kids encyclopedia robot

Patillas, Puerto Rico facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids

Municipio Autónomo de Patillas
Beach in Patillas
Beach in Patillas
Flag of Patillas
Coat of arms of Patillas
Coat of arms
"La Esmeralda del Sur", "Los Leones"
Anthem: "Patillenses"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Patillas Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Patillas Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded 1760
 • Total 59.3 sq mi (153.62 km2)
 • Land 48.3 sq mi (125 km2)
 • Water 11.1 sq mi (28.62 km2)
 • Total 15,985
 • Density 269.56/sq mi (104.055/km2)
Demonym(s) Patillenses
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR primary 3.svg PR primary 53.svg PR secondary 181.svg PR secondary 184.svg Ellipse sign 179.svg

Patillas is a beach town and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the southeastern coast, south of San Lorenzo; west of Yabucoa and Maunabo; and east of Guayama and Arroyo. It is spread over 15 barrios and Patillas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the Guayama Metropolitan Statistical Area.


As early as 1760 there were people already settled in Patillas however it was not a permanent settlement. During the mid-18th century there were a lot of people already living in Patillas. Patillas is along the southeastern coast of the island of Puerto Rico. During this time frame, there was an establishment of a sugar cane mill which took advantage of the agricultural potential the valley provided. As this establishment provided a good source of income for the neighbors it also was the main reason for the town's foundation in 1811. Doña Adelina Cintrón, owner of "La Finca Patillas", donated almost 8 acres (32,000 m2) of land for the foundation. Most of the neighbors then relocated towards the west side of the proposed site called Cacao Bajo.



The flag of Patillas has four green rectangles on the corners that symbolize the valleys and mountains of the town. These rectangles are separated by a golden cross symbolizing the fidelity towards the town's religious patron "El Santo Cristo de la Salud". Superimposed in the middle of the golden cross is an emerald, thus the nickname "La Esmeralda del Sur".

The art design of the flag was a creation of Pedro de Pedro in 1977. Each symbol on the flag was defined by Pedro J. Rivera Arbolay. The legal assessor was the attorney Roberto Beascochea Lota.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms features a crow with a piece of bread in its beak, which represents the bird that saved the life to San Benito Abad, patron of the town, from being poisoned with a piece of bread. The castle with three windows symbolizes the captivity of Santa Barbara, matron of Patillas in the first years of the foundation and the devotion to the Holy Trinity. The cross represents Santo Cristo de la Salud. The two crossed machetes underneath the cross represent the peasants' struggle in the sugar cane plantations and the origins of economic development. The three towers in the superior part mean that Patillas is categorized as a town. The watermelon leaf, fruit that abounded in the west of Patillas, is the reason for the name of the town. The motto "Ora et Labora", means "Pray and Work"; motto of the religious order of San Benito Abad.


The name Patillas is originally an indigenous name for a native type of watermelon. The large abundance of this fruit in the area, along with the land donation from the original owner, lead to the town's name.


Despite being located in the region known as the Coast Valley of the South, a part of the town is mountainous. The Sierra de Cayey borders the town's territory through the northern region, and the Sierra de Guardarraya through the east.

There are several rivers and creeks that flow through the town of Patillas. There is also the Patillas Reservoir which was built in 1914. The Patillas and Marín Rivers flow into the reservoir which is also used for fishing.



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

  • Apeadero
  • Bajos
  • Cacao Alto
  • Cacao Bajo
  • Egozcue
  • Guardarraya
  • Higüero
  • Jacaboa
  • Jagual
  • Lamboglia
  • Los Pollos
  • Los Ríos
  • Marín
  • Mulas
  • Mamey
  • Muñoz Rivera (El Real)
  • Pueblo
  • Quebrada Arriba
  • Providencia
  • Mamey Chiquito



Tourist sector is currently in development.

