Aguadilla (Spanish pronunciation: [aɣwaˈðiʝa]), founded in 1775 by Luis de Córdova, is a city and municipality located in the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, north of Aguada, and Moca and west of Isabela. Aguadilla is spread over 15 wards and Aguadilla Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is a principal city of Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.
City and Municipality
|Anthem: Playita Aguadillana|
Location of Aguadilla in Puerto Rico
|Founded by||Luis de Córdova|
|• Mayor||Carlos Méndez Martínez (NPP)|
|• Senatorial dist.||4 – Mayagüez/Aguadilla|
|• Representative dist.||17|
|• Total||76.3 sq mi (198 km2)|
|• Land||36.6 sq mi (95 km2)|
|• Water||39.0 sq mi (101 km2) 51%|
|Elevation||326 ft (99 m)|
|• Density||720/sq mi (280/km2)|
|• 2010 Census||83.0% Hispanic|
0.3% American Ind/AN
6.8% Some other race
2.4% Two or more races
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST (no daylight saving time))|
00603, 00604, 00605, 00690
|Area code||787, 939|
The present territory of Aguadilla was originally part of the territory of Aguada. In 1775, the foundation of Aguadilla by Don Luis de Córdova was approved. But it wasn't until 1780 that the territory was properly segregated, making the founding of the town official. Originally, Aguadilla was constituted by the Victoria and Higüey wards. This region was already inhabited and known as Aguadilla before 1770. In 1776, Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra in his description of the towns of the island, mentioned it as the "new Town of San Carlos of the Aguadilla." Nevertheless, according to Dr. Agustín Stahl in his Foundation of Aguadilla, it was not until 1780 that the town was officially founded. The construction of a new church and the proceedings to become an independent village began in the 1775.
The population in the Village of Aguadilla continued to increase constantly mainly due to its excellent port and strategic location in the route of the boats. In 1776, when Santo Domingo became independent for the first time, the Spanish descended loyals emigrated to Puerto Rico, mainly to Aguadilla, which caused the population to continue increasing significantly. In 1831, according to Don Pedro Tomás de Córdova, the party of Aguadilla belonged to Aguada. At this time, the territorial organization of Aguadilla was as follows: Pueblo Norte (North Town), Pueblo Sur (South Town), Ceiba Alta, Ceiba Baja, Montaña, Malezas, Aguacate, Dos Palmas, Camaseyes, Plainela, Borinquen, Arenales, Higüey, Corrales, Victoria, and Mangual.
Don Pedro Tomás de Córdova mentions the road of Aguadilla formed by Punta Borinquen and San Francisco, as the "fordeadero of the ships that travel from Europe to Havana and Mexico". He adds that its "port is the most frequented in the Island due to the proportions that it offers to refresh all class of ship."
In 1860, Aguadilla was officially declared a village. Several years later, when the island was territorially organized into seven departments, Aguadilla became the head of the third department that included the municipalities of Aguada, Isabela, Lares, Moca, Rincon, and San Sebastián. In January 1841 a Royal Order transferred the judicial party from Aguada to Aguadilla. In 1878, according to Don Manuel Ebeda y Delgado, the territorial organization of Aguadilla had varied a little. At this time Plainela, Higüey, and Mangual wards are not mentioned. The Dos Palmas ward appears as Palmar. Also at this time, three new wards are mentioned: Guerrero, Caimital Alto, and Caimital Bajo. In 1898, even with the change of sovereignty in the island, the territorial organization of Aguadilla is the same to that of 1878. Nevertheless, in the Census of 1899, downtown Aguadilla appears constituted by Higüey, Iglesia, Nueva, Santa Barbara, and Tamarindo wards. Malezas ward appears subdivided into Maleza Alta and Maleza Baja. From that time, the territorial organization of Aguadilla did not change, until 1948, when the Puerto Rico Department of Planning prepared the map of the city and its wards, and following instructions of city authorities, Higüey and parts of Caimital Alto wards are annexed to Downtown Aguadilla.
Aguadilla was the site of the U.S. military's Ramey Air Force Base for almost five decades. During this period, Aguadilla was home to the Strategic Air Command 72d Bombardment Wing, Heavy equipped with B-52s, an important strategic facility during the Cold War.
