Jayuya, Puerto Rico

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Municipio de Jayuya
Town and Municipality
Skyline of Jayuya
Flag of Jayuya
Coat of arms of Jayuya
Coat of arms
"La Capital Indigena"
Anthem: "Ante nos se yergue"
Location of Jayuya in Puerto Rico
Location of Jayuya in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°13′07″N 66°35′30″W / 18.21861°N 66.59167°W / 18.21861; -66.59167Coordinates: 18°13′07″N 66°35′30″W / 18.21861°N 66.59167°W / 18.21861; -66.59167
CountryUnited States
TerritoryPuerto Rico
 • MayorJorge "Georgie" González Otero (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist.5 - Ponce
 • Total39.4 sq mi (102.1 km2)
 • Total16,642
 • Density420/sq mi (160/km2)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major RoutesCR 140 jct wide.svg CR 141 jct wide.svg CR 143 jct wide.svg CR 144 jct wide.svg

Jayuya (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈʝuʝa]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located in the mountainous center region of the island, north of Ponce; east of Utuado; and west of Ciales. Jayuya is spread over 10 wards and Jayuya Pueblo[1][2] (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is the principal city of the Jayuya Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Named after the Taino tribal leader, Hayuya, Jayuya is known for its skilled wood carvers. Among its monuments are the statue of Nemesio Canales and the bust of Hayuya, both by the Puerto Rican sculptor Tomás Batista.


The town of Jayuya was founded in 1911, but history traces non- indigenous settlers living in the region as far back as 1878. At that time, a small community was established there, separated from the larger cities of the coasts with little to no communication. Near the end of the 19th century, the town focused on the production of coffee, which greatly boosted the local economy.

In 1911, the town was officially declared a municipality with a population of more than 9,000.

In 1950, the town was the setting of the Jayuya Uprising, in which Nationalists started a revolt against the Government of the United States led by Blanca Canales, a social worker, and her cousins, Elio and Doris Torresola. Canales led the group into the town square and gave a speech, declaring Puerto Rico an independent republic. The police station was later attacked, telephone lines cut, and the post office burned to the ground. One police officer was killed and three others wounded in these attacks. The group held the town for three days, until it was bombed by U.S. planes supporting a ground attack by the Puerto Rican National Guard. Even though an extensive part of the town was destroyed, news of the bombing was not reported outside of Puerto Rico. It was called an incident between Puerto Ricans by the media on the mainland. Most of Jayuya's population is of mestizo descent.



The flag is rectangular in shape and derives its symbolism from the coat of arms. It symbolizes the spirit of people proud of their Taíno heritage and their hospitality.

Coat of arms[edit]

Jayuya's coat of arms consists of a shield with a three tower crown above, which is standard for municipalities. Inside the shield, centered at the top, a crown representing Chief Hayuya's monarchy. In the center a green band with a white border representing the Tres Picachos (Three Peaks) mountains. The green color symbolizes the countryside and the town's matron, La Virgen de la Monserrate. At the bottom of the shield, is a petroglyph known as the Taíno Sun found in Jayuya.


Puerto Rico's south shore, from the mountains of Jayuya, taken from Highway 143

Jayuya[3] is located in the center of the island of Puerto Rico, in the middle of the Cordillera Central. Due to this location, its terrain is mostly rough and steep. Some of the highest mountains of the island are located in this region, including Monte Jayuya, Cerro Rosa, Tres Picachos and the highest mountain of the island, Cerro Punta, at 4,389 ft (1,338 m).

The town's total area is estimated at 39.4 square miles (102.05 km²)[citation needed]. Part of the Toro Negro State Forest is located within the municipality of Jayuya. Rivers like Río Naranjito and Río Yunes, as well as the Río Grande de Jayuya and its various affluents, flow through this municipality.


Subdivisions of Jayuya.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Jayuya is subdivided into barrios.[4][5][6][7]


As in most municipalities located in the mountain region, the climate is mostly cool with temperatures in the 80 to 70 °F (27 to 21 °C) range. However, they are known to go as low as 50 or 60 °F (10 or 16 °C) during some winters.

Hurricane Maria[edit]

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, the people of Jayuya had to resort to collecting spring water.[8]


Festivals and events[edit]

There are several celebrations and festivals held at Jayuya throughout the year. Two of the most known are the Tomato Festival, held in February, and the Festival Indígena (Indian Festival) held in November.


