Vega Baja, Puerto Rico Article

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Vega Baja

Municipio Autónomo de Vega Baja
City and Municipality
Vega Baja, Puerto Rico welcome sign.jpg
Flag of Vega Baja
"Ciudad del Melao Melao"
Anthem: "Melado Melado"
Location of Vega Baja in Puerto Rico
Location of Vega Baja in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°26′46″N 66°23′15″W / 18.44611°N 66.38750°W / 18.44611; -66.38750
VEGA BAJA PUERTO RICO Latitude and Longitude:

18°26′46″N 66°23′15″W / 18.44611°N 66.38750°W / 18.44611; -66.38750
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
FoundedOctober 7, 1776
 •  Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina ( Partido Popular Democrático)
 • Senatorial dist. 3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.12
 • Total 55.71 sq mi (144.28 km2)
 • Land47 sq mi (122 km2)
 • Water8.60 sq mi (22.28 km2)
 • Total59,662
 • Density1,100/sq mi (410/km2)
Time zone UTC-4 ( AST)
Zip code
00693, 00694

Vega Baja (Spanish pronunciation:  [ˈbeɣa ˈβaxa]) is a municipality located on the coast of north central Puerto Rico (U.S.). It is north of Morovis, east of Manatí, and west of Vega Alta. Vega Baja is spread over 12 wards and Vega Baja Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan–Caguas–Guaynabo metropolitan statistical area.


The name Vega Baja in Spanish means lower side of the riverplain. Geographically, the North of Puerto Rico goes down and is slightly higher than the level of the Atlantic Ocean and Vega Baja is a coastal town. Other historians believed that the name Vega Baja comes from La Vega. Vega is a surname of one of the families involved in the foundation of Vega Baja. It is also believed that the name comes from the region of Spain La Vega Baja del Segura.

Although is generally believed that Vega Baja was founded in 1776, after the division of Vega Alta from La Vega, historians have verified that it was many years later when it was officially recognized by the Spanish government. The foundation day is October 7 and it is also the day of commemorating the "Virgin of the Rosary". Vega Baja was originally known as Vega-baxa del Naranjal de Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Vega Baja of the Orange of Our Lady of the Rosary). Orange comes from its previous name based on the fruit that was cultivated in the place.

Cibuco is one of the rivers that goes through Vega Baja, and is a variation of the name "Sebuco", a chief or Cacique Taíno Indian of the region. These "cells" of Taíno Indians were known to settle in the vicinity of the rivers. Although the Cibuco River is prone to floods due to heavy seasonal rains, the benefits provided to the land by the river are numerous.

Taino carvings have been found on some of the exposed reefs in the vicinity of the Cibuco river. Among these carvings is one depicting a face and others shaped as fish. They are an indication that these reefs were frequented for spear fishing and perhaps other day-to-day activities. Other places like Carmelita, Maisabel, Cueva Maldita and Paso del Indio are known as archaeological sites where the aborigines established their communities.

Noteworthy events

In 1990, over a million dollars in cash was found buried in plastic barrels, thought to have been deposited by drug smugglers for later retrieval. The sudden wealth of a few residents attracted attention and prompted an investigation by FBI and local police. [1]


Vega Baja, Puerto Rico tidepools

Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Vega Baja with the significant amount of rain that fell. [2] [3]


Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Vega Baja is subdivided into barrios. [4] [5] [6]


Landmarks and places of interest

  • Casa Alcaldía
  • Casa Alonso Museum
  • Casa Portela Museum
  • El Trece Recreational Area
  • House of Culture and Tourism
  • Man of the Sugar Cane Monument
  • Melao Melao Artisan Center
  • Migrante Square
  • Museo del Salon de la Fama del Deporte Vega Baja Melao Melao
  • Playa Puerto Nuevo and Recreational Area [7]
  • Plaza José Francisco Náter
  • Teatro América
  • Teatro Fénix
  • Tortuguero Lagoon
  • Tortuguero Recreational Area
  • Trinitarias Park


The abundant fertility of its soil, has meant Vega Baja has much agricultural and farming land. In addition, Vega Baja has one of the most visited beaches of the northern coastline, Playa Puerto Nuevo. This beach attracts thousands of beachgoers annually, making it a center for local tourism, especially during the hot summer months. [7] It boasts a natural rock formation of enormous proportions both in height and length colloquially named La Peña. This rock feature shelters the beach portion from the open seas just behind it. During rough marine conditions, the rock feature protects beachgoers, while the spectacle of waves crashing from behind and cascading down its face can be appreciated in the relative safety of the beach.


  • Pineapple, cattle feed (hay). In decades past, the land portion situated between the neighborhood of Monte Carlo and the neighborhood of Los Naranjos, was the site for the cultivation of sugar cane.


  • Clothing, leather articles; electrical and electronic equipment, machinery
  • Medical, and pharmaceutical.


Festivals and events

Melao Melao Marathon - October
Matron Celebrations - October
Christmas Festival - December
"Blue Marlin" Fishing Tournament


Vega Baja, like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, elect a mayor every four years to administer the city. The educator Marcos Cruz Molina is the mayor since 2013 and Ebrahim Narváez is the President of the Municipal Legislature.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two senators. In 2012, José "Joito" Pérez and Ángel "Chayanne" Martínez were elected as District Senators. Rafael (Tatito) Hernández is the Eleventh District Representative and Hector Torres the Twelve District Representative at the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico.


There are 23 bridges in Vega Baja. [8]



Vega Baja's flag consists of a yellow cloth crossed by a green band. The band relates to the fertile valley and the river.

Coat of arms

The Vega Baja coat of arms has a v-shaped green band with overlapping roses in silver and three oranges trees, with gold fruit. At the top part is a five-tower crown, silver, black and green. The main colors of the shield; green and gold are used traditionally in civic, scholastic and sports activities. The crown five tower indicates that the town holds the rank of "Villa" by royal decree.


Elementary schools

  • Agapito Rosario Rosario
  • Almirante Sur II
  • Almirantito
  • Cabo Caribe
  • Centro Comunal
  • Dr. Jesús M. Armaiz
  • Federico Degetau
  • Fernando Rosario Vázquez
  • José de Diego
  • José Gualberto Padilla
  • Manuel Negrón Collazo I
  • Manuel Padilla Dávila
  • Ofelia Díaz
  • Rafael Hernández
  • Rosa M. Rodríguez
  • San Vicente

Middle schools

  • Ángel Sandín Martínez
  • Brígida Álvarez Rodríguez
  • Centro De Adiestramiento
  • Segunda Unidad Pugnado Afuera (S.U.P.A) o Segunda Unidad Manuel A. Martínez Dávila
  • Segunda Unidad Almirante Norte (S.U.A.N)

High schools

  • Lino Padrón Rivera
  • Juan Quirindongo Morell
  • Brigida Alvarez Rodriguez

Private schools

  • Academia Regional Adventista Del Norte
  • Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario
  • Fountain Christian Bilingual School
  • North Point Military Academy
  • Academia Eden Montesory
  • Christian Military
  • Academia El Arca Centro Educativo
  • Believer's Academy

See also


  1. ^ Lemoyne, James (April 18, 1990). "Talk of a Puerto Rico Town: Buried Treasure, No Kidding". NYT.
  2. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  3. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Vega Baja busca una Alianza Público Privada para la casona del balneario". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 22 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Vega Baja Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External links