Mon . 18 Dec 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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San Juan /ˌsæn ˈhwɑːn/; Spanish pronunciation: , Saint John is the capital and most populous municipality in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico "Rich Port City" Puerto Rico's capital is the second oldest European-established capital city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic Several historical buildings are located in San Juan; among the most notable are the city's former defensive forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristóbal, and La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas

Today, San Juan is Puerto Rico's most important seaport, and is the island's manufacturing, financial, cultural, and tourism center The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area, including San Juan and the municipalities of Bayamón, Guaynabo, Cataño, Canóvanas, Caguas, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Carolina and Trujillo Alto, is about 2 million inhabitants; thus, about half the population of Puerto Rico now lives and works in this area San Juan is also a principal city of the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area The city has been the host of events within the sports community, including the 1979 Pan American Games, 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games, events of the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics, the Caribbean Series and the Special Olympics and MLB San Juan Series in 2010


  • 1 History
    • 11 Coat of arms and flag of San Juan
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Climate
  • 3 Cityscape
    • 31 Architecture
    • 32 Districts
      • 321 Old San Juan
      • 322 Other districts
  • 4 Demographics
  • 5 Economy
    • 51 Tourism
  • 6 Culture
  • 7 Government
    • 71 Safety
  • 8 Education
    • 81 Colleges and universities
    • 82 Public and private schools
  • 9 Transportation
    • 91 Public transport
  • 10 Health and utilities
  • 11 Sports
    • 111 Professional teams
  • 12 International relations
    • 121 Twin towns – sister cities
  • 13 Notable people from San Juan
  • 14 See also
  • 15 Notes
  • 16 References
  • 17 External links


See also: Timeline of San Juan, Puerto Rico Ruins of Juan Ponce de León's residence at Caparra

In 1508, Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement which he called Caparra It was named after the Province of Caceres in Spain, the birthplace of Nicolás de Ovando, then the Governor of Spain's Caribbean territories, Today it is part of the Pueblo Viejo sector of Guaynabo, just to the west of the present San Juan metropolitan area A year later, the settlement was moved to a site then called Puerto Rico, Spanish for "rich port" or "good port", after its similar geographical features to the town of Puerto Rico of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands In 1521, the newer settlement was given its formal name, Puerto Rico de San Juan Bautista

The ambiguous use of San Juan Bautista and Puerto Rico for both the city and the island in time led to a reversal in practical use by most inhabitants: by 1746 the name for the city Puerto Rico had become that of the entire island, leading to the city being identified as Puerto Rico de Puerto Rico on maps of the era On the other hand, the name for the island San Juan Bautista became the name for the city only after the occupation of the island by the United States

San Juan and bay, Puerto Rico, 1766

San Juan, as a settlement of the Spanish Empire, was used by merchant and military ships traveling from Spain as the first stopover in the Americas Because of its prominence in the Caribbean, a network of fortifications was built to protect the transports of gold and silver from the New World to Europe Because of the rich cargoes, San Juan became a target of the foreign powers of the time

The city was witness to attacks from the English led by Sir Francis Drake in 1595 in what is known as the Battle of Puerto Rico and by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, in 1598 Artillery from San Juan's fort, El Morro, repelled Drake; however, Clifford managed to land troops and lay siege to the city After a few months of English occupation, Clifford was forced to abandon the siege when his troops began to suffer from exhaustion and sickness In 1625 the city was sacked by Dutch forces led by Captain Balduino Enrico also known as Boudewijn Hendricksz/Bowdoin Henrick, but El Morro withstood the assault and was not taken The Dutch were counterattacked by Captain Juan de Amezquita and 50 members of the civilian militia on land and by the cannons of the Spanish troops in El Morro Castle The land battle left 60 Dutch soldiers dead and Enrico with a sword wound to his neck which he received from the hands of Amezquita The Dutch ships at sea were boarded by Puerto Ricans who defeated those aboard After a long battle, the Spanish soldiers and volunteers of the city's militia were able to defend the city from the attack and save the island from an invasion On October 21, Enrico set La Fortaleza and the city ablaze Captains Amezquita and Andre Botello decided to put a stop to the destruction and led 200 men in an attack against the enemy's front and rear guard They drove Enrico and his men from their trenches and into the ocean in their haste to reach their ships

