Quebradillas is located on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The town has an area of 60.6 square kilometers (23.4 square miles). It is known as “the pirate’s hideout” or “the pirate city,” “the cooperative city,” and “Guajataca corner.” According to the 2000 census, there are 25,450 Quebradillanos, living in Cacao, Charcas, Cocos, Guajataca, Quebradillas Pueblo, San Antonio, San José, and Terranova wards. The patron saint’s day festival is dedicated to Saint Raphael the Archangel, and is celebrated on the days around the Saint’s Day, October 24. Tourist attractions include the El Guajataca Hotel, a theme park, and Guajataca Lake, where there is sports fishing.
The economy is largely based on agriculture (produce), cattle and dairy farming, as well as the food industry, textiles, machinery, electric and electronic equipment, among others.
Quebradillas is located on the north coast of the island. The town is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Guajataca Lake (San Sebastián), on the east by Camuy and on the west by Río Guajataca (Isabela). It is part of the northwest plateau. The southern part of the town (part of San Antonio, Guajataca, and Charcas wards) has the topographical and climatic characteristics of the humid northern hills. The elevation in this area fluctuates between 200 and 500 meters (656 and 1,640 feet) above sea level, notably along a mountain chain called Guarionex. Other elevations are Mount San Antonio (in the southeast of Cacao and San Antonio wards) at 500 meters (1,640 feet), El Centro Ridge and De la Luz Hill (Cacao ward) which are no higher than 200 meters (656 feet).
Quebradillas is located in the karst zone, where there are towers, sinkholes, and caves. Caves include La Luz and Del Abono (Guajataca ward); Las Golondrinas (Cacao ward), and Maleona (Terranova ward).
The town receives water from the Guajataca River, which runs 32 kilometers (20 miles) from its source in the town of Lares to the river mouth at the Atlantic Ocean, between the towns of Quebradillas and Isabela. The river feeds Lake Guajataca, the largest reservoir in the region, which provides water for the irrigation systems in the region.
In the early 19th century, a group of residents of Hato de la Tuna (part of Arecibo) did not want to depend on the town of Camuy, and requested permission to populate the region. In 1815, residents of Camuy Arriba, organized a municipal corporation to lobby for authorization and ultimate establishment of a town at a place known as Las Quebradillas. It was not until June of 1823 that San Rafael de las Quebradillas was able to be founded. The name Las Quebradillas alludes to the many small brooks in the area. The earliest wards were Cacao, Cocos, Sapos, and Terranova.
A year later, the town had about 2,000 residents. In 1827, construction of the church was completed and a year later the first school was founded. A fort called Fuerte de la Concepción was erected to defend the town from constant attacks by pirates and corsairs. One of these attacks occurred in 1825, when a platoon of 25 soldiers who were defending the fort was attacked by surprise and taken by corsairs.
In spite of the attacks, Quebradillas continued to grow and develop. The economy was based on sugar cane, coffee, tobacco, and produce, as well as cattle farming. By 1828, there were eleven cane-grinding mills were established to produce sugar, molasses and strong white rum, as well as two coffee mils and four stills. By 1878, there were three sugar plantations and 16 coffee plantations. There were three schools in the town and the number of wards had increased to eight: Cacao, Cocos, Charcas, Guajataca, Quebradillas Pueblo, San Antonio, San José, and Terranova. The town continued to develop at a normal pace, in spite of the fact that the population was affected by a cholera epidemic in 1855, during which more than 200 people died in two years. In 1899, there population had reached 7,432 habitants.
In 1902, Quebradillas became a part of the municipality of Camuy, under a law passed in the Legislature to consolidate some of the municipalities of the island. Three years later, the law was repealed and Quebradillas regained its sovereignty as a municipality, its boundaries, and its wards.
The flag of Quebradillas has two red rectangles that symbolize struggle, effort, and sacrifice. The other two show five wavy bands, three of which are green, and three of which are white. The green represents renovation, spring, transformation, like the branches an leaves of trees. The white wavy lines allude to the small brooks that refresh the fields, the waters of Guajataca, and the vigor of the ocean waves.
Coat of arms
The shield has three quarters. The first quarter symbolizes the patron saint, Archangel Saint Raphael de Las Quebradillas, with a fish and a staff. The second quarter has nine green and white wavy bands. The green represents renovation, spring, transformation, like the branches an leaves of trees; the white alludes to the small brooks, the waters of Guajataca, and the ocean waves. The third quarter shows a field with a royal poinciana tree, a tree that was imported to the island and is frequently seen along roads and boundaries. The shield is crowned by a three-turreted castle, the symbol of the status of municipality.
Places of Interest
• Old Amador Plantation
• Noah’s Ark
• Pedro Albizu Campos Recreational Area (El Merendero)
• Mosaic murals – inspired Quebradillas.
• Wechy’s Mini Golf
• The twin ceiba (silk-cotton) trees
• Saint Raphael the Archangel Church
• Guajataca Lake
• Los Cocos Bakery – famous for its wood oven bread
• Passive Park Kennedy Subdivision
• Los Dinosaurios Recreational Park
• Linares Promenade and Obelisk in honor of Luis Muñoz Marín
• El Pirata de Charcas – rock sculpture.
• Shrine of the Magi
• Ruins of Hermina Port
• Liberty Theater
Rafael A. Avila – journalist and founder of the El Progreso weekly
Luis Germán Cajigas – painter
Julio Cordero – journalist
Raymond Dalmau – basketball player
Vicenta Deliz – educator
Pedro Hernández – athlete
Luis M. Hernández Saavedra – writer and historian
Angel Muñoz-Igartúa – poet, attorney and political figure. Mayor of Manatí (1940 – 1944). His works include books of poetry such as Savia íntima (1927) and Vibraciones (1960).
Manuel Ramos-Hernández – writer
Dr. Alejandro Ruiz Soler – first Puerto Rican to hold the position of Commissioner of Public Health, founder of the tuberculosis sanatorium in Río Piedras.
Francisco Santiago Sosa – athlete in the Hall of Fame
Rafael Sosa Santiago – journalist
Guillermo Venegas-Lloveras – journalist, composer, poet, writer, and singer. He collaborated with the newspaper El imparcial. Venega’s books of poetry include Cien caras del amor (1972) and La luna, Puerto Rico, ella y yo (1976). He wrote a book of essays called Marzo and a novel called Así hablará Jesús (1985). His compositions include Génesis, sung by Lucecita Benítez at the Latino Song World Festival in 1969, which was awarded first prize as the best song.
• Wake of the Three Kings – January
• Kite festival – February
• Guajataca Carnival – January/February
• Serenade to mothers – May
• Serenade to fathers – June
• Patron saint’s festival for Saint Raphael the Archangel – October
• Cultural Festival – December
Text taken from enciclopediapr.org
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