kids encyclopedia robot

Loíza, Puerto Rico facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids

Municipio de Loíza
Río Grande in Loíza
Río Grande in Loíza
Flag of Loíza, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms of Loíza
Coat of arms
"El Pueblo de la Cacica"
Anthem: "Loiceños en Acción"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Loíza Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Loíza Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded 1719
 • Total 65.71 sq mi (170.19 km2)
 • Land 19.44 sq mi (50.36 km2)
 • Water 46.27 sq mi (119.83 km2)
 • Total 23,693
 • Density 360.565/sq mi (139.215/km2)
Demonym(s) Loiceños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 187.svg PR secondary 188.svg

Loíza (Spanish pronunciation:) is a town and municipality on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, north of Canóvanas; east of Carolina, Puerto Rico; and west of Río Grande, Puerto Rico. Loíza is spread over five barrios and Loíza Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is renowned for its rich Afro-Puerto Rican culture and heritage.


Río Grande de Loíza
Río Grande de Loíza (Loíza River)

Some say that its name comes from that of a female cacique, called Loaíza or Yuíza, who governed the region formerly called Jaymanío, in the shores of the Río Grande de Loíza. It is said that this cacique might have married a mulatto conquistador called Pedro Mejías, but there is no evidence of this. Other sources point to a Spanish landlord called Iñigo López de Cervantes y Loayza, who owned a lot of the territory, and was renowned among governors and colonists from the time.

It is said that a crown decree from Spain in the 1600s, instructed slaves to be sent to the region of Loíza. Many people believe this might account for the high ratio of black people in Loíza.

In 1692, Loíza was officially declared an urban area due to its population (100 houses and 1,146 residents), but it was in 1719 that the Spanish government declared it as an official town. It was founded by Gaspar de Arredondo. After being demoted, it was again established as a municipality in August 16, 1970.

In the 1970s, an Aero Virgin Islands DC-3 plane crashed in a Loíza beach, with no fatalities.


Loíza belongs to the geographical region called the Coastal Plains of the North. Its terrain is uniformly plain, since it doesn't exceed 100 meters above water level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.71 square miles (170.2 km2); of which 19.44 square miles (50.3 km2) of it is land and 46.27 square miles (119.8 km2) of it is water.



Loíza is divided into six main "barrios":

  • Palmarejo (including Bo Palmarejo, Villas de Loiza and Loiza Estates)
  • Loíza Pueblo
  • Medianía Alta (including the neighborhood of Vieques)
  • Medianía Baja
  • Torrecilla Alta
  • Torrecilla Baja


Landmarks and places of interest

  • Aviones Beach
  • Ayala Family Artesan Centre
  • Julia de Burgos Walk
  • María de la Cruz Cavern
  • Piñones Lagoon
  • San Patricio Parish
  • Vacía Talega Beach


Phoenix-Phoenix-Musical Instrument Museum-Vejigante Mask and Costume
Vejigante Mask and Costume on display in the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix

One of Loíza's barrios, Loíza aldea, is famous across Puerto Rico because it has been a talent pool for dancers and artisans. Formerly a center for black Puerto Rican music, it is said to be the traditional birthplace of the musical form known as plena along with Ponce.

Each year there is a celebration in Loíza where people parade around wearing Máscaras de Vejigante. Máscaras de Vejigante are a type of mask made in Loíza. They are made from coconuts and are painted in multiple colors.

Loíza is known as "La Capital de la Tradición"- "The Capital of Traditions"- for its "bomba" music, traditional Taíno and African dishes, folk art, and distinct culture.

