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Aibonito

Municipio Autónomo de Aibonito
Parroquia San José, Aibonito, Puerto Rico (4764103748).jpg
Flag of Aibonito
Flag
Coat of arms of Aibonito
Coat of arms
Nicknames: 
"La Ciudad de las Flores", "La Ciudad Fría", "El Jardín de Puerto Rico", "La Nevera De Puerto Rico"
Anthem: "Aibonito"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Aibonito Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Aibonito Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded March 13, 1824
Barrios
Area
 • Total 82 km2 (31.5 sq mi)
 • Land 82 km2 (31.5 sq mi)
 • Water 0.01 km2 (0.0 sq mi)
Elevation
731 m (2,401 ft)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 24,837
 • Density 304.4/km2 (788.5/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Aiboniteños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00705, 00786
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 14.svg PR secondary 162.svg PR secondary 173.svg Ellipse sign 1.svg

Aibonito is a small mountain town and municipality in Puerto Rico located in the Sierra de Cayey mountain range, north of Salinas; south of Barranquitas and Comerío; east of Coamo; and west of Cidra, and Cayey. Aibonito is spread over 8 barrios and Aibonito Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Aibonito is located at a relatively high elevation (its main square is the highest in the island at 2,401 ft [731 m] above sea level), which makes its climate cooler than most of Puerto Rico's towns.

History

Before the Spanish colonization of the Americas, it is believed that there were Taíno settlements in the region that belonged to Cacique Orocobix domain.

After the Spanish arrived, it is believed that a ranch was established in the region by Pedro Zorascoechea in 1630, which led the development of a hamlet. However, it wasn't until 1822 when Don Manuel Veléz presented himself before the government, representing the inhabitants of the area, to ask for Aibonito to be officially declared a town. This was authorized on March 13, 1824 by Governor Don Miguel de la Torre. The first Catholic church in Aibonito was built in 1825. The building was replaced by the current church, which was started in 1887 and completed in 1897. After the town was officially constituted, wards started developing in the area.

On the Spanish–American War of 1898, around 800 Spanish and Puerto Rican soldiers were able to defeat the invading American troops due to their strategic placement in the Asomante mountain. This scrimmage came to an end when the Spanish government surrendered on August 12, 1898. It is interesting to note that the Spanish and Puerto Rican forces at Asomante never surrendered and would have held their position indefinitely if not for the buckling of the Spanish government in Madrid.

Name

There are several stories regarding the name of the town. Some people say that it is derived from the Taíno word "Jatibonicu", which was the name of a Cacique (leader) of the area. This name was also used to refer to a river in the area and was also the name used by the tribe of Orocobix, Taíno chief of the area. Finally, there's a legend that tells of a Spanish soldier called Diego Alvarez who on May 17, 1615 reached one of the highest peaks in the area and upon watching the view, exclaimed "Ay, que bonito!" ("Oh, how pretty!") which eventually was turned into the name of the region.

Geography

Aibonito is located in the Cayey mountain range ("Sierra de Cayey"), part of the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. Aibonito is the town with the highest elevation in Puerto Rico, located at 2,401 feet above sea level. Some of its mountains are La Sierra (2,394 ft), Asomante (2,042 ft) and Buena Vista (2,042 ft).

Water features

Some of the rivers that flow through Aibonito are the Río de Aibonito, Río Cuyón, Río de la Plata and Río Usabón.

Climate

Aibonito holds the record for the lowest temperature in Puerto Rico. That is 40 °F (4 °C) on March 9, 1911. The highest temperature record is 98 °F (37 °C) recorded on September 29, 1920. Aibonito is among Puerto Rico's coolest towns.