The British attack in 1797, during the French Revolutionary Wars, led by Sir Ralph Abercromby who had just conquered Trinidad His army laid siege to the city but was forced to withdraw in defeat as the Puerto Rican defenses proved more resilient than those of Trinidad Various events and circumstances, including liberalized commerce with Spain, the opening of the island to immigrants as a direct result of the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815, and the colonial revolutions, led to an expansion of San Juan and other Puerto Rican settlements in the late 18th and early 19th century

La Plaza, San Juan, ca 1900

On May 8, 1898, United States Navy ships, among them the USS Detroit, USS Indiana, USS New York, USS Amphitrite, USS Terror and USS Montgomery, commanded by Rear Admiral William T Sampson arrived at San Juan Bay The USS Yale captured a Spanish freighter, the Rita in San Juan Bay, thus being the first hostile encounter between the warring sides in Puerto Rico On May 9, Yale fought a brief battle with an auxiliary cruiser of Spain, name unknown, resulting in a Spanish victory Around this time, Captain Ángel Rivero Méndez was assigned the command of the Spanish forces in the fortress of San Cristóbal in San Juan On May 10, the Yale returned to San Juan Bay, Rivero-Méndez ordered his men to open fire upon the USS Yale using an Ordoñez 15 centimeter cannon, thus becoming the first attack against the Americans in Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War For his actions, Captain Rivero-Mendez was awarded the "Cruz de la Orden de Merito Militar" The Cross of the Order of the Military Merit first class The residents of San Juan were furious with Rivero and blamed him for the destruction caused to their city by the American bombardments Nothing came of those accusations and Capt Rivero-Méndez was ordered to turn over the keys of all the military installations in San Juan to Captain Henry A Reed of the US Army after the Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed On July 25, General Nelson A Miles landed at Guánica in southwestern Puerto Rico with 3,300 soldiers in what was known as the Puerto Rican Campaign The American troops found some resistance and engaged the Spanish and Puerto Rican troops in battle, the most notable of these the battles of Yauco and Asomante All military actions in Puerto Rico were suspended August 13, 1898, after President William McKinley and French Ambassador Jules Cambon, acting on behalf of the Spanish government, signed an armistice Spain ceded the island to the United States later the same year by signing the Treaty of Paris

Camp Las Casas, located in the district of Santurce, served as the main training camp for the Puerto Rican soldiers prior to World War I and World War II; the majority of the men trained in this facility were assigned to the "Porto Rico Regiment of Infantry" which was renamed the 65th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army by the Reorganization Act of June 4, 1920 The 65th Infantry was deactivated in 1956 and became the only unit ever to be transferred from an active Army component to the Puerto Rico National Guard

Shanty town along the Martín Peña Canal, 1973

Lieutenant Teófilo Marxuach Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, a native of Arroyo, Puerto Rico, fired the first shot in what is considered to be the first shot of World War I fired by the regular armed forces of the United States against any ship flying the colors of the Central Powers Marxuach, who was a member of the "Porto Rico Regiment of Infantry" and Officer of the Day, on March 25, 1915, opened fire on the Odenwald, an armed German supply vessel, when it was trying to force its way out of San Juan's bay The shots ordered by Lt Marxuach were the first fired by the United States in World War I

In 1919, Félix Rigau Carrera, "El Aguila de Sabana Grande" The Eagle from Sabana Grande, the first Puerto Rican pilot, became the first native Puerto Rican to fly an aircraft in the island when he flew his Curtiss JN-4 from Las Casas At the time, the area was used by the military as an air base and it was also Puerto Rico's first commercial airport, and Rigau Carrera was allowed to perform his historic flight from the air field Camp Las Casas was eventually closed down, and in 1950 a public housing project by the name of Residencial Fray Bartolome de Las Casas was constructed on its former location

