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San Sebastián, Puerto Rico facts for kids

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San Sebastián

Municipio Autónomo de San Sebastián
Clouds above a blue sky, curvy road, colorful cement homes and greenery
Neighborhood in San Sebastián
Flag of San Sebastián
Coat of arms of San Sebastián
Coat of arms
"San Sebastián Del Pepino", "Pepino", "Cuna de la Hamaca", "Los Patrulleros"
Anthem: "Van más de dos siglos de historia de vida"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting San Sebastián Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting San Sebastián Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded 1752
 • Total 71.7 sq mi (185.77 km2)
 • Land 71.4 sq mi (185.0 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.77 km2)
 • Total 39,345
 • Density 548.7/sq mi (211.794/km2)
Demonym(s) Pepinianos
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 109.svg PR secondary 111.svg PR secondary 119.svg PR secondary 124.svg PR secondary 125.svg

San Sebastián is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the northwestern region of the island, south of Isabela, Quebradillas and Camuy; north of Las Marías; east of Moca and Añasco; and west of Lares. San Sebastián is spread over twenty-four barrios and San Sebastián Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is a principal city of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The permission to found the town was officially given in 1752, under the leadship of the founder, Captain Cristóbal González de la Cruz, who among other neighbors had an interest in converting some cow farms into an agricultural village. The foundation of the town from the religious aspect, was consummated in December 1762 by Mariano Martin, the island catholic bishop at that time. At the beginning, by 1700, San Sebastian was a conglomerate of a few cow farms, owned by some residents of the Partido de Aguada. Las Vegas was the former plain site of one of the first cow farms located by the Guatemala riverside at the north. Also, another of those cow farms was Pepinito (today's downtown) that was a low green mountain with a white calcium carbonate face. On the north side of the town it can be seen some of this "pepinos" (cucumbers). These two cow farms gave the town its first name. From these geographical accidents come the first names of the new village: Las Vegas del Pepino (Cucumber Fields). In 1865 it is documented as San Sebastián de Las Vegas del Pepino.

At the beginning of the 19th century, wealthy Spanish families arrived in Pepino, fleeing the revolutions of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Later, by 1850, several families from Catalonia and the Basque Country in Spain joined the large number of isleños (Canary Islanders) that had made El Pepino their home. These people, after taking over the local political power, developed a coffee industry and brought some material progress to the town. The resident Basques in the municipality, in remembrance of their home region and its religious patron, saw the need of upgrading the old traditional Pepino used by the Canary Islanders to the new and "up-dated" San Sebastián, promoted and thus got the name formally changed by the central government authority. Nevertheless, the citizens of San Sebastián are called "pepinianos".

San Sebastián Mártir (Spanish for Saint Sebastian the Martyr) is the patron saint of archers and was chosen to be the patron saint of the town since its early history, first brought by the immigrants from the Canaries and later confirmed by the Basques, with the town name changed in 1869.




  • Altozano
  • Aibonito Guerrero
  • Aibonito Beltran
  • Bahomamey
  • Calabazas
  • Cibao
  • Cidral
  • Culebrinas
  • Eneas
  • Guacio
  • Guajataca
  • Guatemala
  • Hato Arriba
  • Hoya Mala
  • Juncal
  • Magos
  • Mirabales
  • Perchas I
  • Perchas 2
  • Piedras Blancas
  • Pozas
  • Robles
  • Saltos
  • Saltos 2
  • San Sebastián Pueblo
  • Sonador


Landmarks and places of interest

  • Doña Bisa Cabrero House - Facing the Public Square
  • Guajataca Lake
  • Luis Aymat Cardona Coliseum
  • Market Plaza
  • Church San Sebastian Martir of San Sebastian
  • Robles Waterfall (also known as Gozalandia).
  • Collazo Waterfall
  • Sombrero Hill
  • Hacienda El Jibarito
  • Juan Jose "Titi" Beniquez Stadium
  • Luis Munoz Marin Ground
  • Guajataca Scout Reservation
  • Blue Moon Bar


San Sebastian is the hometown of musician and composer Angel Mislan who is best known by his danza compositions, "Sara" and "Tu y Yo" (You and I).

