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Dorado

Municipio Autónomo de Dorado
Town and Municipality
Main square in Dorado
Main square in Dorado
Flag of Dorado
Flag
Coat of arms of Dorado
Coat of arms
Nicknames: 
"La Ciudad Ejemplar", "Ciudad Dorada", "La Más Limpia de Puerto Rico"
Anthem: "Por fin, en las riberas"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Dorado Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Dorado Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded 1842
Barrios
Area
 • Total 60.16 km2 (23.23 sq mi)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 35,879
 • Density 596.39/km2 (1,544.65/sq mi)
 • Racial groups
(2000 Census)
74.1% White
12.2% Black
0.5% American Indian/AN
0.2% Asian
0.0% Native Hawaiian/PI
9.4% other
3.6% two or more races
Demonym(s) Doradeños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
00646
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR urban primary 165.svg PR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 142.svg PR secondary 693.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Dorado is a town and municipality in the northern coast of Puerto Rico, 15 miles (24 km) west of San Juan and is located in the northern region of the island, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Toa Alta, east of Vega Alta, and west of Toa Baja. Dorado is subdivided into five barrios and Dorado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area. During the early 18th century, there were already mentions of a "Sitio de Dorado" (meaning a golden place) in some San Juan registers. Since the beginning of the Spanish colonial period and until 1831, Dorado existed as a barrio (or ward) of the town of Toa Baja. Over several years, the ward grew and established its own town center called the "new pueblo" to differentiate itself from Toa Baja, which became known as the "old pueblo." Over several years, the barrios that currently make up Dorado grew and the people of the "new pueblo" wanted to separate themselves from Toa Baja.

On November 22, 1842, Jacinto López Martínez, the Sergeant at Arms for the ward of Dorado, petitioned the Spanish Governor of Puerto Rico, Santiago Méndez Vigo, to establish the municipality of Dorado. The governor authorized the founding of the town pending the construction of public works, including an administrative building and a church near the town square. In 1848, the construction of the public works were completed and López Martínez became the first mayor of Dorado. 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 Dorado was 3,804. In 1902, four years after the Spanish–American War, Dorado was again appended to Toa Baja. However, in 1905 it regained its status as a separate town. Nowadays, Dorado has upscale neighborhoods and a small downtown area with a plaza (main town square), as other Puerto Rican municipalities. The town's patron saint is Anthony of Padua, and patron saint celebrations are held at the plaza every year on June 13.

History

During the early years of the 18th Century, there were already mentions of a "Sitio de Dorado" in some San Juan registers.

Since the beginning of the Spanish colonial period and until 1831, Dorado existed as a barrio (or ward) of the town of Toa Baja. Over several years, the ward grew and established its own town center called the "new pueblo" to differentiate itself from Toa Baja, which became known as the "old pueblo." Over several years, the wards that currently make up Dorado grew and the people of the "new pueblo" wanted to separate themselves from Toa Baja.

On November 22, 1842, Jacinto López Martínez, the Sergeant at Arms for the ward of Dorado, petitioned the Spanish Governor of Puerto Rico, Santiago Méndez Vigo, to establish the municipality of Dorado. The governor authorized the founding of the town pending the construction of public works, including an administrative building and a church near the town square. In 1848, the construction of the public works were completed and López Martínez became the first mayor of Dorado.

In 1902, four years after the Spanish–American War, Dorado was again appended to Toa Baja. However, in 1905 it regained its status as a separate town.

The 2nd G7 summit was held at the Dorado Beach Resort between June 27 and 28, 1976.

Geography

Rio-Plata-Dorado-PR
La Plata River in 2007

Much of Dorado's geology consists of alluvial and coastal/estuarine sediments of Quaternary age and limestones of Tertiary age. The limestones are mostly in the south part of the municipality, in Espinosa, Maguayo and Rio Lajas Wards. These limestones exhibit mature karst topography of great beauty. It has been subjected to extensive quarrying, which have left unsightly scars in the landscape. Some local communities have gathered efforts to minimize quarrying and improve land management to protect the remaining karst topography and the fauna and flora that lives in it.

Bodies of water

Dorado is the site of some bodies of water. Some of them are:

  • Rivers: Río Cocal, Río Lajas, Río de la Plata, and Río Nuevo.
  • Mata Redonda lagoon
  • Punta Fraile marsh

Climate

Dorado's climate is very hot in the summer months and cool in the winter. Temperatures range around 60 °F (16 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C) in the winter and 75 °F (24 °C) to 95 °F (35 °C) in the summer.

