Vega Alta, Puerto Rico

Vega Alta (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbeɣa ˈalta]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico. Vega Alta is on the northern coast of the island, north of Morovis and Corozal; east of Vega Baja; and west of Dorado with an area of 28 square miles (73 km2). Vega Alta is subdivided into seven barrios and Vega Alta barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Vega Alta

Municipio Autónomo de Vega Alta
Town and Municipality
Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción in Vega Alta
Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción in Vega Alta
Flag of Vega Alta
Flag
Nicknames: 
Pueblo de los Ñangotaos, Los Maceteros
Anthem: "En La Costa Norte De Mi Islita"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Vega Alta Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Vega Alta Municipality
Coordinates: 18°24′44″N 66°19′53″W / 18.41222°N 66.33139°W / 18.41222; -66.33139Coordinates: 18°24′44″N 66°19′53″W / 18.41222°N 66.33139°W / 18.41222; -66.33139
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Founded1775
Barrios
Government
 • MayorOscar Santiago (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.11,12
Area
 • Total27.75 sq mi (71.87 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total39,951
 • Density1,400/sq mi (560/km2)
Demonym(s)Vegalteños
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
ZIP Code
00692
Area code(s)787/939
Major routesPR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 694.svg Ellipse sign 160.svg Ellipse sign 647.svg Ellipse sign 676.svg Ellipse sign 690.svg Ellipse sign 693.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Vega Alta is west of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Vega Alta is known for the beach at Cerro Gordo. Other points of interest include the town's Catholic church, known as Inmaculada Concepción, which was founded in 1813, and the Vega Alta Forest.[1]

During the first week of December, Vega Alta celebrates its patron saint, the Immaculate Conception.

HistoryEdit

 
Mosque in Vega Alta, second-largest in Puerto Rico, built in 1992

Vega Alta was founded in 1775 by Francisco de los Olivos. It was first named La Vega de Espinosa and known as el pueblo de los Ñangotaos (the town of the squatters", in reference to the jíbaros country folk who would wait for the train in a squatting position, due to lack of benches). Before this, it was part of a group of towns known as Las Vegas. It was then that one area was named Vega Baja and the other Vega Alta.

On October 12, 1898 the city's mayor, Francisco Vega, received U.S. troops as part of the Spanish–American War. On that same day, for the first time in Vega Alta's history, the U.S. flag was lifted on city hall. From 1902 to 1905, Vega Alta became once more part of the neighbor city of Vega Baja. In 1905, the government of Puerto Rico passed a law, allowing Vega Alta to become a municipality with its own limits.

Hacienda Carmen and Hacienda Ortega sugar plantations were owned by Juan Gualberto Landron y Martinez born in 1791 in Toa Baja . He owned slaves and purchased them, some coming directly from Africa.

The second-largest mosque, built in 1992, is located in Vega Alta.[2]

GeographyEdit

Vega Alta is on the northern coast.[3]

Río Cibuco, Río Mavilla and Río Unibón are located in Vega Alta. The Javier Calderón beach, better known as Cerro Gordo Beach is administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Sports and Recreation.[4]

Vega Alta has a land area of 27.75 square miles (71.87 km2) and water area of 9.76 square miles (25.28 km2).[5]

Hurricane MariaEdit

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Vega Alta with the significant amount of rainfall.[6][7] The landsllides left Morovis cut off from its neighboring municipalities.[8]

BarriosEdit

 
Subdivisions of Vega Alta.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Vega Alta 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][5][11]

SectorsEdit

Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions)[12] and subbarrios,[13] in turn, are further subdivided into smaller local populated place areas/units called sectores (sectors in English). The types of sectores may vary, from normally sector to urbanización to reparto to barriada to residencial, among others.[14][15][16]

Special CommunitiesEdit

Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods are in Vega Alta: Villa Alegria, Villa del Rio, Mavilla, Machuchal, El Nueve, Ponderosa, Manantial, and Corea.[17][18]

ClimateEdit

According to the Weather Channel's website, June is the warmest month, March is the coolest month, October is the wettest month, and June is the driest month. Records:

  • The highest recorded temperature was 98 °F in July 2007.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was 40 °F in January 1945.