Though the infrastructure still exists, the airport was handed over to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1973. The aerial facilities are now controlled by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and comprise the Rafael Hernandez International Airport. The barracks now host the Faro Inn Suites, a 79-room hotel. The Officer's Club now hosts the Faro Conference Center, a 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) meeting facility. The hospital is now the Courtyard by Marriott Punta Borinquen Resort & Casino, a 150-room hotel with a casino and the first Marriott in Puerto Rico out of the San Juan Metropolitan Area.
Ramey also hosts the University of Puerto Rico – Aguadilla Campus and the Friedrich Froebel Bilingual School (K-9). The High School became Ramey Job Corps Campus and the elementary school became the Esther Feliciano Mendoza Middle School. Centro de Adiestramiento y Bellas Artes (CABA) since 1979 has been the only public school of arts in Puerto Rico (7–12). Ramey is also the site of the new Ramey Skating Park and a new "mariposario" (butterfly farm) and the Ramey Shopping Center.
There is still an active part of the base that hosts the Coast Guard Borinquen Air Station. There are also other government agencies based at Ramey. They include the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs & Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine and Office of Border Patrol, the Fuerzas Unidas de Rápida Acción (United Forces for Rapid Action) of the Puerto Rico Police Department and the Puerto Rico National Guard.
There is also a post office, the Centro de Servicios al Conductor (Driver's Services Center), a bakery, and a Banco Popular de Puerto Rico location.
The beginning of San Antonio Village was back in the mid-19th century. It was composed by 60 families. Originally the place where these families were located was known as Bajura de Vadi, place later to be known as San Antonio.
In 1918, as a consequence of the 1918 San Fermín earthquake, the village was totally destroyed by a tsunami. The families suffered the struggles cause by this natural disaster, due by the proximity of the village to the shore.
The residents of the village decided re-localize the village in a higher area further from shore. The new location was what today is known as Ramey.
At this new location prosperity was not to be delayed. Various leaders and commercial owners of the time, took a step to carry the village forward. Most of the poor houses disappeared.
The village's infrastructure started its evolution. Luis R. Esteves and Juan Garcia established the first two theaters in the area. A new was social club form, known as "Luz del Porvenir" (Light of the Future). A new school system was the pride of the village because it offered them the opportunity to give their children an education without having to go 9 miles (14 km) south downtown. There was also a new bakery and a post office, among other facilities. At this time, the village also began its Patron Festival.
The clothing industry was a major source of employment.
In September 1939, some 3,796 acres (15.4 km2) covered by sugar cane, was expropriated for the military at the cost of $1,215,000, in order to build an air base that came to be known as Ramey Air Force Base.
Since the foundation, the village has suffered three expropriations as a result of expansions to Ramey Air Force Base. This expropriations delayed and ended the plans to turn San Antonio into a town.
Today, the population of San Antonio consists of approximately ten thousand people. It has a modern square, a Puerto Rico State Police Station, a coliseum, an industrial park, public housing, a baseball park, a public school system, shops, and many other, characteristics of a small town. Also, as a characteristic of a town, has a flag and an emblem. The creation of the flag and emblem was done by Roberto Román Acevedo.
On the early morning hours of November 7, 1944, Puerto Rico suffered the most violent railroad accident in its history in Aguadilla. Train No. 3 was traveling from San Juan to Ponce carrying passengers to their different hometowns for the island general elections to be held that same day. It stopped at the Jimenez Station in Aguadilla for a routine engineer and boilerman exchange with Train No. 4 which was heading towards San Juan. The engineer assigned to Train No. 3's ride from Jimenez Station to Ponce was Jose Antonio Roman, an experienced freight train engineer, but who had never worked in passenger travel. When the train left the station at 2:00 am, it was hauling 6 passenger cars with hundreds of commuters and two freight cars.
At 2:20 a.m. the train started to descend a hill section known as Cuesta Vieja (Old Hill) in Aguadilla at what some witnesses described as an exaggerated speed. When the train reached the leveling-off point at the bottom of the hill it derailed. The steam locomotive crashed into a ditch where it exploded and one of the freight cars crashed into one of the passenger cars, killing many inside. Witnesses described the scene as horrendous, with some accounts stating that parents were throwing their children out the windows to save them from the wreckage. Chief of Police Guillermo Arroyo stated that the locomotive (No. 72), the express car, and three second class passenger cars were completely destroyed. Oscar Valle, an Aguadilla correspondent to the local El Mundo newspaper, summarized the scene in a more dramatic way: "The locomotive suffered a terrible explosion as it derailed, and the impact was so strong that 3 passenger cars were converted into a fantastic mound of wreckage". In the end, 16 passengers lost their lives, including the engineer and the boilerman, and 50 were injured in the crash.
