to the town of
ISABELA , Puerto Rico
People are know as
San Antonio de Padua
The town of ISABELA in Puerto Rico was founded in 1880
Housing units : 17166
Estimated population as of 2006 is 47,301
The zipcode is 00662
|Area in square miles
|Density per square mile of land area
The Wards (Barrios) are:
Arenales Altos, Arenales Bajos, Bajuras, Bejucos, Coto, Galateo Alto, Galateo Bajo, Guayabos, Guerrero, Jobos, Llanadas, Mora y Planas.
Location of ISABELA
in the Map of Puerto Rico
Isabela is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the north-western region of the island, north of San Sebastián; west of Quebradillas; and east of Aguadilla and Moca. Isabela is spread over 13 wards and Isabela Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city).
The town is known as the "Jardín del Noroeste," the "Garden of the Northwest," because of the many wild flowers in its landscape. It is also knowns as el "Pueblo de los Quesitos de Hoja", the "town of Leaf Cheeses," for its production of this typical fresh white cheese wrapped in banana plant leaves, reputed to be the best. It is also known as la Ciudad de los Gallitos or the "City of the Fighting Cocks." Since the 18th century, cock fighting was very common throughout the island, and the town became famous and well known for the quality of its fighting cocks and special breeding and training techniques used by its people.
The Taíno chief Mabodamaca, one of the most important chieftains of the Island of Boriken (Taino name for the island of Puerto Rico) during the 18th century, ruled the region of the 'Guajataca' (Taino name for the northeastern region of Puerto Rico) where Isabela was originally founded. Although the actual date of the origins of the first Spanish settlement is not precisely known, a small settlement/hermitage is known to have existed by the end of the 17th century or beginning of the 18th century in a great extension of land into what encompass today the municipalities of Isabela, Camuy and Quebradillas. The settlement bordered to the east with the shoreline of the Guajataca River and was located on the grounds of an earlier Taíno settlement.(Isabela Economy 18century).
Around 1725, José Antonio de Mendizábal y Azares (Governor of the Island of Puerto Rico) granted authorization to base a population on the existing hermitage/village. Its given name, San Antonio de La Tuna, derives from the avocation of the Spanish settlers to the saint San Antonio de Padua and in honor of a wild cactus growing in the region (Tuna is the Spanish name for cactus). At the end of the eighteenth century San Antonio de la Tuna had a church, more than sixty houses, and almost 1,200 inhabitants, which was a considerable population for those times.(Isabela Economy 18century).
Prompted by economic and health factors, the decision to relocate the hermitage to a more favorable location was pursued. Around 1818, the village obtained authorization from then Governor Salvador Meléndez to transfer the population to a new location closer to the coast. The new community would be named Isabela in honor of Queen Isabella of Castile. Meléndez approved the transfer request and a new town was founded the following year on May 21, 1819. In this same year the construction of the church began, which finished in 1824. In 1918 the church was damaged during a strong earthquake that affected the western region of the island, it was rebuilt soon after.(Isabela Economy 18century).
Isabela's flag derives its design, colors and symbolism from its Coat of Arms. It consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width. The top and bottom stripe are yellow and the center one green. The Coat of Arms may be superposed on the green stripe in the center.
 Coat of Arms
The town's coat of arms, dated 1819, is divided horizontally in three stripes of the same width, two gold and one green. The top and bottom stripes are gold, and a green stripe in the center. The green, which has an olive tree in its center, symbolizes the first inhabitants of Isabela and of the island of Puerto Rico, the Igneris Indians. The gold represents the Taíno Indians (they made extensive use of gold), who lived in this area about two hundred years before the discovery of the island. The gold bell represented in the center stripe between two cactus is a symbol of the town of San Antonio de la Tuna. The two cocks represent the bravery of the inhabitants and Isabela's famous fighting cocks. The horse represents the cattle wealth of the region and honors the fine step horses (Paso Fino) for which Isabela is famous. The crown has three towers, a standard emblem for Puerto Rico cities.
Reference: Wikipedia.org / census.gov / mapquest.com