Dorado, Puerto Rico
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Dorado (Spanish pronunciation: [doˈɾaðo]) is a town and municipality in the northern coast of Puerto Rico (U.S.), 15 miles (24 km) west of San Juan and is located in the northern region of the island, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Toa Alta, east of Vega Alta, and west of Toa Baja. Dorado is spread over five barrios and Dorado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The town is regarded as a tourist destination with golf courses, hotels, and beaches. However, many locals would dispute this claim. It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Municipio de Dorado
Town and Municipality
Central Square in Dorado town.
"La Ciudad Ejemplar", "Ciudad Dorada", "La Más Limpia de Puerto Rico"
|Anthem: "Por fin, en las riberas"|
Location of Dorado in Puerto Rico
|• Mayor||Carlos A. López Rivera (PPD)|
|• Senatorial dist.||3 – Arecibo|
|• Representative dist.||11|
|• Total||23.23 sq mi (60.16 km2)|
|• Density||1,600/sq mi (630/km2)|
| • Racial groups|
2% American Indian/AN
0.0% Native Hawaiian/PI
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
|Major Routes|| |
The Dorado Airport was operated from 1942 to 1996. The airport began as a military landing strip, then became a civilian airport in the 1960s with Caribair and Dorado Wings flights operating until 1980 and 1982 respectively. The airport operated as a private landing strip throughout the 1980s and then fell into disrepair. In 1996, the airport was rezoned as residential land and redeveloped.
Dorado has upscale neighborhoods and a small downtown area with a plaza (Spanish town square), as other Puerto Rican municipalities. The town's patron saint is Anthony of Padua, and patron saint celebrations are held at the plaza every year on June 13.
Since the beginning of the Spanish colonial period and until 1831, Dorado existed as a barrio (or ward) of the town of Toa Baja. Over several years, the ward grew and established its own town center called the "new pueblo" to differentiate itself from Toa Baja, which became known as the "old pueblo." Over several years, the wards that currently make up Dorado grew and the people of the "new pueblo" wanted to separate themselves from Toa Baja.
On November 22, 1842, Jacinto López Martínez, the Sergeant at Arms for the ward of Dorado, petitioned the Spanish Governor of Puerto Rico, Santiago Méndez Vigo, to establish the municipality of Dorado. The governor authorized the founding of the town pending the construction of public works, including an administrative building and a church near the town square. In 1848, the construction of the public works were completed and López Martínez became the first mayor of Dorado.
When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Dorado was 3,804. In 1902, four years after the Spanish–American War, Dorado was again appended to Toa Baja. However, in 1905 it regained its status as a separate town.
Much of Dorado's geology consists of alluvial and coastal/estuarine sediments of Quaternary age and limestones of Tertiary age. The limestones are mostly in the south part of the municipality, in Espinosa, Maguayo and Rio Lajas Wards. These limestones exhibit mature karst topography of great beauty. It has been subjected to extensive quarrying, which have left unsightly scars in the landscape. Some local communities have gathered efforts to minimize quarrying and improve land management to protect the remaining karst topography and the fauna and flora that lives in it.
Bodies of waterEdit
Some of the rivers of Dorado are:
- Rivers: Río Cocal, Río Lajas, Río de la Plata, and Río Nuevo.
- Mata Redonda lagoon
- Punta Fraile marsh
Flood control projectEdit
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Dorado is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".
Dorado's climate is very hot in the summer months and warm in the winter. Temperatures range around 60 °F (16 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C) in the winter and 75 °F (24 °C) to 95 °F (35 °C) in the summer.
|Climate data for Dorado, Puerto Rico|
|Record high °F (°C)||90
|Average high °F (°C)||78
|Average low °F (°C)||63
|Record low °F (°C)||50
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.55
|Source: The Weather Channel|
In recent years, Dorado has been known for its development of upscale neighborhoods. Several known politicians and artists (e.g. Ricky Martin, Carlos Romero Barceló) live or own properties in the city.
In the early 20th century the Rockefeller family purchased plots of land in the northwest region of the municipality of Dorado where they built a huge private vacation compound. Laurance Rockefeller would later use this land to create Dorado Beach Hotel and Golf Club, which later became the Dorado Beach Hyatt Hotel which closed in 2007. Dorado Beach Hotel became a Ritz Carlton hotel in 2012.
Dorado has long been known as a golf haven. Its tourist industry includes the Dorado Beach Resort(Ritz-Carlton Reserve & Plantation), the Hyatt Hacienda del Mar, and Embassy Suites in the Dorado Del Mar neighborhood. As of 2014 there are three operating golf courses in the municipality, the Dorado Beach East Course, the Plantation Sugarcane Course and the Plantation Pineapple Course. The Dorado del Mar course closed in 2014.
Landmarks and places of interestEdit
Some of the places to visit in Dorado are located downtown. For example, the Museum Casa del Rey is the house built in most towns controlled by Spain during their colonization, which was intended for the King and Queen to stay if they visited. The museum includes several artifacts from the era. There's also the Distinguished Doradeños Plaza, and the Juan Boria Theater. The last one was recently reopened after a long period of restoration.
Some of the most visited beaches in Dorado are Sardinera, Kikita and El Unico are other beaches frequented by surfers. The Ojo del Buey Park is a park located at the base level of the La Plata River. The name comes from a rock formation that has the shape of an ox.