On January 2, 1947, the people of San Juan elected Felisa Rincón de Gautier also known as Doña Fela 1897–1994 as their mayor Thus, she became the first woman to be elected as the mayor of a capital city in any of The Americas During the Cold War era, she ordered the establishment of the island's first Civil Defense system under the directorship of Colonel Gilberto José Marxuach Teófilo's son Rincón de Gautier served as mayor until January 2, 1969

Historic coat of arms of San Juan Spanish rule

On October 30, 1950, San Juan was the scene of the San Juan Uprising, one of many uprisings which occurred in various towns and cities in Puerto Rico, by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party against the governments of Puerto Rico and the United States Among the uprising's main objective was to attack "La Fortaleza" the Governors mansion and the United States Federal Court House Building in Old San Juan In accordance to the planned uprising in San Juan, a group of nationalists were supposed to attack simultaneously the gubernatorial mansion La Fortaleza, where Puerto Rican governor Luis Muñoz Marín resided, and the United States Federal Court House which is located close to an area called "La Marina" in Old San Juan The La Fortaleza battle, which ensued between the nationalists and the police lasted 15 minutes, and ended when four of the five attackers were killed

Coat of arms and flag of San Juan

Main article: Diego de Torres Vargas

On March 8, 1948 the city government of San Juan officially adopted as the city's first flag an orange field, in the center of which is the Coat of Arms of the City The orange color was based and taken from Father Diego de Torres Vargas' text and it reads : "Escudo de armas dado a Puerto Rico por los Reyes Católicos en el año de 1511, siendo Procurador un vecino llamado Pedro Moreno Son : un cordero blanco con su banderilla colorada, sobre un libro, y todo sobre una isla verde, que es la de Puerto Rico, y por los lados una F y una I, que quiere decir Fernando e Isabel, los Reyes Católicos que se las dieron, y hoy se conservan en el estandarte real, que es de damasco anaranjado, con que se ganó la ciudad" "Coat of Arms given to Puerto Rico by the Catholic Monarchs in the year 1511 being Procurator a vecino named Pedro Moreno They are: a white lamb with a red flag, on top of a book, and everything above a green island, which is Puerto Ricowhich is of orange damask, with which the city was won" It appears that the color was changed from orange to white at some point


San Juan from space

San Juan is located along the north-eastern coast of Puerto Rico It lies south of the Atlantic Ocean; north of Caguas and Trujillo Alto; east of and Guaynabo; and west of Carolina The city occupies an area of 7693 square miles 1992 km2, of which, 2911 square miles 754 km2 3783% is water San Juan's main water bodies are San Juan Bay and two natural lagoons, the Condado and San José


San Juan has a tropical monsoon climate and enjoys an average temperature of 810 °F 272 °C although 90 °F 32 °C or higher temperatures are seen on an average 79 days annually, more commonly occurring during the wetter months of the northern summer, especially if the winds come from the south In the winter, temperatures can drop to around 60 °F 16 °C, though the average winter low is 71 °F 22 °C The coolest temperature officially recorded was 60 °F 16 °C on March 3, 1957, and the hottest was 98 °F 37 °C on October 9, 1981; the record cold daily maximum is 71 °F 22 °C on February 4, 1935, while the record warm daily minimum is 83 °F 28 °C on August 11, 1995, the most recent of four occasions Rainfall is well-distributed throughout the year, but the months of January, February, and March are the driest; as March averages just 195 inches 495 mm of rain, the city falls under the tropical monsoon category Rainfall averages 5635 inches 1,4313 mm, falling on an average 1985 days per year; despite this dampness, the city averages 2,970 hours of sunshine per year, or just over ⅔ of the possible total Annual rainfall has historically ranged from 3553 in 902 mm in 1991 to 8950 in 2,273 mm in 2010


General view of harbor at San Juan, Puerto Rico looking South to San Juan Bay, 1927 The clock tower building at center was the San Juan Rail Terminal