Climate data for Dorado, Puerto Rico
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
(32.2)
91
(32.8)
95
(35)
97
(36.1)
98
(36.7)
100
(37.8)
99
(37.2)
98
(36.7)
101
(38.3)
99
(37.2)
95
(35)
93
(33.9)
101
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 78
(25.6)
80
(26.7)
83
(28.3)
84
(28.9)
88
(31.1)
91
(32.8)
92
(33.3)
92
(33.3)
90
(32.2)
87
(30.6)
82
(27.8)
81
(27.2)
85.7
(29.81)
Average low °F (°C) 63
(17.2)
64
(17.8)
66
(18.9)
70
(21.1)
72
(22.2)
73
(22.8)
77
(25)
77
(25)
77
(25)
75
(23.9)
69
(20.6)
66
(18.9)
70.8
(21.53)
Record low °F (°C) 50
(10)
49
(9.4)
50
(10)
59
(15)
62
(16.7)
67
(19.4)
68
(20)
68
(20)
69
(20.6)
60
(15.6)
55
(12.8)
53
(11.7)
49
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.55
(90.2)
3.11
(79)
2.78
(70.6)
3.55
(90.2)
7.20
(182.9)
6.20
(157.5)
5.84
(148.3)
5.60
(142.2)
3.71
(94.2)
8.47
(215.1)
5.65
(143.5)
Source: The Weather Channel

Cityscape

Barrios

Dorado is divided into eight barrios.

  • Dorado Pueblo
  • Espinosa
  • Higuillar
  • Magüayo
  • Mameyal
  • Puertos
  • Río Lajas
  • Santa Rosa

Housing developments

In recent years, Dorado has been known for its development of upscale neighborhoods. Several known politicians and artists (e.g. Ricky Martin, Carlos Romero Barceló) live or own properties in the city.

Culture

Tourism

In the early 20th century the Rockefeller family purchased plots of land in the northwest region of the municipality of Dorado where they built a huge private vacation compound. Laurance Rockefeller would later use this land to create Dorado Beach Hotel and Golf Club, which later became the Dorado Beach Hyatt Hotel which closed in 2007. Dorado Beach Hotel became a Ritz Carlton hotel in 2012.

Dorado has long been known as a golf haven. Its tourist industry includes the Dorado Beach Resort(Ritz-Carlton Reserve & Plantation), the Hyatt Hacienda del Mar, and Embassy Suites in the Dorado Del Mar neighborhood. As of 2014 there are three operating golf courses in the municipality, the Dorado Beach East Course, the Plantation Sugarcane Course and the Plantation Pineapple Course. The Dorado del Mar course closed in 2014.

Landmarks and places of interest

Some of the places to visit in Dorado are located downtown. For example, the Museum Casa del Rey is the house built in most towns controlled by Spain during their colonization, which was intended for the King and Queen to stay if they visited. The museum includes several artifacts from the era. There's also the Distinguished Doradeños Plaza, and the Juan Boria Theater. The last one was recently reopened after a long period of restoration.

Some of the most visited beaches in Dorado are Sardinera, Kikita and El Unico are other beaches frequented by surfers. The Ojo del Buey Park is a park located at the base level of the La Plata River. The name comes from a rock formation that has the shape of an ox.

Dorado also has a church called the Sanctuary of Christ of the Reconciliation, that has the third largest statue of Jesus Christ in the Caribbean, inside its temple.

Festivals and events

Dorado's Fiestas Patronales are held in June. Other traditional festivals held at the city are "El Carnaval del Plata" which is celebrated in the beginnings of February and the "Cocolía" Festival which is celebrated in the end of June/beginning of August, etc.

Sports

Dorado has their very own Double A baseball team called Los Guardianes (The Guardians) and it's still one of the main places in the island to play golf or tennis.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 3,804
1910 4,885 28.4%
1920 5,842 19.6%
1930 7,579 29.7%
1940 9,481 25.1%
1950 11,749 23.9%
1960 13,460 14.6%
1970 17,388 29.2%
1980 25,511 46.7%
1990 30,759 20.6%
2000 34,017 10.6%
2010 38,165 12.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

Dorado's population has steadily increased during the past century. According to the 2000 census, the population consist of 34,017 with a population density of 1,479.0 people per square mile (568.8/km2) more than doubling the town's population of 17,388 in 1970. The 2020 census indicated the first decline (6%) since the U.S. census has been carried out on the island. According to the 2020 census the town has a population of 35,879.

As a whole, Puerto Rico is populated mainly by people from a Criollo (born on the island of Spanish descent) or European descent, with small groups of African and Asian descent. Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 74.1% of Doradeños identify with Spanish or White origin, 12.2% identify as black, and 0.5% as Amerindian.

