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Maricao, Puerto Rico facts for kids

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Municipio Autónomo de Maricao
Maricao High School
Maricao High School
Flag of Maricao
Coat of arms of Maricao
Coat of arms
"Pueblo de las Indieras", "Ciudad del Monte del Estado", "Ciudad de Leyenda y Romance", "Tierra del Café"
Anthem: "Sobre las verdes altura"'
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Maricao Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Maricao Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded April 10, 1874
 • Total 37.1 sq mi (96.0 km2)
 • Land 37.1 sq mi (96 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
 • Total 4,455
 • Density 120.08/sq mi (46.406/km2)
Demonym(s) Maricaeños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 105.svg PR secondary 120.svg PR secondary 357.svg Ellipse sign 119.svg Ellipse sign 128.svg

Maricao is a town and the second-least populous municipality of Puerto Rico; it is located at the western edge of the Cordillera Central. It is a small town set around a small square in hilly terrain, north of San Germán, Sabana Grande and Yauco; south of Las Marías and Lares, southeast of Mayagüez, and west of Adjuntas. Maricao is spread over 6 barrios and Maricao Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city).

The town borders the Maricao Fish Hatchery, a fish hatchery made up of tanks and pools in a garden setting, where some 25,000 fish are raised yearly to stock farm fishponds and island lakes. The hatchery is part of the Maricao State Forest, also known as Monte del Estado. Though of dryer vegetation than the other mountain forest, Maricao is home to large number of bird species. Its stone observation tower provides far-flung views to the coast and the Mona Passage.

Maricao has a 2020 census population of 4,455.


Maricao was founded on April 1, 1874 when Bernardo Collado, Julián Ayala, Francisco M. Sojo, Napoleón Pietri and Leoncio S. Martínez requested the Provincial Deputation authorization to establish an official town. It originally belonged to the district of San Germán, but they alleged the roads were too long and almost impassable. Their request made references to a parish already established in 1866.

During the 19th century coffee boom, Maricao and other regions surged economically. When the spurt of coffee in the island ended by the start of the 20th century, the economic conditions deteriorated again. Many of the old plantation houses have been converted in museums to stimulate the tourism industry. While Puerto Rico still has a niche in the gourmet coffee market, the large scale coffee growing which built Maricao is no longer economically feasible.



The flag of Maricao derives its colors, design and symbolism from the municipal shield. It consists of a green cloth, with the three usual dimensions of the municipal flags of Puerto Rico, crossing from an end to another a yellow band with three points. The color green symbolizes the vegetation of the municipality and the yellow band symbolizes the mountains of the region.

Coat of Arms

In a silver field, resides an inverted "V"-shaped green band. Contained in the band are five golden huts. To either side and below the band are a total of three Maricao (Byrsonima spicata) tree branches with flowers. Surrounding the shield below and to either side are two coffee tree branches. Above it is placed a gold mural crown with three towers outlined in black with green doors and windows.


The origin of its name has two versions. It is said to come from the name of the Maricao tree (Byrsonima spicata) which has yellow flowers and grows in the region. The second version is a legend about a Taíno woman called María that, during the Spanish colonization, fell in love with a Spanish soldier. She informed him of an attack planned by her tribe and the Spanish took the offensive. María was then taken prisoner by her people and tried for treason. As was the tradition, she was tied to a tree and sacrificed. Allegedly "cao" means "sacrifice" so, Maricao means "María's sacrifice".


Monte del Estado
Water stream at El Monte del Estado

The region is mildly mountainous and belongs to the Western portion of the Cordillera Central.



The city of Maricao is itself sub-divided into several barrios (wards/districts):

  • Bucarabones
  • Indiera Alta
  • Indiera Baja
  • Indiera Fría
  • Maricao Afuera
  • Maricao Pueblo
  • Montoso

el 30



Hacienda Juanita

Due to its importance as a coffee plantation in the past, Maricao has several haciendas that have been turned into museums or guest houses. For example, Hacienda Delicias and Hacienda Juanita. Other places for tourists to visit are the Bambúa Recreational Center and the Maricao Fish Nursery. Some natural spots to visit are the Monte del Estado forest reserve, the Prieto Lake and the Salto de Curet (a waterfall).

Festivals and events

Maricao has only one annual festival, the End of the Coffee Harvest festival, known locally as the Acabe de Café It celebrates the traditional harvest festival wherein the Hacienda Owners would fete their workers at the end of the harvest. It is held on the President's Day weekend in February. It was founded in 1977 by the then mayor, Vicente Byron, and has been going on for over thirty years. Also, in the Indieras they celebrate Indigenous Day Festival in the month of April.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 8,312
1910 7,158 −13.9%
1920 8,291 15.8%
1930 6,463 −22.0%
1940 7,724 19.5%
1950 7,403 −4.2%
1960 6,990 −5.6%
1970 5,991 −14.3%
1980 6,737 12.5%
1990 6,206 −7.9%
2000 6,449 3.9%
2010 6,276 −2.7%
2020 4,455 −29.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

According to the 2000 census, Maricao is the second least populous municipality in Puerto Rico, above the island municipality of Culebra, with 6,449 inhabitants. The 2020 census shows the municipality remains the second least populated with a population of 4,455. The population of the town has decreased during the past decades in part due to the decline in coffee production and the deteriorating economy. In 1899, the population was 8,312. Making the population density is 174.2 people per square mile (67.0/km2).

As a whole, Puerto Rico is mainly made up of people from a Criollo (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 90.3% of Maricaeños have Spanish or White origin, 3.0% are black, 0.2% are Amerindian etc. The majority of the local population are partly descended from pre Columbian indigenous inhabitants.

There is a general consensus in Puerto Rico that the barrios of Indieras in Maricao have the most people of indigenous origin in Puerto Rico.

Race - Maricao, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White 5,824 90.3%
Black/African American 194 3.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native 10 0.2%
Asian 1 0.0%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
Some other race 204 3.2%
Two or more races 216 3.3%


There is no direct highway connection to Maricao. Puerto Rico Highway 119 and Puerto Rico Highway 120 lead from the north, while Puerto Rico Highway 121 and Puerto Rico Highway 105 lead from the south. Maricao lies about three hours from San Juan.

There are 13 bridges in Maricao.


Coffee tree and orange trees, multicroping in Maricao, Puerto Rico. (5662136142)
Multi-crop farm in Maricao

For decades, Maricao's economy has relied on agriculture, specifically coffee plantations. Fruits and vegetables are also grown in the town. Currently only one factory is established in Maricao, Fenwal Blood Technologies. Devices and materials that are used in blood donation, transfusion, transportation and storage are produced there. Tourism has also played an important role in the town's economy.

For two decades, this municipality has had the highest level of children living in poverty in Puerto Rico.


Endangered Species Posters (7217683840)
Kids gathering information on display about endangered species at a school in Maricao on May 4, 2012

Maricao has several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

Notable natives and residents

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Maricao para niños

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