Old San Juan

The architecture of San Juan is very diverse, due to its size and all the cultural influences received during its existence The oldest part of the city, known as Old San Juan, mostly features the influence of Spanish architecture This part of the city is comprised by a network of setted roads usually surrounded by ancient, two-storied houses built on masonry Some colonial structures have been restored and serve either as government offices or museums Some examples are the Ballajá Barracks, which now serve as museum and headquarter of several cultural organizations; La Fortaleza, which has served as the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico since the 16th Century; and the Ancient Welfare Asylum, which now houses the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, among others Old San Juan also features several public squares, like the Plaza de Armas, located in front of San Juan City Hall; and cathedrals, like the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista Old San Juan is also notable for being partly enclosed by massive walls and fortifications built by the Spanish government

The architecture is more varied in other districts of the city The district of Santurce features a lot of influence from art deco, while the districts of Hato Rey feature more modern structures


Districts of San Juan Main article: Subdivisions of San Juan, Puerto Rico

What is now known as Old San Juan occupied the western end of a rocky islet, the Isleta de San Juan, at the mouth of San Juan Bay During the 20th century, the main population centers surged well beyond the walls of the old city and onto Puerto Rico's main island, and merged with the existing settlements east and south of Old San Juan With the annexation of Río Piedras in 1951, the municipality of San Juan grew four times its previous size As a result, the city is now composed of a variety of districts and neighborhoods San Juan is now subdivided into 18 districts barrios, 16 of which fall within the former municipality of Río Piedras Eight districts are further subdivided into sectors sub-barrios, including two districts in the area that covered the original municipality of San Juan The 18 districts are:

  1. Caimito
  2. Cupey
  3. El Cinco
  4. Gobernador Piñero
  5. Hato Rey Central
  6. Hato Rey Norte
  7. Hato Rey Sur
  8. Monacillo
  9. Monacillo Urbano
  10. Oriente
  11. Pueblo
  12. Quebrada Arenas
  13. Sabana Llana Norte
  14. Sabana Llana Sur
  15. San Juan Antiguo Old San Juan
  16. Santurce
  17. Tortugo
  18. Universidad

Old San Juan

Main article: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico Some of Old San Juan streets are still paved with blue cobblestones from the Spanish colonial era

During the Spanish colonial times most of the urban population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan This sector is located on the western half of a small island called the Isleta de San Juan, which is connected to the mainland by two bridges and a causeway The small island, which comprises an area of 47 square miles 120 km2, also hosts the working-class neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra and most of Puerto Rico's central government buildings, including the Commonwealth's Capitol

The main central part of the city is characterized by narrow streets made of blue cobblestone and picturesque colonial buildings, some of which date back to the 16th and 17th century Sections of the old city are surrounded by massive walls and several defensive structures and notable forts These include the 16th-century Fort San Felipe del Morro and the 17th-century Fort San Cristóbal, both part of San Juan National Historic Site, and the 16th-century El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, which serves as the governor's mansion Other buildings of interest predating the 20th century are the Ayuntamiento or Alcaldía City Hall, the Diputación Provincial and the Real Intendencia buildings, which currently house the Puerto Rico Department of State, the Casa Rosa, the San José Church 1523 and the adjacent Hotel El Convento, the former house of the Ponce de León family known as Casa Blanca, the Teatro Tapia, the former Spanish barracks now Museum of Ballajá, La Princesa former municipal jail, now headquartering the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, located just outside the city walls The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista construction began in the 1520s is also located in Old San Juan, and contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer and settlement founder Juan Ponce de León Old San Juan, also known as the "old city", is the main cultural tourist attraction in Puerto Rico; its bayside is lined by dock slips for large cruise ships

Other districts

East of Old San Juan lies the wealthy tourist-oriented neighborhood of Condado, which occupies land that used to be owned by entrepreneur Pablo Ubarri Capetillo, a Spanish railroad developer and Count of San José de Santurce under the Spanish colonial period Beaches such as nearby Ocean Park, popular with swimmers, surfers and kitesurfers, are found all along the district's Atlantic coastline which is also the locus of numerous hotels

