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Guayanilla, Puerto Rico facts for kids

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Municipio Autónomo de Guayanilla
Guayanilla Bay
Guayanilla Bay
Flag of Guayanilla
Coat of arms of Guayanilla
Coat of arms
"Tierra de Agüeybaná", "Los Corre en Yegua", "Capital Taina"
Anthem: "Guayanillenses, cantemos unidos"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Guayanilla Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Guayanilla Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded February 27, 1833
 • Total 42.4 sq mi (109.9 km2)
161 ft (49 m)
 • Total 17,784
 • Density 419.11/sq mi (161.82/km2)
Demonym(s) Guayanillenses
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR primary 2.svg PR secondary 132.svg Ellipse sign 127.svg Ellipse sign 136.svg
GNIS feature ID 1610861

Guayanilla is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico located on the southern coast of the island, bordering the Caribbean Sea, south of Adjuntas, east of Yauco; and west of Peñuelas and about 12 miles (19 km) west of Ponce. Guayanilla is spread over 16 barrios and Guayanilla Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the Yauco Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Guayanilla was founded by Puerto Rican criollos. The original name was Guadianilla in memory of a river of the same name in Spain. However, it was changed to Guayanilla to resemble a native word in the Taíno dialect. The name Guayanilla is derived from a combination of Guaynia and Santa Maria de Guadianilla.

The first Europeans settled in this area in 1511. In 1756, Yauco was founded as a town. Then Guayanilla was a borough of Yauco. Due to the very fertile lands and access to the local port where most of the local commerce occurred, Guayanilla became an important agricultural center, grew quickly, and was established as a separate municipality on February 27, 1833 by Governor Miguel de la Torre.

Roanoke Colonists

On April 27, 1584, Raleigh dispatched an expedition led by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to explore the Eastern coast of North America. They arrived on Roanoke Island on July 4, and soon established relations with the local natives, the Secotans and Croatoans. Barlowe returned to England with two Croatans named Manteo and Wanchese, who were able to describe the politics and geography of the area to Raleigh. Based on this information, Raleigh organized a second expedition, to be led by Sir Richard Grenville.

Grenville's fleet departed Plymouth on April 9, 1585, with five main ships: the Tiger (Grenville's), the Roebuck, the Red Lion, the Elizabeth, and the Dorothy. Unfortunately, a severe storm off the coast of Portugal separated the Tiger from the rest of the fleet. The captains had a contingency plan if they were separated, which was to meet up again in Puerto Rico, and the Tiger arrived in the "Baye of Muskito" (Guayanilla Bay) on May 11.

Fort Elizabeth, Guyanilla Bay, Puerto Rico, by John White
A watercolor of the fort in Guyanailla Bay, which is likely similar to the fort constructed on Roanoke

While waiting for the other ships, Grenville established relations with the Spanish there while simultaneously engaging in some privateering against them, and also built a fort. The Elizabeth arrived soon after the fort's construction. Eventually, Grenville tired of waiting for the remaining ships, and departed on June 7. The fort was abandoned, and its location remains unknown.


Guayanilla Sea
Guayanilla Bay

The coastline forms the Guayanilla Bay, one of the best natural harbors in Puerto Rico, to the south, also. The nearest city is Ponce, which is 12 miles (19 km) to the east. The northern regions are bordered by mountains that reach 3,300 feet (1,000 m). In the central regions, the terrain descends where it does not exceed 1,410 feet (430 m). Finally in the coastal plain, the elevations do not exceed 951 feet (290 m). The Yauco, Guayanilla, and Macaná rivers all run through the municipality. The Yauco River briefly runs through the Boca borough, where its exit into the Caribbean Sea and accompanying marshlands are located.



Guayanilla is divided into the following barrios (wards/districts), population of each listed in parentheses:

  • Barrero (1,033)
  • Boca (1,263)
  • Cedro (14)
  • Consejo (883)
  • Guayanilla Pueblo (4,832)
  • Indios (2,339)
  • Jagua Pasto (162)
  • Jaguas (1,276)
  • Llano (841)
  • Macaná (1,446)
  • Magas (3,465)
  • Pasto (360)
  • Playa (1,317)
  • Quebrada Honda (446)
  • Quebradas (2,609)
  • Rufina (210)
  • Sierra Baja (576)
  • Total: 23,072


Guayanilla Church
Church in the Guayanilla town plaza.
  • Places to visit: Mario Mercado Castle, Chorro de Oro Waterfall, Cuevas (Caves) del Convento, Guilarte Forest, Emajagua Beach, La Ventana Beach, Tamarindo Beach, Central Rufina Ruins.
  • Festivals: Student Festival (May), Beach Festival (May), Cross Festivities (May), Fishing Festival (June), Virgen del Carmen Festival (June), Seafood Festival (June), Town Carnival (July), Ladies Marathon (November), Immaculate Conception Festivities (December)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 9,540
1910 10,354 8.5%
1920 12,083 16.7%
1930 13,121 8.6%
1940 15,577 18.7%
1950 17,402 11.7%
1960 17,396 0.0%
1970 18,144 4.3%
1980 21,050 16.0%
1990 21,581 2.5%
2000 23,072 6.9%
2010 21,581 −6.5%
2020 17,784 −17.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

According to the Census in 2000, 99.2% Hispanic of any race. 65.5% white, 11.1% black, 19.3% mixed, 5.1% other. There were 7,209 households, out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.4% were non-families. 15.2% live alone, and 7.1% live alone and were over 65 years of age. The average household size was 3.19, and the average family size was 3.55.

The age distribution of the population was 30.0% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% over 65. The median age was 31 years.

The median income for a household was $11,361, and the median income for a family was $13,187. The per capita income for the city was $5,954. 57.0% of the population and 54.9% of the families were below the poverty line.


The Nazario Collection, a set of inscribed stones discovered by Catholic priest and amateur archeologist José M. Nazario (and which popular culture links to taíno high chief Agüeybaná II), has become a cultural symbol for the municipality. The statuettes serve as the center piece of Guayanilla's Father Nazario Museum of Lithic Epigraphy.



The main industries in Guayanilla are the manufacturing of petrochemicals and the production of electricity by thermoelectrical plants. Guayanilla produces over half of Puerto Rico's electricity. The breakdown of occupations are as follows:

  • 22.2% : Educational, medical, and social services
  • 14.5% : Public administration
  • 14.5% : Construction
  • 11.3% : Manufacturing
  • 9.6% : Retail trade
  • 6.4% : Transportation and warehousing, and utilities
  • 5.3% : Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services
  • 4.5% : Other services
  • 3.6% : Professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services
  • 2.9% : Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining
  • 2.3% : Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing
  • 1.8% : Wholesale trade
  • 1.2% : Information


The following schools are located in Guayanilla and students from both schools have participated in the Rose Parade in California on several occasions:

  • Escuela Arístides Cales Quirós
  • Asunción Rodríguez de Sala


There are 35 bridges in Guayanilla.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Guayanilla para niños

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