Casa Museo Canales

Due to its location, Jayuya is usually mentioned as the obligatory municipality to visit when visiting the center of the island of Puerto Rico. There are several landmarks for tourists to consider like the Nemesio Canales Museum and the Cemí Museum,[9] both located in the same valley. Also, the Taíno Tomb in the city's downtown has the remains of a Taíno Indian found in an excavation. Nearby, there's a monument to Chief Hayuya, cacique of the region.

In the outskirts of the city, tourists can visit the Cerro de Punta, highest peak in the island of Puerto Rico, as well as the other mountains mentioned (Tres Picachos, for example). The Toro Negro State Forest can also be reached through the city.

Jayuya is home to the first aerostat in Puerto Rico and one of the world's largest. It is located in barrio Mameyes, at 3,200 feet above sea level. When the aerostat lifts, it reaches 3,500 feet where it has a panoramic view of 360 degrees.[10]



Jayuya's economy has always depended greatly on agriculture. Products like coffee, tomato, and other vegetables are produced and distributed in the region. Livestock is another part of the city's economy.


In the middle of the 20th century, several manufacturing industries established in Jayuya, aiming to revitalize the economy as well as provide work for the residents. Some of the companies currently in the city are Baxter Healthcare and Abbott Laboratories. A bridge used by these companies for the delivery of their materials to their plants was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Work was set to begin on the bridge in 2019.[11]


Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, Jayuya is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Jorge González Otero, from the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). González was elected at the 1996 general election.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district V, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Ramón Ruiz and Martín Vargas Morales, from the Popular Democratic Party, were elected as District Senators.[12]


There are 34 bridges in Jayuya.[13]


As all other municipalities in the island, Jayuya is part of the Puerto Rico Department of Education. It has several elementary schools distributed throughout the city's wards. However, there's currently only one public high school, Josefina León Zayas High School, located in the city's downtown.

The Metropolitan University, a private institution, has a campus in the municipality's downtown area.

Former mayors[edit]

  • 1883 Julio Grau Battle - District Commissioner
  • 1911-16 Rosario Canales
  • 1916-20 Juan de Jesús López
  • 1920-24 Ramón B. Marrero
  • 1928 José Rivera Aponte (3 months)
  • 1928-36 Jesús Dávila Rodríguez
  • 1936-40 Vicente Santiago Reyes - Coalition Republican-Socialist
  • 1940-44 Juan Oliver Frau PPD
  • 1944 Mario Canales Torresola PPD (intern)
  • 1944-48 Manuel Diversé PPD
  • 1948-52 Ramón de Jesús Soto PPD
  • 1952-68 Adrián Torres Torres PPD
  • 1968-72 Rafael A. Ríos Delgado PNP
  • 1972-76 José D. "Lolo" Castro González PPD
  • 1976-84 Antonio Reyes Santiago PNP
  • 1984-92 Venancio A. Tejedor León PPD
  • 1992-96 José A. Rivera Rodríguez PNP
  • 1996 - Jorge L. González Otero (PPD)

Additional information[edit]

  • July 11, 1883 - The first parish was established
  • March 9, 1911 - Municipality was established
  • Mayte Vega Torres - National Winner Walker, Athlete

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jayuya... El Pueblo de Los Tres Picachos - Retrieved 2012-09-24
  2. ^ Mi pueblo del tomate, Jayuya - Retrieved 2012-09-24
  3. ^ "Jayuya Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  4. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969.
  5. ^ Gwillim Law (20 May 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  6. ^ Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  7. ^ "Map of Jayuya at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  8. ^ Baez, Alvin (October 18, 2017). "The search for water in Puerto Rico". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Cemi Museum". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Alcalde de Jayuya dice recuperará inversión del globo a tres años". April 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Irizarry Álvarez, Femmy (January 6, 2019). "Comenzarán trabajos del puente sobre río Viví en Utuado". Primero Hora. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  12. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  13. ^ "Jayuya Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Historia, imagen, y sentir de un pueblo: Jayuya - Aura Pierluissi de Rodríguez
  • En busca de mis ángeles - Iris de Jesus
  • Worker in the Cane - Sidney Mintz
  • Tiempos revueltos - Vionette G. Negretti