Near Condado are two separate business districts, Santurce and Miramar Miramar is mainly a residential area rising south of the Condado Lagoon It comprises the former barrio of Miraflores, as well as drained marshland and landfill over which was built San Juan's first airport, the Isla Grande airport, which was renamed Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in honor of Major Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci USAF Miramar now hosts the Puerto Rico Convention Center as well as some of San Juan Harbor's cruise ship piers In 2005 Miramar was designated an historical district of Puerto Rico

Santurce, originally named San Mateo de Cangrejos Saint Matthew of the Crabs, was a settlement for freed African slaves during the early days of the city After Pablo Ubarri sought permission to link San Juan with Río Piedras proper via steam tramway in 1878, the time it took to travel between both points were shortened and thereby stimulated the colonization and growth of the district At the beginning of the twentieth century an electric trolley was installed, the township was split into three parts, and its main settlement, merged with the city, was renamed using the Spanish spelling of Santurtzi Saint George in Basque, Ubarri's birthplace in Vizcaya, Spain The "Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico" Puerto Rico Museum of Art and other important cultural venues are located in Santurce

Looking down an Old San Juan street towards the bay

South of Santurce is Hato Rey, part of the former municipality of Río Piedras Hato Rey was grazing ground for cattle owned by the royal government hence its name, the King's Herd in Spanish as early as the 16th century, and is now considered the financial center of the island A section of this district is often referred to as Milla de Oro actually 047 miles or 076 kilometres long due in part to the many banks and businesses located there

In the southern part of the city is the socially diversified community of Río Piedras Founded in the mid-1850s, Río Piedras was a separate town which hosted sugar cane plantations and the estates of some of San Juan's wealthiest inhabitants as well as their working class staff The Spanish colonial governors also had their summer home there on land which eventually gave way to the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico In 1951 the municipalities of San Juan and Río Piedras were merged to redefine San Juan's current city limits Today Río Piedras comprises the largest area of the municipality of San Juan and is home to the "Plaza del Mercado" Río Piedras Marketplace, the main campus and the Medical Sciences campus of the University of Puerto Rico and the San Juan Botanical Garden


Seaborne Airlines is headquartered on the 9th floor of the World Plaza Building in San Juan


San Juan beach

Technological advances after World War II in the development of the airliner, coupled with the island's climate and natural setting, have transformed San Juan into the springboard for tourism around the island, and has made the rest of the Caribbean known throughout the world during the last fifty years Today the capital features hotels, museums, historical buildings, restaurants, beaches and shopping centers In San Juan there are tourist attractions, including: Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Isla Verde and Condado

Places and monuments emphasized in tourism campaigns include: Old San Juan, promoting the historic nature of its colonial buildings and narrow streets covered by adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over as ballast on Spanish ships This includes the city's ancient defensive wall and forts, most notably El Morro and the Castle of San Cristóbal On January 23, 1984 both of these edifices were catalogued as being part of humanity's cultural patrimony The restaurants and art galleries in the zone are visited by tourists The local universities are promoted as historic places, most notably the campus of University of Puerto Rico located in Río Piedras, which is the oldest university on the island being founded in 1903


Façade of "El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico" in Santurce, one of San Juan's most beautiful landmarks See also: List of notable residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan is the birthplace of artists and musicians, locally known as Sanjuaneros, who have significantly influenced Puerto Rican culture During the 20th century, the musical aspect of the city was influenced by performers including Afro-Caribbean dancer and choreographer Sylvia del Villard and José Enrique Pedreira who became a composer of Puerto Rican Danzas International musicians such as opera singer Justino Díaz and Grammy Award winners Ramón Ayala Daddy Yankee and Ricky Martin were born in the city Other notable residents include writers Giannina Braschi and Tomas Blanco, award-winning actors Raúl Juliá and Benicio del Toro, and comedian José Miguel Agrelot Rafael Cordero 1790–1868, was influential in the development of Puerto Rican education and has been once renowned as " The Father of Public Education in Puerto Rico" The city is also the home of contemporary and classic art museums The Puerto Rico Arts Museum owns the largest collection of contemporary art in Puerto Rico, housing over 1,100 permanent art pieces and displaying temporary exhibitions containing artwork from various locations through Latin America

The Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art, located in Santurce, specializes in contemporary artwork from Latin America and the Caribbean The paintings displayed in the permanent exhibition are either acquired by the museum's administrative personnel or donated by artists and collectors They are judged by a panel of painters, art critics, and scholars before being displayed

Other museums such as the Pablo Casals Museum, the Book Museum, Americas Museum and the National Gallery display historic items and artwork alongside contemporary art Miscellaneous museums such as the Children's Museum and the Bacardi Distillery also known as the "Rum Cathedral" in nearby Cataño appeal to different audiences through interactive exhibitions


Main article: Mayoralty in Puerto Rico

As one of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities, San Juan's government consists of two branches, the executive and the legislative Those citizens eligible to vote directly elect a mayor and the municipal assembly for four-year terms The municipal government is housed in City Hall or Casa Alcaldia, which is located at 153 San Francisco Street, facing the Plaza de Armas at the center of Old San Juan City Hall was constructed based on Madrid's City Hall starting in 1604 and finally completed in 1789

The executive branch is headed by a popularly elected mayor The office is currently held by Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was elected at the 2012 general election Before her, Jorge A Santini held the position for 12 years In addition to running the city's day-to-day operations and supervising associated departments, the mayor is responsible for appointing a secretary-auditor and a treasurer San Juan's Municipal Legislature is made up of 17 municipal legislators, elected at-large, which represent the city's population

San Juan is also the seat of the Puerto Rico Senatorial district I, which is represented by two Senators In 2012, José Nadal Power and Ramón Luis Nieves were elected as District Senators


In 2010 there were 201 slayings in San Juan, a rate of around 50 per 100,000 residents Law enforcement in San Juan is the joint responsibility of the Department of Police and Public Safety, also known as the San Juan Police Department and the Puerto Rico Police Department The Municipal Police, originally known as the "San Juan Municipal Guard", was created in 1521 and has active military and law enforcement functions, until 1980 when act #77 created municipal law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico It currently employs over 1,000 sworn officers plus civilian staff


Colleges and universities

Main tower of the University of Puerto Rico campus in Rio Piedras

San Juan is home to many of Puerto Rico's institutions of higher learning The University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus is located in San Juan, along with the University of Puerto Rico's Medical Sciences Campus Other colleges located in San Juan are the University of the Sacred Heart, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, the Ana G Méndez University System's Metropolitan University, the Metropolitan Campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, the Carlos Albizu University, the Evangelic Seminary of Puerto Rico and the Center for Advanced Studies on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean There are smaller colleges located in the city, including the ICPR Junior College, the Instituto de Banca y Comercio and the International Junior College, located in Santurce There are also several technical schools based in San Juan, including the Technological College of San Juan, the Liceo de Artes y Ciencias, Ramirez College of Business and Technology, and the Puerto Rico Technical Junior College The Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and the School of Fine Arts in Old San Juan specialize in education that promotes the fine arts and music

Public and private schools

Also, San Juan is home to 136 public schools operated by the Puerto Rico Department of Education Most of the specialized schools operated by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are located in San Juan These schools emphasize topics such as Science and Math, Radio and Television, Arts, Trade, Music, and Sports, but also include other subjects such as Spanish, English, and Social Studies in their curriculum In addition to dozens of state-run elementary, intermediate, and high schools, the government of the city of San Juan operates two bilingual schools, including one sports-magnet school, the first municipal-run schools in Puerto Rico Several private schools are located in San Juan, including Robinson and St John's schools in the Condado, Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, St John's Episcopal, Santa Mónica and Academia San Jorge in Santurce, Commonwealth High School, La Merced and Espíritu Santo in Hato Rey, Escuela Josefita Monserrate de Selles, San Antonio, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, San José in Río Piedras and Cupeyville, St Mary's, Boneville and Cupey Maria Montesory School in Cupey


