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Arroyo (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈroʝo]) is a municipality located along the southern coast of Puerto Rico (U.S.) and bordered by the Caribbean Sea, east of the municipality of Guayama and northwest of the municipality of Patillas. Arroyo is spread over 5 wards and Arroyo Pueblo (the downtown area and administrative center). It is part of the Guayama Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Town and Municipality
Municipality of Arroyo
Malecon de Arroyo
Malecon de Arroyo
Flag of Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms of Arroyo, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms

"Pueblo Grato"
"Los Bucaneros"
Anthem: "Arroyo"
Barrios location in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Barrios location in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 17°57′57″N 66°03′41″W / 17.96583°N 66.06139°W / 17.96583; -66.06139Coordinates: 17°57′57″N 66°03′41″W / 17.96583°N 66.06139°W / 17.96583; -66.06139
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
FoundedDecember 25, 1855
 • MayorEric Bachier Román (PDP)
 • Senatorial dist.6 - Guayama
 • Representative dist.30 
 • Total23.0 sq mi (59.6 km2)
 • Land15 sq mi (39 km2)
 • Water8.0 sq mi (20.6 km2)
 • Total19,117
 • Density830/sq mi (320/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major routesPR primary 3.svg PR primary 53.svg Ellipse sign 178.svg


The town of Arroyo was officially founded on December 25, 1855. However, it is believed[by whom?] that there were previous settlements on the area even previous to the Spanish colonization. It is believed that the name of Arroyo (which means "creek" in English) is derived from a small water stream where travelers stopped to freshen up before continuing on their way.[1]

It has been[by whom?] said that the town came to be formed when a small group of people from the neighbor town of Guayama came to the region looking for a port to export and import merchandise. Still, a local newspaper called La Gaceta de Puerto Rico published in 1868 that Arroyo was founded in 1852. Between 1859 and 1860, City Hall signed agreements to open streets and build a town square and a sewer system for the town.

In 1858, Samuel Morse introduced wired communication to Latin America when he established a telegraph system in Puerto Rico, then a Spanish Colony. Morse's oldest daughter Susan Walker Morse (1821–1885), would often visit her uncle Charles Pickering Walker who owned the Hacienda Concordia in the town of Guayama. During one of her visits she met and later married Edward Lind, a Danish merchant who worked in the Hacienda La Henriqueta in Arroyo.[2] Lind purchased the Hacienda from his sister when she became a widow. Morse, who often spent his winters at the Hacienda with his daughter and son-in-law, set a two-mile telegraph line connecting his son-in-law's Hacienda to their house in Arroyo. The line was inaugurated on March 1, 1859 in a ceremony flanked by the Spanish and American flags.[3][4] The first lines transmitted by Samuel Morse that day in Puerto Rico were:[2]

"Puerto Rico, beautiful jewel! When you are linked with the other jewels of the Antilles in the necklace of the world's telegraph, yours will not shine less brilliantly in the crown of your Queen!"

When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Arroyo was 4,867.[5]

In 1902, Puerto Rico's Legislative Assembly approved a law to consolidate certain municipalities. According to it, Arroyo would be merged with Guayama starting in July 1 of that year. However, the law was revoked in 1905 returning Arroyo to its municipal status.

In early 1999 the U.S. the Congressional record documented a commendation of Arroyo, on its 100-year relationship with the U.S., noting that many citizens of Arroyo have fought and died in wars for the U.S., such as Virgilio Sanchez and Raul Serrano.[6]


Arroyo belongs to the alluvial plains sub-region of Ponce-Patillas known as the Southern Coastal Valley. The area is very dry although its plains are productive thanks to artificial irrigation.[7]

Hurricane MariaEdit

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Arroyo with the significant amount of rainfall.[8][9]


Subdivisions of Arroyo.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Arroyo 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.[10][11][12]

  1. Ancones
  2. Arroyo barrio-pueblo[13]
  3. Guásimas
  4. Palmas
  5. Pitahaya
  6. Yaurel

Water featuresEdit

The Nigua River crosses the municipality from north to south. Its hidrographic system is completed by a series of smaller rivers. There is also a mineral water spring in the Virella Colony.[7]


Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
1899 (shown as 1900)[15] 1910-1930[16]
1930-1950[17] 1960-2000[18]2010[11]