EconomyEdit

In 1908, Vega Alta was producing coffee, sugar, oranges (which were famous in the United States) for their sweetness, tobacco and rum.[19]

AgricultureEdit

  • Banana, fruits, grains, and sugar cane.
  • Flowers and ornamental plants.
  • Dairy and meat cattle, pigs, and poultry.

IndustryEdit

  • Manufacture of chemicals, electrical and electronic machinery, furniture, food, and plastics.
  • Logistics Center

TourismEdit

There are 6 beaches in Vega Alta.[20]

Lin-Manuel Miranda tourismEdit

 
La Placita Güisín.

The Puerto Rican, award-winning, musician and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda who created the Broadway hit, "Hamilton", is from a family with roots in Vega Alta. In 2017, his dad opened La Placita Güisín, a cafe and restaurant in the downtown area of Vega Alta, and in 2019 Lin-Manuel moved his memorabilia to a new gallery, the Lin-Manuel Miranda Gallery, a few steps from Placita Güisín and opened a store there too, TeeRico. The location has become a tourist attraction.[21][22][23]

CultureEdit

Festivals and eventsEdit

Vega Alta celebrates its patron saint festival in December. The Fiestas Patronales de La Inmaculada Concepción de María is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.[3]

Other festivals and events celebrated in Vega Alta include:

  • Three Kings Fiestas - January
  • Rosarios Cantados (Sung Rosary) - February
  • Carnaval Vegalteño - February
  • Kite Festival - July
  • Virgen del Carmen Parade - July
  • Rooster Festival - October

SportsEdit

Vega Alta Maceteros are the Double-A (baseball) team of Vega Alta.[24]

Vega Alta is known for having amateur ball players as well as professional. Basketball is played in local communities. Other sports practiced include tennis, volleyball, handball, and amateur surfing among others.

Vega Alta is also known for having famous Major League Baseball players such as The Molina Brothers which consist of Yadier Molina, Bengie Molina and José Molina. Other famous sport personalities include former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams and professional boxer Ángel Chacón.

MusicEdit

A well known musician from Vega Alta was Ladislao Martinez a.k.a. El Maestro Ladi (June 27, 1898–February 1, 1979), a master cuatro musician. He became the first Puerto Rican to play a cuatro solo on the radio.

Fiel a la Vega, a rock en español (rock in Spanish) band, was formed in 1994. Band members Tito Auger and Ricky Laureano are from Vega Alta, while brothers Pedro Arraiza and Jorge Arraiza come from next-door Vega Baja. Their first album spawned hits like Salimos de Aquí and El Wanabí, both of which were released with videos.

DemographicsEdit

The United States took control of Puerto Rico from Spain in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 and conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, finding that the population of Vega Alta was 6,107.

Historical population
Census Pop.
19006,107
19108,13433.2%
19209,97022.6%
193012,33323.7%
194014,32916.2%
195016,52115.3%
196017,6036.5%
197022,81029.6%
198028,69625.8%
199034,55920.4%
200037,9109.7%
201039,9515.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[25]
1899 (shown as 1900)[26] 1910-1930[27]
1930-1950[28] 1960-2000[29] 2010[5]
  • Population: 37,910 as of 2000 U.S. Census
  • Density: 527.5 per km2 (1,366.1 per sq mi)
  • Housing units: 13,526
  • Housing density: 188.2 per km2
  • Per capita income: $7,356

GovernmentEdit

 
Town Hall in Vega Alta

The main women's prison of the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Escuela Industrial para Mujeres in Vega Alta, opened in 1954, replacing a prison in Arecibo; work began on the facility in 1952. Puerto Rico also operates the Hogar de Adaptación Social en Vega Alta, which opened in 1987.[30]

Past and present mayorsEdit

  • Antonio Navas
  • Lorenzo Cabrera
  • Emilio Escalera
  • Arturo Rivera
  • Ramon Cestero
  • Emilio Davila Diaz
  • Jose Vega Nevarez
  • Francisco Chinea
  • Carmelo Mercado
  • Jacinto Seijo
  • Jose Rosado Negron, (1977–1980; b. 1934, d. 1999)
  • Manuel "Manolin" Chinea (PDP, 1981–1993)
  • Isabelo "Chabelo" Molina (PNP, 1993–2001)
  • Juan "Mane" Cruzado (PPD, 2001–2002) resigned, Vice-Mayor Jose Colon assumed post.
  • Jose Colon (PPD, 2002–2005)
  • Isabelo "Chabelo" Molina (PNP, 2005–2017)
  • Oscar Santiago Martinez (PPD, 2017–present)

