Añasco, Puerto Rico

Añasco is located on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and has an area of 102.95 square kilometers (39.75 square miles). The town is named after Luis Añasco, a settler who came with Juan Ponce de León on his first voyage to Puerto Rico. The town is known as «the town where the gods die,» «the puff pastry town,» «the blood sausage town,» and «the natives.» According to the 2000 census, 28,348 Añasqueños lived in Añasco Pueblo, Añasco Abajo, Añasco Arriba, Caguabo, Caracol, Carreras, Casey Abajo, Casey Arriba, Cerro Gordo, Cidra, Corcovada, Dagüey, Espino, Hatillo, Humatas, Marías, Miraflores, Ovejas, Piñales, Playa, Quebrada Larga, Río Arriba, and Río Cañas wards. The patron saint is Saint Anthony the Abbot.

Today, agriculture ranks third or fourth as an economic activity, since most of the arable land is used for manufacturing, commerce, public buildings, and subdivisions. Nevertheless, plantains, bananas, and other produce are still grown. There is also a kind of mango produced in the region that is used to produce a famous jam. Añasco was also known for its pork rinds, a reputation now held by Bayamón.

In the manufacturing sector, there is an industrial zone sponsored by the municipality. There are industries that produce candy, fruit jams and jellies, and puff pastry made with brandy and spices that is considered to be the town specialty. There is also a special kind of clam called chipe.

At one time there was a factory in the town known as The Puerto Rico Liquors Company, which manufactured rums such as Mahoma, Ron de Frutas, and San Rafael, and the anise liquors Conchita and Marie. The Arrillaga family had a pharmaceutical products plant, where rubbing alcohols such as Olga, Maravilloso Puerto Rico, and Santa Rosa, were manufactured, as well as perfumes and medicinal products such as «rownalina, Amargo de Agave, and Malarina.


Añasco is located in the valleys of the west coast of the island, and is bordered by the Río Grande de Añasco. It is bordered by the towns of Rincón, Aguada, and Moca to the north; Mayagüez to the south; San Sebastián and Las Marías to the east; and the Mona Channel to the west.

The land is largely flat, but there are some elevations that belong to the San Francisco mountain chain: Canta Gallo, at 370 meters (1,214 feet) and Gordo and Pinchón, both at 340 meters (1,115 pies) above sea level. In addition, there are wetlands and beautiful beaches. The rivers that run through the municipal territory are Grande de Añasco, Cañas, Casey, Dagüey, Hondo, and Humatas. There are also several brooks, such as La Balsa, Caguabo, Cerro Gordo, Cercada, Chiquita, Grande, Icacos, Justo, Las Piedras, and Del Muerto. On the coast there is the Añasco Bay and a promontory called

The territory of what is today the town of Añasco was formerly an indigenous settlement, under the Cacique Urayoan, the Elder. That settlement was located near the mouth of what was called the Guaorabo River, now the Grande de Añasco, in a region known as Yagueca. On June 24, 1506, Juan Ponce de León landed at Añasco Bay to begin colonizing the island, then called Boriquén. The group that accompanied Ponce de León spread out to different regions to fulfill its colonial mission. One of these was led by Luis de Añasco, who was assigned to the region of Yagueca.

In the early 18th century, a group of influential residents of the region requested that a town be founded to organize the many Spaniards and criollos who were dispersed in the hills of the area. The petition was accepted in 1733, in view of the fact that the residents already had a church that had been erected in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot.. Three years later, Friar Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra commented on the place, making special mention of its brooks, rivulets, and lagoons, as well as the difficulty of access during the rainy season.

During the 19th century, Añasco evolved as a town. By 1813 there was a customs house at the port, and by 1874 there was a town hall. The town also suffered several setbacks, such as the cholera epidemic of 1856, and the smallpox epidemic of 1886. In 1913 the town was ravaged by fire and in 1918 it was shaken by an earthquake.


The design  , symbols, and colors of the Añasco flag are derived from the coat of arms. The section closest to the flagpole is green, bearing a black cross o a heraldic style known variously as botonnée or treflée because of the button-like ends, similar to the cross on the coat of arms, although the outline of the cross on the flag is white instead of silver. Four white stripes alternating with three green stripes comprise the remainder of the flag.

