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San Sebastián, Puerto Rico

San Sebastián (Spanish pronunciation: [san seβasˈtjan]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located northwest 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
Flag of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
Nickname(s): "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
Location of San Sebastián in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°20′14″N 66°59′26″W / 18.33722°N 66.99056°W / 18.33722; -66.99056Coordinates: 18°20′14″N 66°59′26″W / 18.33722°N 66.99056°W / 18.33722; -66.99056
CountryUnited States
TerritoryPuerto Rico
 • MayorJavier Jiménez (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.4 - Mayagüez
 • Total71.7 sq mi (185.77 km2)
 • Land71.4 sq mi (185.0 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.77 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total42,430[1]
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code00685
WebsiteMunicipio de San Sebastián



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 Sebastian 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.




In 2000 and in 2010 the US census listed the following barrios in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.[1]

  • Aibonito
  • Alto Sano
  • Bahomamey
  • Calabazas
  • Cibao
  • Cidral
  • Culebrinas
  • Eneas
  • Guacio
  • Guajataca
  • Guatemala
  • Hato Arriba
  • Hoya Mala
  • Juncal
  • Magos
  • Mirabales
  • Perchas 1
  • Perchas 2
  • Piedras Blancas
  • Pozas
  • Robles
  • Saltos
  • San Sebastián Pueblo
  • Sonador


Landmarks and places of interestEdit



Coffee, Minor Fruits, Dairy Farms

  • Torrefacción Coffee El Coquí


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.

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.[3]


San Sebastian is the hometown of musician and composer Angel Mislan who is best known by his danza compositions, "Sara" and "Tu y Yo" (You and I).

Festivals and eventsEdit

  • 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 Sebastian, 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.[4]

Notable people from San SebastiánEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "San Sebastian Municipio". Fact Finder Census Gov. Census Gov. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ "San Sebastian". Retrieved 2012-04-29.
  3. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine. on CEEPUR
  4. ^ I.C.P. San Sebastián del Pepino: Un inventario de sus recursos culturales. Arcelay Medina,Rubén. Diccionario Biográfico Pepiniano

External linksEdit