to the town of
COAMO , Puerto Rico
People are know as
San Blas de Illescas
The town of COAMO in Puerto Rico was founded in 1579
Housing units : 13249
Estimated population as of 2006 is 39,265
The zipcode is 00769
|Area in square miles
|Density per square mile of land area
The Wards (Barrios) are:
Coamo Arriba, Cuyón, Hayales, Los Llanos, Palmarejo, Pasto, Pedro García, Pulguillas, San Ildefonso y Santa Catalina.
Location of COAMO
in the Map of Puerto Rico
Coamo is a municipality in Puerto Rico located in the southern region, north of Santa Isabel; south of Orocovis and Barranquitas; east of Villalba and Juana Díaz; and west of Aibonito and Salinas. Coamo is spread over 10 wards and Coamo Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city).
Coamo is a small town nestled in a valley about 10 miles east of Ponce (about 30 minutes by car). It was named San Blas Illescas de Coamo by its first settlers. San Blas was the Catholic saint who remains the town's patron. Illescas is the Spanish town the original founders came from (nowadays in Toledo province, Castile-La Mancha, Spain). There are a couple of theories regarding the origin of the word Coamo. Some think it comes from an indigenous word that means "valley" but it's also plausible that Coamo derives its name from Coamex (or Coamey), who was a celebrated local cacique (or "chieftain" in the Taino language). Archeological digs near the region have produced some of the best examples of the island's pre-columbian cultural artifacts.
Founded July 15, 1579, Coamo is the third oldest settlement of the island's post Columbian period (after San Juan in the north and San Germán in the west). By 1582, there were twenty families living in Coamo, in the same area where the Tainos had had their village of Guayama. Coamo became officially a town in 1616, and given the title of "Villa" by Spanish Royal Decree in 1778.
It was the administrative center that encompassed most of the southern half of the island during the early colonial period. As the agriculture and sugar industry which became the mainstays of the colony's economy grew, the province would eventually subdivide into several distinct municipalities and the administrative center of the region would later shift west to the coastal town of Ponce.
Coamo boasts an elegant picturesque downtown plaza area, and is the home of a series of natural hot springs, Los Baños de Coamo, which has attracted visitors to its medicinal waters since even before the Spaniards landed. Indeed, these very springs were once rumored to have been Juan Ponce de León's legendary "fountain of youth", or so the local folklore tells. In the early nineteenth century, a system of pools of varying depths and sizes and temperatures was constructed at the site of these springs to serve as a spa for the colonials. During the North American invasion in the Spanish American War (1898), this site was the scene of one of the decisive battles of that conflict (the Battle of Coamo). The North Americans troops took possession of the island and the spa was subsequently abandoned. Though the site lay in ruins for most of the twentieth century, long neglected, it continued to be a landmark to the Coameños (as the residents of Coamo are called) who would often come to bathe in its healing thermal waters. The pools are still there but the buildings which once hosted the island's affluent and colonial soldiers are long gone, except for the remains of one central wall structure which has been preserved and incorporated into a fountain courtyard on the grounds of a popular tourist hotel and rest stop which has replaced the ancient Spanish ruins. During the 1970s, this writer ran and played around those ruins; the place was all mango trees. Huge ones.
The flag of Coamo derives its colors from the Coat of Arms.
 Coat of Arms
The top left and the lower right have a red background with a gold Episcopal hat each. These parts of the Coat of Arms represent the old seat of San Blas de Illescas. The horse and the bull represent the cattle wealth of the population. The gold color that serves as background in contrast with the black color, recalls the yellowish reddish tone of the fields of Coamo during the droughts. The heavy border of the Coat Of Arms contains the following figures: two flames; three bell towers with gold bells outlined in red; two red crosses with arms ending in three petals; and a circle with a surface divided by horizontal blue and silver-plated stripes.
Reference: Wikipedia.org / census.gov / mapquest.com