Coat of Arms
The coat of arms  of town is similar in design and colors to that of the Añasco lineage, from Trujillo (Extremadura, Spain), probably the birthplace of Captain Luis de Añasco, who came to Puerto Rico with Ponce de León on his first voyage. Añasco lived in the district of San Germán and owned the plantation where the town was later founded in 1733. There are four scallop shells on a green field, symbolizing Santiago (Saint James the Apostle), the patron saint of Spain, and the surname of the founder of the town, José Santiago. The shield is crowned with a turreted castle, which symbolizes townships.

Places of Interest

• Añasco race track
• Tres Hermanos public beach
• La Puente Channel
• Villas de Añasco Resort
• La Eugenia Plantation
• Libertad Plantation
• San Antonio Church
• La Bahía lookout point
• Tres Hermanos National Park
• Sueño de los Niños Park
• Añasco Beach
• José Adolfo Pesante Town Square
• Soldier’s Square
• Urayoán Petroglyph
• Salcedo Bridge
• Río Grande de Añasco River
• La Encantada falls
• Fishermen’s village

Illustrious Citizens

Víctor Arrillaga – poet, actor, and master of ceremonies. Arrillaga worked in films in the 1950s and 60s.

Rafael Arrillaga-Torrens – physician, political figure, and essayist. Arrillaga-Torrens was a member of the Council on Higher Education, the Puerto Rico Academy of the Spanish Language, and the Puerto Rico Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a representative for the 1940 and 1944 terms, Arrillaga presided the House in 1943 and 1944. His essays include «Memoria de un viaje en el tiempo» (1963), «La naturaleza del conocer» (1987), and «Grandeza y decadencia de la España del siglo XVI» (1995), among others.

José Antonio de Bonilla-Torres – writer and priest. He spoke out against paying the Catholic church for granting dispensations to allow marriages and thanks to him, this practice was prohibited by royal order in 1815.

Germán Delgado-Pasapera
 – poet and teacher. Delgado taught at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. He published a book of poetry,Desde el fondo del pecho (1964) and a historical work, Puerto Rico: sus luchas emancipadoras 1850 – 1898 (1984).

José de Jesús-Domínguez – a physician, playwright, essayist, and poet. De Jesús published in La TardeLa Revista Blanca, and Revista Puertorriqueña; his essays include «La autonomía administrativa en las Antillas» (1887) and «Los jíbaros» (1903); his poetry includes Odas elegíacas (1883).

Ramón Figueroa-Chapel – poet and theater critic. Figueroa collaborated as a theater critic at El Mundo. His published poetry includes the books Poesía(1969) and Balbuceo (1974).

Rosario Guiscafré-Arrillaga
 – journalist and poet. Guiscafré collaborated with El UniversalPuerto Rico IlustradoEl Mundo and El Imparcial. She presided the Association of Women Journalists and published a book of poems, Oleaje íntimo (1961).

Joaquín Parrilla – revolutionary. Parrilla was one of the most outstanding participants in the Grito de Lares.

Leonardo Ponce de León – journalist

Enrique Ramírez-Brau – historian and poet. As a historian, he published several books, including Investigación histórica acerca del escudo de armas de Puerto Rico e Historia y genealogía del pirata Cofresí. His works of poetry include Lira rebeldeBajo tu cielo azul and Canciones en la sombra.

Mariana Robles de Cardona – educator and essayist. Robles directed the Spanish Department at the General Studies Department of the University of Puerto Rico. She was a member of the Puerto Rico Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her works include Búsqueda y plasmación de nuestra personalidad(1958) and El ensayo puertorriqueño en la generación del treinta (1960).


• Saint’s Festival – January
• Mayuco Festival – January
• Fine Arts Festival – January
• Three Kings’ Day Festival in Ovejas and Corcovada wards – January
• Saint Anthony’s Marathon – January
• Antique Car Fair – January
• Theater Festival – May
• Youth Festival – July
• Festival in Honor of Saint Rose of Lima – August
• Añasco Triathlon – September
• Chipe Festival – October


Text taken from enciclopediapr.org



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