Festivals and events

  • Mayombe Carnival - February
  • San Patricio Patron Festivities - March
  • Santiago Apóstol Festivities - July


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 12,522
1910 13,317 6.3%
1920 15,804 18.7%
1930 18,762 18.7%
1940 22,145 18.0%
1950 24,755 11.8%
1960 28,131 13.6%
1970 39,062 38.9%
1980 20,867 −46.6%
1990 29,307 40.4%
2000 32,537 11.0%
2010 30,060 −7.6%
2020 23,693 −21.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020
Race - Loíza, Puerto Rico - 2020 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White 1,376 5.8%
Black/Afro-Puerto Rican 7,533 31.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native 106 0.4%
Asian 21 0.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
Some other race 3,689 15.6%
Two or more races 10,968 46.3%

The population of the municipality was 23,693 at the 2020 census. Consisting of 8,508 households, and 6,140 families residing in the municipality. The population density was 1,673.4 inhabitants per square mile (646.1/km2). There were 8,508 housing units at an average density of 562 per square mile (217/km2). There were 8,508 households, out of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 29.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.3% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.39 and the average family size was 3.77. In the town the population was spread out, with 39.3% under the age of 19, 7.8% from 20 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. The median income for a household in the town was $8,962, and the median income for a family was $9,911. Males had a median income of $14,076 versus $12,903 for females. The per capita income for the town was $4,707. 67% of the population and 64.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 62.3% of those under the age of 18 and 59.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. The municipality has the highest concentration of Afro-Puerto Ricans on the island. About 4,256 residents speak English as a native language (Census 2000).

Distinguished Loiceños

  • Sr. Castor Ayala - master artisan and founder of the Hermanos Ayala forkloric ballet.
  • Sr. Francisco E. Mundo Arzuaga - mayor and teacher.
  • Dr. Ramón Suárez - founder Hospital Minilla in Santurce
  • Sr. Ricardo Sanjurjo de Jesús - president Movimiento Pro Restauración of the Loíza Municipality.
  • Dr. William Cepeda - musician and composer.
  • Prof. Daniel Lind Ramos - teacher and Resident Artist, University of PR Humacao Campus.
  • Ing. Iván Hernández - musician and orchestra conductor.
  • Sr. Eugenio Ayala Cepeda - prominent member of Movimiento Pro Restauración of the Loíza Municipality. Pharmacist, civic leader. Established the first licensed pharmacy in Loíza, serving the poor with generosity.
  • Dr. Miguel Licha (1924-2016), Emergency Room physician of the Concilio de Salud Integral de Loíza (1976-1995). Declared an Adoptive Son of Loíza by the Municipal Legislature (Resolution #14, 1984-85).
  • Sr. Samuel Lind - musician, painter and sculptor.
  • Dr. Roque Sanjurjo Cepeda - Founder of the Gerontology Society of Puerto Rico.
  • Prof. Eddie A. Rivera Quiñones (Ediloiza), Community leader, photographer, vocalist, poet and composer.



Red and gold and green with three undulating stripes - The silhouette of a bell tower in the first stripe represents religious tradition and also serves as a symbol of the Church of Saint Patrick as an historical monument.

Coat of Arms

The mounted figure of Santiago Apostle, dominant in the shield, proclaims the devotion to the saint that the Loiceños profess, manifested in a special way during the celebration of traditional festivities every July 25. The flames are emblem of the Holy Spirit, bearer of the seven gifts, a title of the old church of Loíza. The undulating stripe represents the Grande de Loíza River, notable in geography, history and literature of Puerto Rico. The crown symbolizes the famous Taína Chief Yuisa, who lived in Loíza territory where he died. The trebols represent San Patrick, Apostle of Ireland and patron of the population.


Service to Loiza is available from San Juan by AMA route D45. This route provides service to Piñones and Isla Verde and connects to the Tren Urbano at Sagrado Corazon station.

There is no public transportation connecting Loiza to the eastern cities of PR, and there are few if any hotels and guest houses in Loiza itself, but there are resorts in Rio Grande.

There are 5 bridges in Loíza.



Coconuts, fruits, sugar canes, and apples.


  • Fishing


Students at Belen Blanco De Zequeira, Loiza, Puerto Rico
Students at Belen Blanco De Zequeira, Loiza, Puerto Rico

Like all other municipalities, education in Loíza is administered by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico. Loíza has several elementary schools, but only two junior high and two high schools.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Loíza para niños

kids search engine
Loíza, Puerto Rico Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.