Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico
Town and Municipality
Town Hall of Aguas Buenas
La Ciudad de las Aguas Claras,
El Oasis de Puerto Rico,
|Anthem: "Yo Soy Aguas Buenas"|
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Aguas Buenas Municipality
|Founded||May 25, 1838|
|• Mayor||Javier García Pérez (PNP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||1 – San Juan|
|• Representative dist.||5|
|• Total||30.12 sq mi (78.01 km2)|
|• Land||30.12 sq mi (78.00 km2)|
|• Water||0.004 sq mi (.01 km2)|
|• Density||950/sq mi (370/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
Aguas Buenas, commonly known as "La Ciudad de las Aguas Claras" (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaɣwaz ˈβwenas]) or "The City of Clear (Good) Waters", is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the Central Mountain Range, north of Cidra, south of Bayamón, Guaynabo and San Juan; east of Comerio; and north-west of Caguas. Aguas Buenas is spread over 9 barrios and Aguas Buenas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Aguas Buenas was originally a sector of Caguas known as Aguabuena. In 1798, a group of residents started establishing their houses near some of the rivers in the area and started calling the sector Aguas Claras.
The quantity of residents incremented with time and on July 25, 1832, they organized a meeting and commissioned Francisco de Salas Torres and Ramón Díaz to do the necessary arrangements for the region to be declared a municipality. A resident, Julian López, offered part of his estate to be used for the construction of a town square, a church, the city hall, and the priest house.
The town was officially founded on May 25, 1838, and the name was changed to Aguas Buenas. Francisco de Salas Torres was declared the first mayor. Initially, the economy of the town relied on coffee plantations and commerce. At the end of the 19th century, the town's population was close to 7,000.
In 1906, mayor Don José E. Morales bought nearly six acres of terrain from Don Guillermo Díaz Delgado. In these lands, the sectors of La Pajilla, El Pueblito and El Guanábano were established, expanding the town's area.
The terrain is moderately mountainous located in the Cayey mountain range ("Sierra de Cayey"), part of the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. The highest peaks are La Peña, Santa Bárbara, La Tisa, and La Marquesa.
Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Aguas Buenas with the significant amount of rainfall. 1,000 homes in Aguas Buenas suffered significant damage as a result of the hurricane. A year after the hurricane struck, many older residents refused to leave their damaged homes and continued to live in their homes, without a reconstructed roof, but with a blue tarp for a roof.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Aguas Buenas is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a small barrio referred to as "el pueblo", near the center of the municipality.
- Aguas Buenas barrio-pueblo
- Juan Asencio
Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions) and subbarrios, 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.
Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico (Special Communities of Puerto Rico) are marginalized communities whose citizens are experiencing a certain amount of social exclusion. A map shows these communities occur in nearly every municipality of the commonwealth. Of the 742 places that were on the list in 2014, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Aguas Buenas: Vázquez neighborhood, Las Parcelas in Bayamoncito barrio, Sonadora barrio, Cagüitas Centro, Pajilla sector in Centro Urbano, Jagüeyes Abajo, Las Corujas, and Parcelas Santa Clara in Sumidero barrio.
Some of the landmarks and places of interest in Aguas Buenas are located in its town square. Places of interest in Aguas Buenas include:
- Finca Artesanal
- La Charca Recreational Center
- Aguas Buenas Caves
- El Mirador Walkway
- Luis A. Ferré Plaza
- City Hall
- Lecture House
- Christ Redeemer House
- Jagüeyes Country Club
- Monte La Tiza
- Maximiliano Merced fire station
- Juan Nieves Cotto baseball park
- Holy Spirit parish
Aguas Buenas has an amateur baseball team called the Tigers.
Festivals and events
Aguas Buenas celebrates its patron saint festival in September. The Fiestas Patronales Nuestra Señora de la Monserrate is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Other festivals and events celebrated in Aguas Buenas include the Salsa, Bomba & Plena Festival held in late summer, an Agricultural festival held in May and the Festival Folklórico de Campo y Pueblo held in January. An annual Carnival is held in March.
Puerto Rico was ceded by Spain in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 and became a territory of the United States. In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Aguas Buenas was 7,977.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010
|Population by Sex/Age|
|18 & over||21,474|
|65 & over||3,787|
|Population by Ethnicity|
|Hispanic or Latino||28,513|
|Non Hispanic or Latino||146|
|Population by Race|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||178|
|Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander||5|
|Identified by two or more||1,296|
As of 2010, Aguas Buenas has a population of 28,659. Although that represents a decrease of 373 when compared to 2000, its population had steadily increased since 1930. That year, Aguas Buenas registered a population of 12,885.
According to the 2010 Census, 72.5% of the population identifies themselves as White, and 12.6% as African-American. Also, according to the census, the population is equally divided by gender (49% are males, while 51% are females). Finally, 25% of the population is under 18 years old. The next biggest percentage of population (19.4%) is between 35 and 49 years old.
