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San Germán (Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ xeɾˈman]) is a municipality located in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico (U.S.), south of Mayagüez and Maricao, north of Lajas, east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo, and west of Sabana Grande. San Germán is spread over eighteen wards plus San Germán Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is both a principal city of the San Germán–Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area. San Germán is the second oldest city of Puerto Rico, after San Juan.[2] The island of Puerto Rico was once split between the San Juan and the San Germán municipalities. The latter covered the western half of Puerto Rico, and extended from the western shores of the island to Arecibo in the north and Ponce in the south.

San Germán, Puerto Rico
City and Municipality
Porta Coeli Church, the most recognized landmark of San Germán.
Porta Coeli Church, the most recognized landmark of San Germán.
Flag of San Germán, Puerto Rico
Flag
Coat of arms of San Germán, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nicknames: 
"La Ciudad de las Lomas",

"Ciudad de las Golondrinas", "Ciudad Fundadora de Pueblos", "Ciudad Cuna del Baloncesto Puertorriqueño",

"Ciudad Peregrina"
Anthem: "San Germán es mi pueblo querido"
Location of San Germán in Puerto Rico
Location of San Germán in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°N 67°W / 18°N 67°W / 18; -67Coordinates: 18°N 67°W / 18°N 67°W / 18; -67
CountryUnited States
Founded1511
Government
 • MayorIsidro A. Negrón Irizarry (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.Mayagüez
 • Representative dist.20
Area
 • City and Municipality54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)
 • Land54.51 sq mi (141.18 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation
528 ft (161 m)
Population
 (2010[1])
 • City and Municipality35,527
 • Density650/sq mi (250/km2)
 • Metro
136,212
 • CSA
251,260
Demonym(s)Sangermeños
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP codes
00683, 00636
Major RoutesPR primary 2.svg PR urban primary 102.svg PR urban primary 122.svg PR urban primary 166.svg CR 101 jct wide.svg CR 114 jct wide.svg CR 118 jct wide.svg CR 119 jct wide.svg CR 120 jct wide.svg

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Oldest church in Puerto Rico

Spanish settlement in the original city of San Germán occurred early in the conquest and colonization of Puerto Rico. After the destruction of a small early settlement near modern-day Añasco during a Taíno uprising which started in February 1511, the new settlement was built by Miguel Diaz at Guayanilla[3] and named after Germaine of Foix, the new queen of King Fernando.[4][5] This town was attacked by French corsairs in August 1528, May 1538 and 1554. The construction of a small fort began in 1540, but work stopped in 1546 when the population of the town began moving inland to the current modern location.[citation needed]

An early written reference to the new town occurs in 1573. A letter sent to Spain's king Philip II mentions a city with the names of Nueva Salamanca and San Germán. Spanish conquerors used the name Nueva Salamanca to honor the city of Salamanca in Spain.[citation needed]

On May 12, 1570, the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo (see Audiencia) ordered that both the populations of San Germán and Santa María de Guadianilla be merged into a single city due to the constant attacks. The new city was built on the hills of Santa Marta, next to the Guanajibo River in 1573. Its official name was Nueva Villa de Salamanca, named after the city of Salamanca in Spain. However, the population would call the city San Germán el Nuevo (The New San Germán) and, eventually, the Villa de San Germán (The Village of San Germán).[citation needed]

San Germán is also known as the founding city of towns, given the fact that in 1514 the Spanish crown separated the island into two administrative territories (Partidos). The borders of the two partidos were established as the Camuy River to the north and the Jacagua river to the south. They were named the San Juan Partition and the San Germán Partition.[citation needed]

GeographyEdit

San Germán[6] is in the southwest. Mountains in San Germán include Alto del Descanso (2,520 ft; 768 m) and Tetas de Cerro Gordo (2,897 ft; 883 m). San Germán has a number of rivers: Río Caín, Río Duey, Río Rosario, Río Guanajibo (Estero), Río Hoconuco Guamá and Rio El Brujo.