Faro Punta de las Figuras, Arroyo

Landmarks and places of interestEdit

Among the places of interest in Arroyo are the Enrique Huyke Monument, dedicated to the educator and athlete, and the Samuel Morse Monument, dedicated to the American inventor of the telegraph. Casa de Aduana is a museum located in Arroyo.[19]

Other landmarks are La Cora Hacienda, Las Palmas Beach,[20] Punta Guilarte,[21] Punta de Las Figuras Lighthouse and the Arroyo Sugar Cane Train.[22]


Festivals and eventsEdit

The people of Arroyo celebrate a wide variety of festivals during the year. For example, a traditional carnaval is held during the month of February. Also, the "Fiesta Negra", which celebrates the African heritage of the island, is held during March. The Fiestas patronales for Our Lady of Mount Carmel is held in July and the "Festival del Pescao" is celebrated in November.[19]


Although Arroyo doesn't have a professional sports team, it has several amateur teams in Class A category[citation needed].


During past centuries, Arroyo was known for the production of sugar in the Laffayette Sugar mill.[7][23]

In recent years, manufacture and pharmaceutical industries have taken control of the economy of Arroyo. Stryker Corporation, a developer of medical implants and other surgical equipment, has a production plant in the town.

Special Communities ProgramEdit

In 2001, law 1-2001 was passed[24] to identify communities with high levels of poverty in Puerto Rico.[25] In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program.[26][27] Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods are in Arroyo: the Marín neighborhood, Palmas barrio, Yaurel barrio, and the San Felipe-Arizona zone.[28]


Since its foundation, Arroyo's municipal government has been led by a mayor, with its first mayor being Marcelino Cintrón. The current mayor is Eric Bachier Román. The city also has a municipal legislature that handles local legislative matters.[19]

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VI, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Miguel Pereira Castillo and Angel Rodríguez Otero were elected as District Senators.[29]


Arroyo's flag has two horizontal bands of equal size. The upper band is color orange, while the lower one is black. In the middle of the flag lies Arroyo's coat of arms.[1]

The coat of arms is also split in two sections. The upper section features a church in a blue field a church with a rosary to the right and a flower to the left. The lower section features two silver telegraph poles on green hills. At the bottom, waving stripes of blue and silver, with a fish below them. Above the shield, lies a crown of three towers filled in with purple. Below there's a banner with the motto, Arroyo Pueblo Grato.[1]


Education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Arroyo has seven elementary schools, three junior high schools, and one high school.


Tren del Sur
PR-3 in Arroyo, Puerto Rico near Guayama

During the peak of the sugarcane industry in the island, Arroyo was part of the railroad system of the island, with trains hauling production to other municipalities in the island. A small portion of that train remained in use until recently for tourism purposes, under the name of Tren del Sur.

To reach Arroyo, visitors have to take the Puerto Rico Highway 3. However, there are other rural roads available to reach the municipality.

There are 13 bridges in Arroyo.[30]

Notable peopleEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Arroyo Municipality Founding History and Symbols". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "NY/Latino Journal; Taking the PE Out of PRT; by: Rafael Merino Cortes; July 20, 2006". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  3. ^ "150th. Anniversary of the Foundation of Arroyo, Puerto Rico". Archived from the original on 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Puerto Rico". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  5. ^ Joseph Prentiss Sanger; Henry Gannett; Walter Francis Willcox (1900). Informe sobre el censo de Puerto Rico, 1899, United States. War Dept. Porto Rico Census Office (in Spanish). Imprenta del gobierno. p. 162.
  6. ^ Congress (1955). Congressional Record. Government Printing Office. pp. 5–. GGKEY:U89J4XBC3CK.
  7. ^ a b c "Arroyo Municipality General Info (Location, Square Miles, Economy and Geography)". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  9. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Map of Arroyo at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  13. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 2017-05-13. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Arroyo Municipality Festivals, Places". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  20. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Playa Las Palmas
  21. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Punta Guilarte
  22. ^ Peffer, Randall (2002-10-01). Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet Publications. p. 240. Which is the only working railroad on the island, (outside the one in the park at Bayamón)
  23. ^ Nadia Amoroso (27 February 2015). Representing Landscapes: Digital. Routledge. pp. 255–. ISBN 978-1-317-55323-6.
  24. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived January 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  30. ^ "Arroyo Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External linksEdit