Aguadilla is located in the northwest coast of the island of Puerto Rico, in the Western Coastal Plains. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the north, the municipalities of Isabela on the east, and Moca and Aguada in the south.
The area of the municipality is 35.5 square miles. It is mostly plain, with some notable hills being Jiménez (728 feet) and Viñet (689 feet). It has only one river, the Culebrinas, which separates Aguadilla from Aguada. Also Cedro Creek which separates Aguadilla from Isabela in the north.
|77 °F (25 °C)||75 °F (24 °C)||77 °F (25 °C)||77 °F (25 °C)||79 °F (26 °C)||81 °F (27 °C)||84 °F (29 °C)||84 °F (29 °C)||86 °F (30 °C)||84 °F (29 °C)||82 °F (28 °C)||79 °F (26 °C)||78.8 °F (26.0 °C)|
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Aguadilla has the most beaches in the island, with nineteen. Some of the beaches are considered among the best for surfing, like Surfer's Beach, Gas Chambers, Crash Boat, Wilderness, among others. Because of this, Aguadilla has served as host to surfing competitions, like the ISA World Championship in 1988.
Aguadilla is the site of several yearly celebrations and festivals. The most notable are:
Aguadilla is home to several professional and amateur sports teams. The most notable are the Aguadilla Divas of the Female Superior Volleyball League, and the Aguadilla Sharks of the Superior Baseball League (Double-A). The Divas play their home games in the Luis T. Diaz Coliseum in Downtown Aguadilla from January to March, while the Sharks play their home games at Luis A. Canera Marquez Stadium from February to May.
|Aguadilla Sharks||Superior Baseball League||Baseball||Luis A. Canera Marquez Stadium|
|Aguadilla Divas||Female Superior Volleyball League||Volleyball||Luis T. Diaz Coliseum|
Aguadilla is also a place where many famous baseball players originate from. There are plans for a future ECHL Minor League Hockey franchise for the city.
The city is currently home to a variety of industrial and pharmaceutical plants like LifeScan, Symmetricom, Honeywell, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Most of them are located at San Antonio Technological Park, the airport as Lufthansa Technik, while others like Suiza Dairy, Lockheed Martin and Productos La Aguadillana are located in Camaseyes Industrial Park. Other industries that are based in Aguadilla are rubber, plastics, leather, textiles, steel, wood, machinery, and food processing.
The retail sector is also another source of economy in Aguadilla. Shopping malls like Aguadilla Mall, Aguadilla Shopping Center, Aguadilla Town Center, and others are some of the main commercial and retail centers of the city.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010-2016
According to the 2010 Census, there were 60,949 people in the city. This represents a decrease of more than 3,000 from the 2000 Census. The population density was 1,668.5 inhabitants per square mile (644.2/km2). There were 20,821 housing units. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18 and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender make up was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.
As a whole, Puerto Rico is populated mainly by people from a Creole (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 83.6% of Aguadillanos have Spanish or white origin, 5.0% are black, 0.2% are Amerindian, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 8.2% were Some other race, 2.8% Two or more races.
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Aguadilla is Carlos Méndez Martínez, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 1996 general elections. Aguadilla City Government is based at the city hall in downtown Aguadilla.
Most state agencies are based at the Government Center Building with the exception of the Corporación del Seguro del Estado (State Insurance Agency) and the Centro de Servicios al Conductor (Driver's Services Center). Most state agencies left their offices after the Senatorial District was taken away from Aguadilla.
Aguadilla has its own police department, Policía Municipal Aguadilla (Aguadilla City Police Department), located in Aguadilla Pueblo. The A.C.P.D. only has jurisdiction in the municipality of Aguadilla and provide service and protection to local citizens and travelers alike.
Aguadilla also hosts the Puerto Rico Police Department Command for its Region. This region covers Aguada, Aguadilla, Isabela, Moca, Rincón and San Sebastián. It also hosts the PRPD Highway Patrol Division for its region, the FURA Division of the PRPD, the US Army Reserve Center, PR National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Border Patrol. It is also served by another PRPD station in San Antonio Village (Precinct 203 Ramey-San Antonio).