Landmarks and places of interest

  • Charco Azul (river)
  • Charco Los Tres Chorros (river)
  • Carite-Guavate Forest
  • Escondida Beach
  • Guardarraya Beach
  • Charco de la vuelta
  • Villa pesquera Beach
  • Lago de Patillas
  • Guavate forest and place to eat

Festivals and events

Patillas' Fiestas Patronales are held in August. Other traditional festivals held at the city are the Emerald of the South Carnival in May.


Emilio "Millito" Navarro (born September 26, 1905 in the city of Patillas, Puerto Rico) was the first Puerto Rican to play baseball in the Negro Leagues.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 11,163
1910 14,448 29.4%
1920 14,284 −1.1%
1930 14,178 −0.7%
1940 17,319 22.2%
1950 18,851 8.8%
1960 17,106 −9.3%
1970 17,828 4.2%
1980 17,774 −0.3%
1990 19,633 10.5%
2000 20,152 2.6%
2010 19,277 −4.3%
2020 15,985 −17.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

According to the 2000 census, Patillas had a population of 20,152 with a population density is 426.0 people per square mile (163.9/km2). There was a decline in the population during the 1960s and the 1990s and most recently in the 2010 and 2020 census.

Puerto Rico is primarily made up of a mix of ancestors from Indigenous, European or African descent. Statistics from the 2000 census shows that 67.7% of Patillenses self-identify as European or white origin; only 12.3% self-identify as Afro Puerto Rican and 0.5% self-identify as Amerindian.

Race - Patillas, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White 13,633 67.7%
Black/African American 2,482 12.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native 95 0.5%
Asian 23 0.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 7 0.0%
Some other race 1,452 7.2%
Two or more races 2,460 12.2%


Puerto Rico Highway 53 and Road #3 provide access to Patillas from the nearby city of Ponce. Patillas lies at about 1.25 hours from San Juan.

There is an airport, Patillas Airport, but it does not have any commercial air service. The nearest commercial airport with international air service (to the United States) is Mercedita Airport in Ponce. The nearest commercial airport with major commercial air service is Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Carolina.


In 2021 the Leader of the Association of Plantain Producers in Puerto Rico indicated the town was one of the main areas of production of plantains.


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

Notable "Patillenses"

  • David "Quique" Bernier - Dentist, athlete and politician who served in various roles in public service in Puerto Rico
  • Francisco Cervoni-Gely – poet, playwright, journalist, and political figure. He was a delegate to the House for Guayama (1911 – 1912). His plays include Los suegros (1897) and La cruz roja (1928). His poetry was published in newspapers and magazines.
  • Gaspar Cochran – Recreational leader of Patillas in 1952 and the first to register a baseball team class "A" called the Lions of Patillas. For 20 years he was director of the annual Patron Saint Festivals.
  • José Dávila Ricci – political figure and journalist. Dávila was a member of the governing board of the Liberal Party (1932 – 1940). He also founded and presided the Puerto Rico Journalism Association (1938). He collaborated with newspapers such as El Mundo and El Universal, and headed La Democracia (1928 – 1932), Puerto Rico Ilustrado (1937 – 1938) and El Imparcial.
  • Edmundo Disdier – musician and composer
  • Olga D. González-Sanabria - Scientist and inventor
  • Luisa Lebrón Burgos - Judge, politician, and former member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 2000. She currently serves as a judge in the Carolina region
  • Ramón Lebrón-Rodríguez – writer. His works include Esbozo histórico del Derecho Penal (1916) and La vida de un prócer (1954)
  • Angelita Lind – Winner of three gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal, she participated in 3 Central American and Caribbean Games, 3 Pan American Games and the Olympics in Los Angeles, California
  • Emilio "Millito" Navarro (born September 26, 1905 in the city of Patillas, Puerto Rico) - First Puerto Rican to play baseball in the Negro leagues.
  • Paulino Rodríguez – His literary work includes: Gotas de Estío (children's reading), The Son of Regret (novel), My Lonely Garden (poetry), and the History of the Town of Patillas.
  • Jalil Sued-Badillo – historian and teacher
  • Cirilo Tirado Rivera - Politician
  • Awilda Villarini - composer and pianist

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Patillas (Puerto Rico) para niños

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