Climate data for Aibonito (Average and Records: 1948–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
(32)
88
(31)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
88
(31)
95
(35)
94
(34)
98
(37)
92
(33)
90
(32)
92
(33)
95
(35)
Average high °F (°C) 72.3
(22.4)
74.9
(23.8)
76.4
(24.7)
78.1
(25.6)
79.0
(26.1)
82.5
(28.1)
84.7
(29.3)
85.1
(29.5)
85.0
(29.4)
82.0
(27.8)
77.4
(25.2)
74.9
(23.8)
78.2
(25.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 67.9
(19.9)
68.0
(20.0)
68.9
(20.5)
70.5
(21.4)
72.1
(22.3)
73.4
(23.0)
73.7
(23.2)
74.0
(23.3)
73.8
(23.2)
73.1
(22.8)
71.1
(21.7)
68.9
(20.5)
71.3
(21.8)
Average low °F (°C) 58.5
(14.7)
57.1
(13.9)
59.3
(15.2)
63.0
(17.2)
64.8
(18.2)
66.4
(19.1)
69.7
(20.9)
70.0
(21.1)
69.7
(20.9)
68.2
(20.1)
64.7
(18.2)
60.8
(16.0)
64.4
(18.0)
Record low °F (°C) 43
(6)
42
(6)
40
(4)
53
(12)
52
(11)
55
(13)
52
(11)
52
(11)
54
(12)
56
(13)
43
(6)
49
(9)
43
(6)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.05
(77)
2.68
(68)
2.39
(61)
4.32
(110)
4.46
(113)
3.22
(82)
3.46
(88)
5.03
(128)
7.74
(197)
7.12
(181)
5.87
(149)
4.20
(107)
53.52
(1,359)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.10) 9 7 6 8 8 7 8 15 24 18 19 16 145
Source: Southeast Regional Climate Center 

Cityscape

Aibonito is divided into 9 barrios:

  • Aibonito Pueblo—including Bda. San Luis
  • Asomante
  • Algarrobo
  • Caonillas
  • Cuyón
  • Llanos
  • Pasto
  • Plata
  • Robles

Tourism

Landmarks and places of interest

  • Cañón de San Cristóbal – Between Barranquitas and Aibonito
  • La Piedra de Degetau – Aibonito
  • La Trinchera de Asomante – Aibonito
  • Casa Museo Federico Degetau - Rescued in 2004 and open to the public since October 2012.

Culture

Sports

Aibonito had a BSN basketball franchise called the Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1986 they beat the defending champions, Atleticos de San German, in seven games to win their only championship. In 1987, the Polluelos reached the finals once again, but that time, they lost in seven games to the Titanes de Morovis. Recently, the Polluelos have not been able to see action on the BSN's tournaments because of economic and team ownership problems. Also Aibonito had a Double AA baseball. The franchise is also Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1966 they won the only baseball championship.

Festivals

Aibonito is known for its annual Flower Festival, held in July. During this event, many visitors from other towns and countries come to Aibonito to see a huge display of various flowers and others. Aibonito also celebrates a Festival de la Montaña in November. Finally, the town's Fiestas Patronales are held in July.

Symbols

Flag

The flag of Aibonito features four equal horizontal bands of blue, white, red, and yellow; a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears the town's coat of arms.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms features a four-paneled shield. The upper left corner features the Asomante mountain with a sword in front, representing the last battles of the Spanish–American War that took place there. The upper right corner features a white band on a blue field, symbolizing the fog that covers the region in winter. To each side of the band, a purple color flower and a golden lily. The lower left corner features the gold tower of Casa Manresa, to symbolize the spiritual value of the institution. In the lower right corner a divided green mountain which represents the Cañon San Cristóbal with a seashell above it that symbolizes Apostle James.

Economy

Agriculture

Aibonito has several plantations of tobacco and coffee. They are also known for their flower plantations. Also, a popular chicken producer in the island, To-Ricos, operates from Aibonito.

Business

Baxter International has one of its factories located in Aibonito. They produce medical tools for the hospitals and other medical uses.

Industrial

Other industries located in Aibonito are clothing, furniture and tapestry factories, as well as pottery and ceramics.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 8,596
1910 10,815 25.8%
1920 13,264 22.6%
1930 16,361 23.3%
1940 16,819 2.8%
1950 18,191 8.2%
1960 18,360 0.9%
1970 20,044 9.2%
1980 22,167 10.6%
1990 24,971 12.6%
2000 26,493 6.1%
2010 25,900 −2.2%
2020 24,637 −4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

Transportation

There are 15 bridges in Aibonito.

Notable people

  • Obie Bermudez, artist
  • Rubén Berrios Martínez, politician
  • Rafael Pont Flores, journalist
  • Eliu Rivera, New Jersey politician
  • Ramón Vázquez, baseball player and coach
  • Orlando Rosa, 1996 Olympian Freestyle Wrestling
  • Ezekiel Rodriguez, Self-Made millionaire and stock investor

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Aibonito para niños

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