The Port of San Juan is the fourth busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, ranked among the top 17 in the world in terms of container movement It is also the largest home-based cruise port in the world with over a dozen cruise ships It is the second busiest port in cruise volume after Miami

The Metropolitan Area is served by two airports The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan's primary commercial airport, is located eight miles 129 km from Old San Juan in the neighboring municipality of Carolina The airport accommodates more than 30 domestic and international airlines and is the busiest airport in the Caribbean It is often referred to as "The Gateway to the Caribbean" because it serves as the main connection to the island and the rest of the Caribbean for the United States and vice versa The area's secondary airport is the Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport, which is located directly across the San Antonio Creek or Cano San Antonio from Old San Juan in the Isla Grande district Dominicci Airport is used mainly by general aviation aircraft, charter flights, and some domestic commercial flights It used to be the city's and also the island of Puerto Rico's main international gateway until the opening of Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport It is now also widely used by the Isla Grande Flight School and Caribbean Flight Center, the only flight school on the island

Public transport

See also: Tren Urbano

At 4,300 vehicles per paved mile, San Juan has by far the highest density of vehicles on the road of any country in the world The city is served by five limited-access expressways and highways and numerous arterial avenues and boulevards, but continues to suffer from severe traffic congestion

The Metropolitan Bus Authority Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses or AMA in Spanish provides daily bus transportation to residents of San Juan, Guaynabo, Bayamón, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Cataño and Carolina through 30 fixed routes Its fleet consists of 277 regular buses and 35 handicap-accessible buses AMA's ridership is estimated at 112,000 on weekdays There is also a daily ferry service, known as the Cataño Ferry La Lancha de Cataño, which operates between Old San Juan and the town of Cataño

The T5, 21 and 53 buses pass between Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde More information is available at http://sjbusinfo/

In an attempt to decrease vehicle dependency and road congestion, the city built a metro system dubbed "Tren Urbano" "Urban Train" The 107-mile 172 km line connects to 16 stations The project, which opened in late 2004, cost $225 billion and was more than $1 billion over budget and four years late The Tren Urbano has received less ridership than was originally projected and has not significantly reduced the city's automobile traffic, despite a reported 75% ridership increase in 2006 over 2005 There is a planned project to build a "interurban light rail system" connecting the cities of San Juan and Caguas

Increased investment in public transportation, however, has not changed the fact that San Juan is an automobile reliant city and its fast growth has sparked urban sprawl As of mid-2010, the government has approved plans for a redesign of this Puerto Rican city, featuring a new mass transit system, new roads and intersections, and more beach access points No cars will be allowed inside the oldest part of city Old San Juan The plans hope to remedy previous poor urban planning in the oldest section of the city, the Isleta, while curbing reliance on motor vehicles The plans for redevelopment also hope to make the city more appealing in order to attract new residents, as San Juan has suffered from a shrinking population over the past 60 years

Health and utilities

San Juan has an elaborate system of triage, hospital, and preventive care health services The municipal government sponsors regular health fairs in different areas of the city focusing on health care for the elderly and the disabled There are 20 hospitals in San Juan, half of them operated by the government The largest hospital in San Juan and most important of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean is the Rio Piedras Medical Center, or Centro Medico de Rio Piedras in Spanish This hospital, founded in 1956, is operated by the Medical Services Administration of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico It is made up of eight other hospitals

  • San Juan Municipal Hospital: This hospital is operated by the San Juan municipal government
  • Industrial Hospital: This is the hospital for Puerto Rico government employees, whether municipal or Commonwealth government employees Normally, injured police officers and firefighters are cared for here
  • San Juan Pediatric Hospital - Also operated by the San Juan municipal government
  • Pediatric Hospital: Operated by the government of the Commonwealth, this is the main trauma hospital for pediatric cases
  • Centro Medico: This is the main hospital for trauma cases for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
  • Centro Cardiovascular del Caribe Caribbean Cardiovascular Center: This is the main hospital for open heart surgery in the Caribbean It features a hotel for the patients' families
  • Psychiatric Hospital: The main psychiatric hospital in Puerto Rico Operated by the government of Puerto Rico
  • Psychiatric Correctional Hospital: It is both a hospital and correctional facility It is operated jointly by the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and the Medical Services Administration