Dorado also has a church called the Sanctuary of Christ of the Reconciliation, that has the third largest statue of Jesus Christ in the Caribbean, inside its temple.
Festivals and eventsEdit
Dorado's Fiestas Patronales are held in June. Other traditional festivals held at the city are "El Carnaval del Plata" which is celebrated in the beginning of February and the "Cocolía" Festival which is celebrated in the end of June/beginning of August, etc.
Commerce Tourism and pharmaceuticals
Dorado is the site of several industries dedicated to the manufacturing of clothing and medical equipment, among others. Companies like Boston Scientific, Pfizer and Heraeus are among some of the ones located in the city.
Since 2001 when law 1-2001 was passed, measures have been taken to identify and address the high levels of poverty and the lack of resources and opportunities affecting specific communities in Puerto Rico. Initially there were 686 places that made the list. By 2008, there were 742 places on the list of Comunidades especiales de Puerto Rico. The places on the list are barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods and in 2004 included the following areas in Dorado:
- El Caño
- Kuilan Barrio Espinosa
- La Hormiga
- Sector Calondrias
- Sector El Cotto
- Villa 2000
- Villa Iriarte
- Villa Plata
In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to aid the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program and Jesús Vélez Vargas, its director stated that the program was evolving with more streamlined ways to help the residents of these marginalized communities.
Dorado's population has steadily increased during the past century. The current population, according to the 2000 census, is of 34,017 with a population density of 1,479.0 people per square mile (568.8/km²) more than doubling the town's population of 17,388 in 1970.
As a whole, Puerto Rico is populated mainly by people from a Creole (born on the Island of European descent) or Spanish and European descent, with small groups of African and Asian people. Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 74.1% of Doradeños have Spanish or White origin, 12.2% are black, 0.5% are Amerindian etc.
|Race – Dorado, Puerto Rico – 2000 Census|
|Race||Population||% of Total|
|White including Hispanic||25,219||74.1%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||157||0.5%|
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||7||0.0%|
|Some other race||3,214||9.4%|
|Two or more races||1,213||3.6%|
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Dorado is Carlos López Rivera, of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). He was elected at the 1988 general elections.
The flag is composed of three stripes of equal width: the upper and lower stripes are golden, and the center one is brown. A brown, equal-sided triangle is placed with its base at the hoist.
Coat of armsEdit
The crown is gold with brown windows. The three towers mean that Dorado is a town, a properly constituted municipality. Underneath the crown, there are five disks that form a Tau.
Dorado has several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Including TASIS, Dorado Academy, New Testament Christian Academy of Dorado, and Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
José S. Alegría is the public High School, located in the town center. Ricardo Arroyo Laracuente is the Middle School 7th through 9th Grade. In the town next to the town square is the elementary School named Jacinto López Martínez.
Schools and academiesEdit
- Dorado Academy
- TASIS Dorado
- José S. Alegría High School
- Pedro López Canino Elementary and Middle School
- Luis Muñoz Marín Elementary School
- Ricardo Arroyo Middle School
- Marcelino Canino Canino – Middle School
- Jacinto López Martínez – Elementary school and first school building to be founded in Dorado. It is over a hundred years old and still in use and one of the biggest schools.
- Luisa Valderrama Martínez – Elementary school
- The Jane Stern Dorado Community Library, founded in 1974, is Puerto Rico's first public bilingual library. Recipient of a 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Dorado's main health facility is a Center for Diagnostic and Treatment located at Road 698. The facility is able to handle emergency cases, but severe cases are transferred to bigger hospitals in nearby towns such as Bayamón or Manatí.
Puerto Rico Highway 22 provides access to Dorado from the far away city of Mayagüez, or from San Juan. Road 165 also provides access from Cataño and Bayamón bordering the shore to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the town from San Juan.
Like most other towns in the island, it has a public transportation system consisting of public cars. Taxis are also available around the town. There's also a public trolley system around town and a shuttle service for handicapped people.
There are 19 bridges in Dorado.
- 2000 Census of Population and Housing: Puerto Rico. Profiles of General Demographics Characteristics, 2000. May 2001. U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. Census Bureau. Ponce Census Statistics: U.S 2000 census. Retrieved November 23, 2009.
- "Dorado - Municipio de Puerto Rico". Portal PRFrogui. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
- 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. 161.
- Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): Summit Meetings in the Past; Shabecoff, Philip. "Go-Slow Policies Urged by Leaders in Economic Talks," New York Times. June 29, 1976; excerpt, "SAN JUAN, P.R., June 28 President Ford and six other leaders of industrial democracies announced here today that they had agreed to pursue the objective of sustained economic growth.... The leaders met at the palm fringed Dorado Beach Resort near here."
- "Dorado Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
- "USACE: $3.348 billion go toward reducing flood risk in Florida, Puerto Rico and USVI". Caribbean Business. 6 July 2018.
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- "Ocala, Florida Weather". The Weather Channel.
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- ElVocero.com, Por. "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Ethnicity 2000 census
- "Senadores por Distrito, Resultados Distrito Senatorial Arecibo III". State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico. 2012-11-09. Archived from the original on 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
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- "Dorado Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.