Hurricane MariaEdit

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in San Germán with the significant amount of rain that fell.[7][8]

BarriosEdit

 
Subdivisions of San Germán.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, San Germán is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[9][10]

ClimateEdit

Climate data for San Germán, Puerto Rico (1898-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91.0
(32.8)
91.9
(33.3)
95
(35)
95
(35)
95
(35)
99.0
(37.2)
99.0
(37.2)
97.0
(36.1)
98.1
(36.7)
97.0
(36.1)
98.1
(36.7)
98.1
(36.7)
99.0
(37.2)
Average high °F (°C) 87.1
(30.6)
87.1
(30.6)
88.0
(31.1)
89.1
(31.7)
90.0
(32.2)
91.0
(32.8)
91.9
(33.3)
91.9
(33.3)
91.0
(32.8)
90.0
(32.2)
89.1
(31.7)
88.0
(31.1)
89.5
(32.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 75.0
(23.9)
75.0
(23.9)
75.9
(24.4)
78.1
(25.6)
80.1
(26.7)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
81.0
(27.2)
80.1
(26.7)
78.1
(25.6)
75.9
(24.4)
78.5
(25.8)
Average low °F (°C) 62.1
(16.7)
62.1
(16.7)
64.0
(17.8)
66.0
(18.9)
69.1
(20.6)
71.1
(21.7)
70.0
(21.1)
70.0
(21.1)
70.0
(21.1)
69.1
(20.6)
66.9
(19.4)
63.0
(17.2)
67.0
(19.4)
Record low °F (°C) 44.1
(6.7)
51.1
(10.6)
50.0
(10.0)
50.0
(10.0)
55.9
(13.3)
57.9
(14.4)
53.1
(11.7)
57.9
(14.4)
60.1
(15.6)
55.9
(13.3)
53.1
(11.7)
48.9
(9.4)
44.1
(6.7)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.51
(63.8)
2.19
(55.6)
2.19
(55.6)
3.43
(87.1)
5.14
(130.6)
2.70
(68.6)
3.13
(79.5)
5.23
(132.8)
6.20
(157.5)
7.29
(185.2)
5.71
(145.0)
2.33
(59.2)
48.05
(1,220.5)
Source: The Weather Channel[12]

TourismEdit

San Germán is the site of the Porta Coeli church, one of the earliest Spanish churches built in Latin America. Porta Coeli is still a major attraction that brings both domestic and international tourists every year.[citation needed]

Landmarks and places of interestEdit

 
Plaza Santo Domingo, located in the San Germán Historic District
 
Plaza Francisco Mariano Quiñones and the Church San Germán de Auxerre

The urban center of San Germán is mainly composed of Spanish colonial houses. Many have been restored and conserve their Spanish look while other houses are somewhat abandoned and in poor condition. There are ongoing projects employing public and private funding to preserve and restore many houses and monuments and to maintain San Germán's colonial era look.[citation needed]

CultureEdit

Festivals and eventsEdit

  • Patron Celebrations (St. Germain d'Auxerre and Santa Rosa de Lima) - July
  • Festival de la Pana - July
  • Anón Festival - September
  • Christmas Festival - December
  • Christmas Parade - Early December
  • Patron Celebrations (The Virgin of the Rosary) — Celebrated in San Germán's Ward, Rosario Poblado, which borders Mayagüez.

SportsEdit

San Germán is home to one of Puerto Rico's oldest basketball franchises, dating back to the 1930s, the San Germán Athletics (los Atléticos de San Germán), nicknamed "The Orange Monster". Many glories of Puerto Rican basketball have played in San Germán, a city that is also known as "The Crib of Puerto Rican Basketball". Some of those players are Arquelio Torres, José "Piculín" Ortiz, Eddie Casiano, Nelson Quiñones, Elías "Larry" Ayuso, Christian Dalmau, and so many others. Their home court is The Arquelio Torres Ramírez Court, which houses approximately 5,000 fans.

The Athletic's fan base is most commonly referred to as their sixth man, or "The Orange Monster". This is because for a visiting team it's extremely hard to win in San Germán due to how vigorous and "into" the game the fans are.