The city has a single correctional facility, Guerrero Correctional Institution, operated by the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
|1st||Adrián del Valle||1899–1903||None|
|2nd||José Monserrate Deliz||1903–1905||None|
|3rd||Luis A. Torregrosa||1905–1907||None|
|4th||José Francisco Estévez||1907–1911||None|
|5th||Ramón Añeses Morell||1911–1933||None|
|6th||Wenceslao Herrera Alfonso||1933–1941||None|
|7th||José Badillo Nieves||1941–1945||None|
|10th||Rafael Cabán Peña||1949–1953||None|
|11th||Rafael A. Guntín López||1953–1957||None|
|13th||José Acevedo Álvarez||1957–1969||None|
|14th||Emilio Cerezo Muñoz||1969–1973||PNP|
|15th||Conchita Igartúa de Suárez||1973–1977||PPD|
|16th||Joaquín Acevedo Moreno||1977–1981||PNP|
|17th||Alfredo González Pérez||1981–1987||PPD|
|18th||Gustavo Herrera López||1987–1988||PPD||Interim|
|19th||Ramón Calero Bermúdez||1988–1996||PNP||Died in 1996 while in office|
|20th||Agnes Bermúdez Acevedo||1996–1997||PNP||Interim|
|21st||Carlos Méndez Martínez||1997 – Present||PNP||Incumbent; sixth term|
The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district IV, which is represented by two Senators. In 2016, Evelyn Vázquez and Luis Daniel Muñiz were elected as District Senators.
Aguadilla is home to 16 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 3 high schools. Mostly owned and operated by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. It also hosts the Head Start Program for Aguadilla, Aguada, Moca, Rincón, and San Sebastián and a number of private institutions.
Aguadilla hosts the following universities:
There is an existent library in San Antonio Village and another one Downtown Aguadilla.
There are two major medical facilities in Aguadilla.
There are also a number of private doctor's offices.
Rafael Hernández Airport is located in the city of Aguadilla. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence as an international airport in the island, with several airlines planning flights to the US from Aguadilla.
Interstate PR-2 (Rafael Henández Highway). Plans are underway for a new expressway, an expansion to existing Puerto Rico Highway 22 (José de Diego Expressway) from Hatillo and it will probably end at Puerto Rico Highway 111. There are 13 bridges in Aguadilla.
King Face Public Transportation Terminal
Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Aguadilla who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect:
Aguadilla Divas is a defunct female professional volleyball team that was part of the Female Superior Volleyball League and played in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, until January 4, 2006. Its home arena was Luis T. Diaz Coliseum. Willie Lopez ran the team, with practices held in nearby Moca at the Juan Sanchez Acevedo Coliseum.
The record for their first season (2006) was 1-21. In 2007, their record was 4-17.Agustín Stahl
Dr. Agustín Stahl (January 21, 1842 – July 12, 1917) was a Puerto Rican medical doctor and scientist with diverse interests in the fields of ethnology, botany, and zoology. He advocated Puerto Rico's independence from Spain.Arenales, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Arenales is a barrio in the municipality of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Its population in 2010 was 1,983.Borinquen, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Borinquen is a barrio in the municipality of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Its population in 2010 was 7,415.Caimital Alto, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Caimital Alto is a barrio in the municipality of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Its population in 2010 was 3,989.Carlos Méndez Martínez
Carlos Méndez Martínez (born June 30, 1943) is an Puerto Rican politician and current mayor of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.Casa de Piedra (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)
Casa de Piedra, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, is a Spanish Colonial-style home that was built in 1875. It is the only surviving residence of its era in Aguadilla; most similar ones were damaged in the 1918 San Fermín earthquake and eventually demolished.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places of Puerto Rico in 1986.It was built on stone foundations of an even older building that has been suggested to be the home of Ponce de Leon.Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is a United States Coast Guard Air Station located at the Rafael Hernandez International Airport (formerly Ramey Air Force Base), in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.El Parterre
El Parterre is a landscaped plaza in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, that was built in 1851. The plaza encloses the Ojo de Agua, a natural spring which was a source of water for Spanish soldiers.The park and spring were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1986.Luis A. Canena Marquez Stadium
Luis A. Canena Marquez Stadium is a baseball stadium located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. It is the home to the Aguadilla Sharks of the Profesional Baseball League that plays from mid-October to early January and the Double-A Superior Baseball League that plays from mid-February to late-April/early May.
The stadium was built under the municipal administration of Alfredo Gonzalez in 1981 to substitute for the old Columbus Field located in Columbus Park in Downtown Aguadilla. The new stadium was to be located next to Las Cascadas Water Park. It has a capacity of 5,000 spectators.
