Florida, Puerto Rico Article

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Florida, Puerto Rico
Municipality
Flag of Florida, Puerto Rico
Flag
Coat of arms of Florida, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa", "La Tierra del Río Encantado", "Tierra de los Mogotes"
Anthem: "Florida jardín hermoso"
Location of Florida in Puerto Rico
Location of Florida in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°21′49″N 66°34′17″W / 18.36361°N 66.57139°W / 18.36361; -66.57139
FLORIDA PUERTO RICO Latitude and Longitude:

18°21′49″N 66°34′17″W / 18.36361°N 66.57139°W / 18.36361; -66.57139
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded1971
Government
 •  MayorHon. José Gerena Polanco ( PNP)
 • Senatorial dist. 3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.13
Area
 • Total 10 sq mi (26 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total12,680
 • Density1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
Demonym(s)Florideños
Time zone UTC-4 ( AST)
Zip code00650

Florida (Spanish pronunciation:  [floˈɾiða], Flowery) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located north of Ciales, south of Barceloneta, east of Arecibo, and west of Manatí. Florida is spread over one ward and Florida Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Florida was founded first as a barrio of Barceloneta in 1881 when a priest, Father Carrión, the mayor of Barceloneta, and other dignitaries arrived at a terrain of almost 4 acres. They decided to establish a new barrio and the owner of the place, Don Manuel Cintrón granted the land while he retained a piece of it. The barrio was first called "Florida Adentro".

During the 20th century, several efforts were made to declare Florida as a municipality. First, on April 14, 1949, House Representative Francisco Díaz Marchand presented a project to create a legislative commission that would study the economic and social conditions of the barrio, to determine the suitability of it as an independent municipality. The project was unsuccessful. In 1960, Manuel Frías Morales presented a law that would permit the study to establish the municipality but it didn't succeed either.

Finally, on June 14, 1971, the Senate of Puerto Rico and Governor Don Luis A. Ferré approved the law that officially created the municipality of Florida. It is thus the youngest municipality established in the island.

Symbols

Flag

It consists of three horizontal stripes, with the following colors and widths: green the superior and white the inferior, with five modules of width each one, the center one red, with a width of one module.

Coat of Arms

Field of silver, in an abyss, a gules (red) anchored cross, like the one in the Asturian district of Llanes. The cross is anchored between two branches of bloomed poinsettias (Poinsettia Pulcherrima). A green terrace represents the hilly terrain of the town, with a stripe forming waves outlined in silver which represents the underground river of Encantado. At the top, a three tower gold crown distinct in municipalities coat of arms. The shield can be surrounded, to its flanks and bottom by two crossed coffee tree branches with fruits.

Names

Florida derives its name from the abundant flowers and natural resources on its land. It is also known as "La Tierra del Río Encantado" due to an underground river called Encantado. Another nickname is the "Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa" due to its pineapple crops.

Geography

Florida is the second smallest municipality of Puerto Rico, with an area of 10 square miles. The municipality belongs to the coastal plains of the north of Puerto Rico and it's surrounded by small hills. Several caves are formed in the town like Román Cave, Miró Cave, and Juana Gómez Cave.

Cityscape

Barrios

The town of Florida is divided itself into several barrios or districts:

  • Aguacate
  • Ceiba
  • Comisión
  • Florida Adentro
  • Florida Pueblo
  • Fogones
  • La Villamil
  • Los Guanos
  • Los Vázquez
  • Pajonal
  • Parcelas Arroyo
  • Parcelas Selgas
  • Pueblo Viejo
  • San Agustín
  • Perol
  • Tosas

Culture

Tourism

  • Enchanted Cave

Economy

Municipality depends on State and federal income. Florida's economy had mostly relied on agriculture, specifically pineapple crops and other fruit related products. Today that's history with the high taxes impose on small vendors,there had been a few of manufacturing plants establishing in the area, today about two remain some of them dedicated to plastic.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
19501—    
19601+0.0%
19701+0.0%
19807,232+723100.0%
19908,689+20.1%
200012,367+42.3%

Florida is one of the least populated municipalities of Puerto Rico, perhaps due to its small size. The population, according to the 2000 census, was 12,237 with a population density of 1,236.7 people per square mile (475.6/km²). However, according to the 1970 census when the town wasn't founded yet, there was[ dubious ] only one person[ who?] living in the region[ citation needed]. After its establishment in 1974, the population has steadily increased over the years, with only 7,232 people in the 1980 census.

Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 86.0% of Florideños are of White origin, 4.9% are black, 0.2% are Amerindian etc.

Race - Florida, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census [1]
Race Population % of Total
White 11,381 92.0%
Black/ African American 305 2.5%
American Indian and Alaska Native 43 0.3%
Asian 31 0.3%
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
Some other race 409 3.3%
Two or more races 198 1.6%

Government

After its initial establishment, Florida belonged to the Barceloneta region. In 1949 and 1960 there were some attempts to separate the barrio from Barceloneta, but these were unsuccessful. However, in 1974, Governor Luis A. Ferré and the Puerto Rican Senate officially declared Florida an independent municipality. Its first mayor was Jorge L. Pérez Piñeiro. The current mayor is José Gerena Polanco, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general elections.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two Senators. In 2008, José Emilio González and Angel Martínez were elected as District Senators. [2]

Education

Florida counts with several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

Transportation

Puerto Rico Highway 22 provides access to Road #140, which leads to Florida from the cities of Mayagüez in the west, or San Juan in the north.

Like most other towns in the island, it counts with a public transportation system consisting of public cars. Taxis are also available around the town.

Mayors of Florida

  • 1974–1981 - Jorge Luis Pérez Piñeiro
  • 1981–1984 - Heriberto González Vélez
  • 1984–1992 - Juan Ramon De León Vélez [Johnny]
  • 1992–2004 - Maria Dolores Guzmán Cardona [Maggie]
  • 2004–2012 - José Aaron Pargas Ojeda
  • 2012–Present - José Gerena Polanco

Notable Floridians

  • Charlie Montoyo - Current Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and former Major League Baseball player

See also

References

  • "Municipalities / Florida". Puerto Rico Encyclopedia. Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades. Retrieved 19 April 2014.

External links