The Athletics have been to 26 National Superior Basketball (BSN) Finals, of which one was cancelled (1953) due to confiscation because of a fight between players from San Germán and the Ponce Lions, giving birth to Puerto Rican basketball's most intense rivalry.

Championships (14): 1932, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997 Sub-Championships (11): 1931, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1986

EconomyEdit

AgricultureEdit

The area around San Germán grows fruits (banana, pineapple) and sugar cane on mid-scale. Dairy farms are also present in small scale. Some locals grow other produce on a small scale. Other industries in the municipality include Baxter Serum Mfg., Cordis, Insertco (print shop for medical instructions inserts), Wallace Silversmiths de Puerto Rico, General Electric (production of circuit breakers) and several other companies in the service industry.[citation needed]

BusinessEdit

Most businesses are located in or near the "downtown" area (San Germán Pueblo). Plaza del Oeste is the main shopping center.[citation needed]

IndustryEdit

Major employers of the city include Fresenius Kabi, CCL, Wallace International, General Electric and several business owners.[citation needed]

Motion pictures filmed In San GermánEdit

DemographicsEdit

Racial distribution
Racial - (self-defined) San Germán, Puerto Rico
- 2010 Census[13]
Race Population % of Total
White 29,614 83.4%
Black/African American 1,989 5.6%
American Indian and
Alaska Native
129 0.4%
Asian 41 0.1%
Native Hawaiian
Pacific Islander
5 0.0%
Some other race 2,992 8.4%
Two or more races 727 2.1%

GovernmentEdit

 
The new City Hall on Luna Street was built in 1989.

Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, San Germán is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry, from the Partido Popular Democrático Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Negrón was first elected in the 2000 general election.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district IV, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, María Teresa González and Gilberto Rodríguez were elected as District Senators.[14]

TransportationEdit

There are 44 bridges in San Germán.[15]

SymbolsEdit

FlagEdit

Green - The Episcopal dignity and also the color of the Shield of Christopher Columbus and his son, don Diego Colón, Viceroy of the Indies, who named the city in honor of Germana de Foix.

White - The purity of the blood of the great families who colonized San Germán.

Purple - Color of the Shield of Juan Ponce de León, first governor of Puerto Rico.

Coat of armsEdit

First Quarter: The Mitre and the Staff in a green field represent St. Germain of Auxerre, the Patron Saint of the city.

Second Quarter: The second quarter exhibits the arms of the Kingdoms of Aragón and Sicily, where don Fernando the Catholic reigned.

Third Quarter: In this quarter the arms combine with the County of Foix and the Kingdom of France, which constitute the family shields of Germaine de Foix whose name is perpetuated as the name of the city of San Germán.

Fourth Quarter: Is Ponce de León's shield, The Crown: Is a civic or municipal standard and is used as a stamp for towns and cities; San Germán was assigned five towers to denote that this population formally obtained the title of city from the Spanish crown in the nineteenth century.

EducationEdit

San Germán has 15 public schools: 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 4 second units and 2 high schools:

It also has several private schools, such as Colegio San José, Academia Sangermeña and Academia Presbiteriana.

The main campus of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico is located adjacent to the downtown area of San Germán. It was founded in 1912 as the Polytechnical Institute of Puerto Rico, the first private university on the island.

Notable Puerto Ricans from San GermánEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Fact Finder on US Census Gov.
  2. ^ "Página Oficial de Municipio Autónomo de San Germán, Puerto Rico". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  3. ^ Fuson, Robert (2000). Juan Ponce De Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida. Blacksburg, Virginia: McDonald & Woodward. p. 79. ISBN 0-939923-82-3.
  4. ^ Thomas, Hugh (2003). Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 231. ISBN 0-297-64563-3.
  5. ^ Floyd, Troy (1973). The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492-1526. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 139.
  6. ^ "San Germán Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  7. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  8. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  11. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". Fact Finder. US Census. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  12. ^ [1], The Weather Channel accessed 8 January 2014.
  13. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Fact Finder.
  14. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  15. ^ "San Germán Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Log In ‹ Home of Heroes — WordPress". Home of Heroes.

External linksEdit