TransportationEdit

Puerto Rico's Highway 22 provides access to Vega Alta from the far away city of Mayagüez, or from San Juan. Highway 2 also provides access from the western cities of Manatí, Arecibo and the eastern cities of Bayamón and Guaynabo bordering the shore to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the town from San Juan. The closest airport is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina. Other public transportation close to the area is El Tren Urbano (TU).

There are 16 bridges in Vega Alta.[31]

SymbolsEdit

FlagEdit

This municipality has a flag.[32]

Coat of armsEdit

This municipality has a coat of arms.[32]

AnthemEdit

The anthem used by Vega Alta is the musical composition created in 1958, with lyrics by Domingo Figueroa Ramírez Arreglo and music by Domingo and Elliot A. Knight.

EducationEdit

Public schoolsEdit

  • Antonio Paoli/Elementary
  • Elemental Urbana/Elementary
  • Elisa Davila Vazquez/Elementary
  • Ignacio Miranda/elementary school
  • Dr. Cañaco Stalingrad III/ High School
  • Jose D. Rosado/Elementary
  • Jose M. Pagan/Elementary
  • Rafael Hernadez/Elementary
  • Apolo San Antonio/Former high school
  • Nueva Escuela Brenas/Middle School, Second Unit
  • Adelaida Vega/Middle School, Second Unit
  • Ileana de Gracia/High School
  • Ladislao Martinez (Maestro Ladi)/Second High School

Private schoolsEdit

Notable natives and residentsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Leonardo Santana-Rabell. Historia de Vega Alta de Espinosa. 2da edición, Editorial La Torre del Viejo, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1995.
  • Domingo Figueroa Ramirez. Memorias y versos: Desde algun rincón de Vega Alta. 1era edición Vega Coop y Econo Mendez Class

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Municipalities: Vega Alta". Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico (in English and Spanish). San Juan: Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades. OCLC 234072526. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved May 16, 2017. Mayors
  2. ^ "Muslims in Puerto Rico". Arab News. December 28, 2012. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Vega Alta Municipality". enciclopediapr.org. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH). Archived from the original on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  4. ^ "Balneario Cerro Gordo". drdpuertorico (in Spanish). Programa de Parques Nacionales de Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  6. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  7. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  8. ^ "Graves deslizamientos incomunican a Morovis [Serious landslides cut off Morovis]". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 22 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  9. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  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. ^ "Map of Vega Alta at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  12. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". factfinder.com. US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  13. ^ "P.L. 94-171 VTD/SLD Reference Map (2010 Census): Vega Alta Municipio, PR" (PDF). www2.census.gov. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Agencia: Oficina del Coordinador General para el Financiamiento Socioeconómico y la Autogestión (Proposed 2016 Budget)". Puerto Rico Budgets (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  15. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza: Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (first ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  16. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  19. ^ Anuario del comercio, de la industria, de la magistratura y de la administración de España, sus colonias, Cuba, Puerto-Rico y Filipinas, estados hispano-americanos y Portugal (in Spanish). Bailly-Bailliere e Hijos. 1908. p. 353. Archived from the original on 2020-08-22. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  20. ^ "Las 1,200 playas de Puerto Rico [The 1200 beaches of Puerto Rico]". Primera Hora (in Spanish). April 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Paulson, Michael (December 26, 2018). "Lin-Manuel Miranda's Passion for Puerto Rico". NYT. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Ayala Polley, Leonor (May 1, 2016). "In Lin-Manuel Miranda's Puerto Rican Town, Crisis Worries Family Members". NBC. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  23. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda inaugura galería en Vega Alta". El Nuevo Dia. 30 April 2019. Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2018-12-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  26. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  27. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  28. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  29. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "Perfil de la Población de Mujeres Confinadas Año 2015" (Archive). Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved on December 9, 2015.
  31. ^ "Vega Alta Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  32. ^ a b "VEGAALTA". LexJuris (Leyes y Jurisprudencia) de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). 19 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.

External linksEdit