico [The 1200 beaches of Puerto Rico]". Primera Hora (in Spanish). April 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- "Vega Baja busca una Alianza Público Privada para la casona del balneario". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 22 February 2019. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "¿Te bañarías en esta playa con un rompeolas natural que parece un tsunami? (VIDEO)". Diario Correo. January 6, 2018. Archived from the original on October 22, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
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- "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- 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
- "Vega Baja Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.