to the town of
AGUADILLA , Puerto Rico
People are know as
San Carlos Borromeo
The town of AGUADILLA in Puerto Rico was founded in 1775
Housing units : 24882
Estimated population as of 2006 is 66,926
The zipcode is 00605
|Area in square miles
|Density per square mile of land area
The Wards (Barrios) are:
Arenales, Aguacate, Boriquén, Caimital Alto, Camaseyes, Ceiba Alta, Corales, Guerrero, Montaña, Palmar, Pueblo Nuevo, San Antonio, Victoria, Caimital Bajo, Maleza Alta, Centro Palmar, Higuey, Iglesias, Santa bárbara, Maleza Baja y Tamarindo
Location of AGUADILLA
in the Map of Puerto Rico
Aguadilla (ah-gwah-DEE-yah), founded in 1775 by Luis de Córdova, is a city 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).
The present territory of the City of Aguadilla, was originally part of the territory of Aguada, which segregated around 1780 to form an independent party.
Formerly, all the section of Aguada's territory that today contitutes the Victoria and Higüey wards was known as Aguadilla. Long before 1770 in Higüey existed a village, which in 1776 Fray Iñigo Abbot, in his description of the towns of the island, mentions 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 independent from Aguada and to constitute itself an independent party 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 loyals to Spain emigrated to Puerto Rico, mainly to Aguadilla, which caused the population to continue increasing significally. 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 the Point of Borinquen and the one of 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 Sebastian. In January of 1841 a Royal Order transferred the judicial party from Aguada to the new Town of 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 of Aguadilla and its wards and following instructions of city authorities, Higüey and parts of Caimital Alto wards are annexed to Downtown Aguadilla.
Today, the territorial organization of Aguadilla is as follows: Downtown (constituted by Higüey, Church, Nueva, Santa Barbara, and Tamarindo), Aguacate, Arenales, Borinquen, Caimital Alto, Caimital Bajo, Camaseyes, Ceiba Alta, Ceiba Baja, Corrales, Guerrero, Maleza Alta, Maleza Baja, Montaña, Palmar, and Victoria.
Note: Ramey Village includes parts of Borinquen, Maleza Alta, and Maleza Baja wards. Also, San Antonio Village includes parts of Aguacate, Montaña, and Arenales wards.
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, a very strategical facility during the Cold War.
Though the infrastructure still exists, it was handed over to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the 1973. The aerial facilities are now civilian controlled by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. The facilities now make up 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 feet meeting facility. The hospital is being transformed to become 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-6). The High School became Ramey Job Corps Campus and the elementary school became the Esther Feliciano Mendoza Middle School.
Ramey is also the site of the new Ramey Skating Park and a new "mariposario".
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 Customs & Border Protection and the United States Border Patrol, Ramey Sector, the Fuerzas Unidas de Rápida Acción (United Forces for Rapid Action) of the Puerto Rico State Police and a branch of the Puerto Rico Air 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.
 San Antonio
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 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 comercial owners of the time, took a step to carry the village forward. Most of the poor houses disappear.
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 south downtown. There was also a new bakery, a postal office, among other facilities. At this time, the village also began its Patron Festival.
The clothing industry was a major source of employment.
Prosperity and happines came to an end, when the news that the Federal Government needed the land to built 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 aproximately 10 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, charasteristics 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.
 Tragedy on election day in 1944
On the early morning hours of November 7, 1944, the Puerto Rico suffered its 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 2:00am, it was hauling 6 passenger cars with hundreds of commuters and two freight cars.
At 2:20am 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.
Reference: Wikipedia.org / census.gov / mapquest.com