Also houses the city Civil Defense offices and the Aguadilla EMS System in the stadium.
A bronze statue of Luis A. Canena Marquez is located in front of the stadium.Punta Borinquen Light
Punta Borinquen Light (Faro de Punta Borinquen) is a lighthouse located in the old Ramey Air Force Base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The station was established in 1889 by the Spanish government. With the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the lighthouse would become "the most important aid to navigation on the route from Europe to Panama". In 1917, the U.S Congress provided funding for a new lighthouse in higher ground.
But before construction began on the new structure, the original lighthouse was severely damaged by the 1918 earthquake that struck the west part of the island. Construction on the new lighthouse was completed in 1922. The light is active aid to navigation and is a housing facility for the United States Coast Guard.Ramey Air Force Base
Ramey Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. It was named after United States Army Air Forces Brigadier General Howard Knox Ramey. Following its closure, it was redeveloped into Rafael Hernandez Airport.Rigoberto Torres
Rigoberto Torres (born 1960) is a sculptor who was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and worked in New York City, before moving to Florida where he currently lives and works. Torres began working in a factory where religious figures were cast, producing religious statuary. He also considers himself to be a community based artist.Tarah Gieger
Tarah Gieger (born September 18, 1985 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican female professional motocross racer.University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
The University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla (UPRAG or UPR-Aguadilla) is a state university located in the city of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.WOLE-DT
WOLE-DT is a full-power Univision owned-and-operated television station licensed to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, transmitting over digital channel 12. the station has its main offices located in the Westernbank Building in downtown Mayagüez. The station's studios are located at Barrio Palmar in Aguadilla. Its transmitter is located at Monte del Estado in Maricao.
WOLE-DT is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications and serves as a satellite for WLII-DT, and simulcasts 100% of its programming.
WOLE-DT simulcasts on W21CX-D, channel 21.1. W21CX-D is a translator station in Mayagüez that is also owned by Univision Communications.
On October 15, 2014, Univision Communications announced that WOLE-DT would become a semi-satellite of Univision station WLII-DT. The programming change occurred on January 1, 2015. With the move, WOLE dropped all programming from WKAQ-TV and Telemundo, which quickly entered into negotiations with WLII's existing western Puerto Rico satellite, WORA-TV (channel 5).On July 22, 2018, Univision Communications announced that it had purchased retransmission partner WOLE-DT from Western Broadcasting Corp. of Puerto Rico for $3,666,666.64, solidifying its Puerto Rico station line up. The sale was completed on December 5, 2018.WPRU-LP
WPRU-LP was a low-power television station in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico transmitting over analog channel 20. It was formerly an ABC affiliate.
The station did not provide their own local newscasts.
In September 2014, it was announced that ABC would move to WORA-TV on November 1, 2014.The station has been silent since January, 2014. From that point until the ABC affiliation ended, it continued broadcasting on channel 18.1 of sister station WSJP-LD.
At some point on March 20, 2015, WSJP-LD removed its simulcast of WORA-DT2/ABC 5 from 18.1 and moved its third subchannel to 18.1 from 18.3 to replace it.
The stations's call-sign has been deleted from the FCC database. They carried the entire primetime schedule provided by ABC.WSJP-LD
WSJP-LD is a digital low-power television station in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico transmitting over digital channel 14, virtual channel 18. The station is owned by California-based Caribbean Broadcasting Network and is an affiliate of This TV, Fox and Cozi TV. Before the launch of The CW, WSJP was a dual affiliate of UPN and The WB.
Prior to the station's flash cut to digital, The CW and LATV were WSJP's sole affiliations. Since the switch, sister stations WPRU-LP has gone silent, along with its call-sign deleted from the Federal Communications Commission website, while WSJX-LP is now an affiliate of LATV.WSJX-LP
WSJX-LP is a LATV-affiliated, low-power television station in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico transmitting over analog channel 24. The station is owned by Caribbean Broadcasting Network along with sister station WSJP-LD channel 18.
The station has been silent since January 2014. From that point until the Fox affiliation ended, it continued broadcasting on channel 18.2 of sister station WSJP-LD.
On January 1, 2016, and after one year off the air, WSJX-LP resumes broadcasting and becomes an affiliate of the LATV network.
WSJX-LP broadcasts the entire LATV schedule with Shop LC paid programming overnights.
San Juan (capital)