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Dorado, Puerto Rico
Town and Municipality
Central Square in Dorado town.
Central Square in Dorado town.
Flag of Dorado, Puerto Rico
Flag
Nickname(s): "Ciudad Ejemplar", "Donde La Vida Es Bella","Paraiso de Puerto Rico","La Ciudad Más Limpia de Puerto Rico"
Anthem: "Por fin, en las riberas"
Location of Dorado in Puerto Rico
Location of Dorado in Puerto Rico
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded 1842
Area
 • Total 23.23 sq mi (60.16 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 38,165
 • Density 1,643.07/sq mi (634.39/km2)
 • Racial groups
(2000 Census)
48.0% White
45.0% Black
2% American Indian/AN
3.0% Asian
0.0% Native Hawaiian/PI
2.0% Arabic.
Demonym(s) Doradeños
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00646

Dorado (Spanish pronunciation: [doˈɾaðo], Golden) 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 spread over five barrios and Dorado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The town is regarded as a tourist destination with golf courses, hotels, and beaches. However, many locals would dispute this claim. It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Dorado Airport was operated from 1942 to 1996. The airport began as a military landing strip, then became a civilian airport in the 1960s with Caribair and Dorado Wings flights operating until 1980 and 1982 respectively. The airport operated as a private landing strip throughout the 1980s and then fell into disrepair. In 1996, the airport was rezoned as residential land and redeveloped.

Dorado has upscale neighborhoods and a small downtown area with a plaza (Spanish 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
Year Pop. ±%
1899 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%

Dorado's population has steadily increased during the past century. The current population, according to the 2000 census, is 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.

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

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%



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