Race – Dorado, Puerto Rico – 2000 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White including Hispanic 25,219 74.1%
African American 4,147 12.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native 157 0.5%
Asian 60 0.2%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 7 0.0%
Some other race 3,214 9.4%
Two or more races 1,213 3.6%

Religious affiliation

Due to the influence of Spanish culture, a majority of Dorado's population still practices Catholicism. There are two religious patrons, the Virgen del Rosario and Antonio Abad. Esteban Mariani was placed in charge of the Dorado Parish on June 29, 1848. Since then, several priests served the function until Salvador Carratala was charged in 1925. Afterwards, the Dominican Fathers took over in 1927 and held the office until Salvador Pujolas' one-year stint in 1930. The following year, the Augustinian Fathers took over until handling it to the Congregation of the Mission in 1937. The following year, José Delgado was tasked with the parish until the Holy Spirit Fathers took over in 1943.

The Getsemaní Lutheran Church was founded on July 25, 1911. Initially ran by foreign ministers, until Demetrio Texidor consecrated a temple in August 1924. On December 30, 1945, Carlos Torres became the first officially installed reverend serving the office for 5 years, after years of the office being distributed between locals and foreigners. During the following years, the entity continued its expansion plans under Miguel Sevilla. In 1954, Victor Astacio took over and under him the Church hosted its first synod of the Caribbean event. In 1961, Gilberto Falcón took over and began a project to construct a new temple with the old one hosting its last service on July 19, 1964. Rafael Malpica Padilla, a Doradeño, also served as reverend. During the 1950s, the Lutheran Church created a club for performing arts, where they enacted plays that were mostly centered around nativity.

During the 1920s, Leonor Martínez of Centro Espiritista Caridad bajo Gloria organized several dramatic works in order to gather funds for the spiritist organization.

Government

All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Dorado is Carlos López Rivera, of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). He was elected at the 1992 general elections.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, José "Joito" Pérez and Angel Martínez were elected as District Senators.

Symbols

Flag

The flag is composed of three stripes of equal width: the upper and lower stripes are golden, and the center one is brown. A brown, equal-sided triangle is placed with its base at the hoist.

Coat of arms

The crown is gold with brown windows. The three towers mean that Dorado is a town, a properly constituted municipality. Underneath the crown, there are five disks that form a Tau.

Transportation

Puerto Rico Highway 22 provides access to Dorado from the far away city of Mayagüez, or from San Juan. Road 165 also provides access from Cataño and Bayamón bordering the shore to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the town from San Juan.

Like most other towns in the island, it has a public transportation system consisting of public cars. Taxis are also available around the town. There's also a public trolley system around town and a shuttle service for handicapped people.

There are 19 bridges in Dorado.

Dorado Airport was a commercial airport that served the city with flights to San Juan and to the United States, but it has since been closed.

Economy

Shrimp boats of the Dorado Fishing Cooperative in Puerto Rico
Shrimp boats acquired by the Dorado Fishing Cooperative in Puerto Rico in 1965

Agriculture

In 2007, there were ten farms in Dorado, producing plantains, coffee, vegetables or melons, bananas, root crops or tubers, grains, grasses and other crops, poultry and eggs, cattle and calves, milk products, hogs and pigs, aquaculture, other livestock, and other livestock products. The top livestock produced in Dorado are cattle and calves, horses, hogs and pigs. The top crop items were lawn grass (sod), coffee, pigeon peas, cassava, and other vegetables.

Business

Commerce Tourism and pharmaceuticals.

Industry

Dorado is the site of several industries dedicated to the manufacturing of clothing and medical equipment, among others. Companies like Boston Scientific, Pfizer and Heraeus are among some of the ones located in the city.

Housing developments

In recent years, Dorado has been known for its development of upscale neighborhoods. Several known politicians and artists (e.g. Ricky Martin, Carlos Romero Barceló) live or own properties in the city.

Education

Dorado has several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Including TASIS, Dorado Academy, New Testament Christian Academy of Dorado, and Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

José S. Alegría is the public High School, located in the town center. Ricardo Arroyo Laracuente is the Middle School 7th through 9th Grade. In the town next to the town square is the elementary School named Jacinto López Martínez.

Schools and academies

  • Dorado Academy
  • TASIS Dorado
  • José S. Alegría High School
  • Pedro López Canino Elementary and Middle School
  • Luis Muñoz Marín Elementary School
  • Ricardo Arroyo Middle School
  • Marcelino Canino Canino – Middle School
  • Jacinto López Martínez – Elementary school and first school building to be founded in Dorado. It is over a hundred years old and still in use and one of the biggest schools.
  • Luisa Valderrama Martínez – Elementary school

Notable people

  • Damian Priest, WWE wrestler (Born in New York City, raised in Dorado Puerto Rico)

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