Festivals and events

  • Patronal Religious Fiesta - January
  • Three Kings Festival and Household Parties - January 6th
  • Heifer Festival (Festival de la Novilla) - January
  • Chess Tournament - January
  • Ateneo Pepiniano Cultural Festival - January
  • Hammock Festival - July
  • Comeback to the Mountaintop - September



It consists of a rectangular flag of the usual proportions, crossed by a white waved band that separates its red superior part from the inferior one, which is green.

Coat of Arms

The Mountains: With silver-plated borders, represent the characteristic mountains under which the vegetable namesake of the town grow (Pepinos) The Crown: Is the heraldic standard used to identify towns, villas and cities. The Sugar Cane and Coffee Branches: They represent main agricultural products.



Café El Coquí plant, San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
Café El Coquí plant in Perchas I

San Sebastián is a producer of coffee, fruits, and has dairy farms. There is a coffee production plant called El Coquí located in Perchas 1, a barrio of San Sebastián.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 16,412
1910 18,904 15.2%
1920 22,049 16.6%
1930 25,691 16.5%
1940 30,266 17.8%
1950 35,376 16.9%
1960 33,451 −5.4%
1970 30,157 −9.8%
1980 35,690 18.3%
1990 38,799 8.7%
2000 44,204 13.9%
2010 42,430 −4.0%
2020 39,345 −7.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020


Equipo de Volibol Los Caribes de San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
Plaque honoring Los Caribes

The Luis Aymat Cardona Coliseum is where the Los Caribes volleyball team plays their games.

In amateur baseball or Double AA baseball, the city is represented by the Patrulleros de San Sebastián, who play at the Juan Jose "Titi" Beniquez Stadium and became champions of the Northwest area in 2019.


There are 30 bridges in San Sebastian.

There is also an air strip in San Sebastian, near Culebrinas River, which is visible on Google Earth. The air strip is for the use of RC airplanes.

Notable people from San Sebastián

  • Juan Beníquez, a former center fielder in Major League Baseball
  • Ángel Mislan, (1862-1911) musician and composer of danzas "Sara" and "Tu y Yo".
  • Nilita Vientós Gastón, (1903-1989) an educator, writer and journalist and the first woman president of the Puerto Rican Athenaeum.
  • Luis V. Gutiérrez, first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest.
  • Nathan Lebron, first Latino to run for mayor of Albany, NY.
  • Abimelec Torres, contestant on the second season of Idol Puerto Rico.
  • Oscar Lopez Rivera, political prisoner.
  • Luz Maria Villafañe, co-founder of the 'La Fogata Restaurant' franchise in Houston, Texas.
  • Andrés Méndez Liciaga, made the Boceto Histórico Del Pepino
  • Walter Cardona, wrote San Sebastián Del Pepino, Notas Para Su Historia
  • Eliut González Vélez, La Fundación De Las Vegas Del Pepino and La Formación De La Etnia Cultural Pepiniana
  • Ismael Nunez Pratts, Singer
  • Edgar Arvelo, Singer/Announcer
  • Marciano "Rocky" Duran, Singer
  • Pedro J. Toro, Singer/Manager
  • Nena Rivera, Singer/also did Theater
  • Junior Arroyo, Singer/Announcer
  • Raphet Rosado, Singer
  • Rosa Haydee Rosado, Singer/Actress
  • Margarita Castro Alberty, Opera Singer
  • Luz Odilia Font, Telenovela, theater and film actress
  • Estefania Soto Torres, Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020

Images for kids

See also

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

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Prominent Hispanic scientists
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Sarah Stewart
Mario J. Molina
Rodolfo Llinás
F. J. Duarte
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