San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
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San Sebastián (Spanish pronunciation: [san seβasˈtjan]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the northwestern region of the island, south of Isabela, Quebradillas and Camuy; north of Las Marías; east of Moca and Añasco; and west of Lares. San Sebastián is spread over twenty-four wards and San Sebastián Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is a principal city of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.
San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
City and Municipality
"San Sebastián Del Pepino", "Pepino", "Cuna de la Hamaca", "Los Patrulleros"
|Anthem: "Van más de dos siglos de historia de vida"|
Location of San Sebastián in Puerto Rico
|• Mayor||Javier Jiménez (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||4 - Mayagüez|
|• Total||71.7 sq mi (185.77 km2)|
|• Land||71.4 sq mi (185.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.77 km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
The permission to found the town was officially given in 1752, under the leadship of the founder, Captain Cristóbal González de la Cruz, who among other neighbors had an interest in converting some cow farms into an agricultural village. The foundation of the town from the religious aspect, was consummated in December 1762 by Mariano Martin, the island catholic bishop at that time. At the beginning, by 1700, San Sebastián was a conglomerate of a few cow farms, owned by some residents of the Partido de Aguada. Las Vegas was the former plain site of one of the first cow farms located by the Guatemala riverside at the north. Also, another of those cow farms was Pepinito (today's downtown) that was a low green mountain with a white calcium carbonate face. On the north side of the town it can be seen some of this "pepinos" (cucumbers). These two cow farms gave the town its first name. From these geographical accidents come the first names of the new village: Las Vegas del Pepino (Cucumber Fields). In 1865 it is documented as San Sebastián de Las Vegas del Pepino.
At the beginning of the 19th century, wealthy Spanish families arrived in Pepino, fleeing the revolutions of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Later, by 1850, several families from Catalonia and the Basque Country in Spain joined the large number of isleños (Canary Islanders) that had made El Pepino their home. These people, after taking over the local political power, developed a coffee industry and brought some material progress to the town. The resident Basques in the municipality, in remembrance of their home region and its religious patron, saw the need of upgrading the old traditional Pepino used by the Canary Islanders to the new and "up-dated" San Sebastián, promoted and thus got the name formally changed by the central government authority. Nevertheless, the citizens of San Sebastián are called "pepinianos".
San Sebastián Mártir (Spanish for Saint Sebastian the Martyr) is the patron saint of archers and was chosen to be the patron saint of the town since its early history, first brought by the immigrants from the Canaries and later confirmed by the Basques, with the town name changed in 1869.
Landmarks and places of interestEdit
There are a number of landmarks and places of interest in this municipality, including:
- Doña Bisa Cabrero House - Facing the Public Square
- Guajataca Lake
- Luis Aymat Cardona Coliseum
- Market Plaza
- Church San Sebastian Martir of San Sebastian
- Robles Waterfall (also known as Gozalandia).
- Collazo Waterfall
- Sombrero Hill
- Hacienda El Jibarito
- Juan Jose "Titi" Beniquez Stadium
- Luis Muñoz Marin Ground
- Guajataca Scout Reservation
- Blue Moon Bar
Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, San Sebastián is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Javier Jiménez, from the New Progressive Party (PNP). Jiménez was elected at the 2004 general election.
San Sebastián is the hometown of musician and composer Ángel Mislan who is best known for his danza compositions, "Sara" and "Tu y Yo" (You and I).
Festivals and eventsEdit
There are a number of festivals, events and holiday celebrations throughout the year in San Sebastián, including:
- Patronal Religious Fiesta - January
- Three Kings Festival and Household Parties - January 6
- Heifer Festival (Festival de la Novilla) - January
- Chess Tournament - January
- Ateneo Pepiniano Cultural Festival - January
- Hammock Festival - July
- Comeback to the Mountaintop - September
San Sebastián holds the Luis Aymat Cardona Coliseum, ground for the professional [volleyball] team, the Caribes de San Sebastián, under the auspices of the Upper Women's Volleyball League. In amateur baseball or baseball AA, the city is represented by the Patrulleros de San Sebastián, who play at the Estadio Juan Jose "Titi" Beniquez Stadium.
It consists of a rectangular flag of the usual proportions, crossed by a white waved band that separates its red superior part from the inferior one, which is green.
Coat of ArmsEdit
The Mountains: With silver-plated borders, represent the characteristic mountains under which the vegetable namesake of the town grow (Pepinos) The Crown: Is the heraldic standard used to identify towns, villas and cities. The Sugar Cane and Coffee Branches: They represent main agricultural products.
Notable people from San SebastiánEdit
- Juan Beníquez, a former center fielder in Major League Baseball
- Ángel Mislan, (1862-1911) musician and composer of danzas "Sara" and "Tu y Yo".
- Nilita Vientós Gastón, (1903-1989) an educator, writer and journalist and the first woman president of the Puerto Rican Athenaeum.
- Luis V. Gutiérrez, first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest.
- Nathan Lebron, first Latino to run for mayor of Albany, NY.
- Abimelec Torres, contestant on the second season of Idol Puerto Rico.
- Oscar Lopez Rivera, political prisoner.
- Luz Maria Villafañe, Co-Founder of the 'La Fogata Restaurant' franchise in Houston, Texas.
- Boceto Histórico Del Pepino - Andrés Méndez Liciaga
- San Sebastián Del Pepino, Notas Para Su Historia - Walter Cardona
- La Fundación De Las Vegas Del Pepino - Eliut González Vélez
- La Formación De La Etnia Cultural Pepiniana - Eliut González Vélez
- Singer-Ismael Nunez Pratts
- Singer,Announcer-Edgar Arvelo
- Singer-Maciano Rocky Duran
- Singer,did Theater-Nena Rivera
- Singer,Announcer-Junior Arroyo
- Singer-Raphet Rosado
- Singer,Actress-Rosa Haydee Rosado
- Opera Singer - Margarita Castro Alberty
- Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
- "San Sebastian". Puerto_rico9.tripod.com. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969.
- 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.
- "Map of San Sebastián at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- "Municipio De San Sebastián". enciclopediapr.org (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2019.
- "Cafe El Coqui". cafe-elcoqui.com.
- Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
- I.C.P. San Sebastián del Pepino: Un inventario de sus recursos culturales. Arcelay Medina,Rubén. Diccionario Biográfico Pepiniano