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Aguas Buenas is Javier García Pérez, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2016 general elections. The city hall is located in front of the town square.
The following have been the Mayors of the Aguas Buenas Municipality, from its foundation to the present:
|1838-1841||Francisco de Salas Torres||1903-1904||Jacobo Córdova|
|1841||Miguel Díaz||1904-1909||José E. Morales Díaz|
|1841-1843||José Mariano Benítez||1909-1911||Carlos Muñoz Díaz|
|1843||Miguel Díaz||1911-1913||José G. López Alvarado|
|1842-1846||José Manuel de la Vega||1913-1917||José E. Morales Díaz|
|1846-1848||Marcos Díaz||1918-1927||Enrique Lizardi|
|1848-1850||Manuel Otero||1927||José G. Sánchez|
|1848-1856||Manuel Otero||1927-1929||Alfredo Disdier Pacheco|
|1856||Valentín Pérez||1929-1933||José G. López Ferrer (Rafael)|
|1856-1857||Isidoro García||1933-1937||Rafael González López|
|1857||Valentín Pérez||1937-1940||Pedro G. López|
|1857-1859||José Tomás de Sarraga||1940-1944||Rafael González López PPD|
|1859||Valentín Pérez||1944-1948||Rafael Batalla Reyes PER|
|1859||Tomás Paz||1948-1956||Miran Carrasquillo Cartagena PPD|
|1859||Buenaventura de las Barcenas||1956-1960||Ramón López Batalla PPD|
|1859||Valentín Pérez||1960-1964||Ángel Rivera Rodríguez PPD|
|1859-1862||Manuel Boscana Guillermetty||1965-1972||Ángel T. Arroyo García PPD|
|1860||Valentín Pérez||1972-1980||Gregorio Torres Velásquez PPD|
|1862||Santiago Pereira||1981-1988||Gudelio Díaz Morales PPD|
|1862-1867||Juan Eugenio Vizcarrondo||1989-1999||Carlos Aponte Silva PNP|
|1867-1898||José Martínez Balasquides||1999- 2004||Buenaventura Dávila Roldán PNP|
|1867-1898||Agustin J. Díaz||2004 – present||Luis Arroyo Chiqués PPD|
The flag of Aguas Buenas features a blue triangle with the base at the hoist. The triangle has a solitary white star, like the national banner. A second triangle appears interposed with the first one, in yellow, with its point reaching the other end of the flag. The main field of the flag, under both triangles, is color green.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms features a four-paneled shield. The upper left panel shows the Virgin of Monserrate, while the upper right panel features a Taíno, a symbol of the original inhabitants of this region. At the bottom right panel, lies a cornucopia containing the native fruit of Aguas Buenas. This panel represents how the agriculture was the primary source of income for the town. In the lower left panel, there are four maracas and a güicharo, typical instruments of the "jibaros" of Aguas Buenas and Puerto Rico. The crown, as with other municipalities of Puerto Rico, consists of three towers.
To reach the town of Aguas Buenas, visitors must take the Puerto Rico Highway 52 to the city of Caguas. From there, road #156 leads directly into the town square. Other roads lead to nearby towns like Comerío.
There are 13 bridges in Aguas Buenas.
- Dr. Gustavo Muñoz Díaz
- Ezequiel Ramos La Santa
- Jagüeyes Abajo
- José R. González
- Luis Santaella
- Luis T. Baliñas
- Mulitas Alvelo
- Ramón Luis Rivera/Juan Asencio
- Santa Clara
Junior High Schools
- Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos
- Luis Muñoz Marín
- Su Bayamoncito
- Su Sumidero
- Josefa Pastrana
Bajo el azul del cielo de mi patria
En el oriente de la Cordillera
Aguasbonenses forjando la historia
Defendiendo el honor de su bandera.
De sol a sol sembrando nuestros frutos
El orgullo labrado en nuestra tierra
La siega de un futuro va anunciando
El brillo de la solitaria estrella.
Que se levanta en medio del combate
Por negarse a ser solo una quimera
Raices firmes que en el pecho laten
Afirmando la patria y la conciencia.
Aguas Buenas, estirpe de valientes
Pedazo del terruño borinqueño
Un pueblo que se une en la conquista
De lo que es ser un buen puertoriqueñio.
Yo soy Aguas Buenas!
- Victor Hernández Cruz – Poet
- Gustavo Muñoz Díaz – Dramatist
- Jacobo Córdova Chirino (1901–1955) – Journalist & Humorist
- José Arsenio Torres – Professor
- Luis Rechani Agrait (1902–1997) – Dramatist
- Pio Rechani – Journalist
- Rafael Nicolau – Journalist
- Josefa Pastrana Lopez (1899–1958) – Professor
- Joyce Giraud – Actress
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