The city of San Juan operates 10 hospitals Of these, nine are Diagnostic and Treatment Centers located in communities throughout San Juan The main hospital is located at Centro Medico These 10 hospitals are:

  • La Perla
  • Puerta de Tierra
  • Llorens Torres
  • Puerto Nuevo
  • San José
  • Rio Piedras
  • Sabana Llana
  • Hoare
  • Santurce Parada 19
  • General Hospital Centro Medico

Also, there are 10 private hospitals in San Juan These are:

  • Hospital Metropilitano
  • Hospital Auxilio Mutuo
  • Hospital Auxilio Mutuo Expreso
  • Hospital de Veteranos: The main Veterans hospital in the Caribbean Operated by the US Veteran Healthcare System
  • Ashford Presbyterian Hospital
  • Hospital Pavia Hato Rey
  • Hospital Pavia Santurce
  • San Jorge Children's Hospital: The most well known children's hospital in the San Juan Metropolitan Area
  • Hospital San Gerardo: Located at the Cupey neighborhood, is a small hospital but is also specialized in psychiatry and elderly
  • Hospital del Maestro Teachers Hospital: Located in Hato Rey, this hospital is operated by the Puerto Rico Teachers Association


A night view of the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum

Teams based in San Juan have been notably successful in athletic competition The Santurce Crabbers won the National Superior Basketball League championship in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 during this period being recognized as a dynasty The San Juan Senators and the Santurce Crabbers were the two major baseball teams in the city, winning the championship of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League a total of seventeen times The Santurce Crabbers are located third among teams with more championships in the Caribbean Series, winning championships in the 1951, 1953, 1955, 1993 and 2000 editions of the tournament The city has also been the host of events within the sports community; some examples include:

  • Host of the 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games
  • Host of the 1979 Pan American Games
  • Has been host of the Caribbean World Series nine times
  • Major League Baseball's Montreal Expos played 22 home games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in both 2003 and 2004 The team also briefly considered moving permanently to San Juan before relocating to Washington, DC
  • Hosted the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium
  • Host of the 1974 FIBA World Championship basketball
  • Has been host of the FIBA Americas Championship five times 1980, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2009
  • The first edition of World Wrestling Entertainment's pay per view New Year's Revolution was held at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in January 2005
  • The Latin American Regional Special Olympics in February 2010
  • Host of Major League Baseball's 2010 "San Juan Series", three games of the Mets at Marlins held on June 28–30, 2010 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium

The recently built $28-million San Juan Natatorium is beginning to attract islandwide and regional swim meets, as well winter training by top-rated mainland US colleges and universities, including the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

In July 2007, the San Juan Golf Academy and its golf driving range began operating atop the city's former sanitary landfill in Puerto Nuevo and will eventually include the city's first and only 9-hole golf course

Professional teams

Club Sport League Venue
Cangrejeros de Santurce Basketball Baloncesto Superior Nacional Roberto Clemente Coliseum
Cangrejeros de Santurce Baseball Puerto Rico Baseball League Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Atléticos de San Juan Football/Balompié Soccer Puerto Rico Soccer League
Academia Quintana
San Juan United Puerto Rico Soccer League Second Division Sixto Escobar Stadium

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Puerto Rico

Twin towns – sister cities

San Juan is twinned with:

  • Cádiz, Spain
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Killeen, Texas, United States
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2006
  • Jacksonville, Florida, United States
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • San Juan City, Philippines
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic

Notable people from San Juan

See also: Category:People from San Juan, Puerto Rico

See also

  • Puerto Rico portal
  • Puerto Rico/Did you know-Puerto Rico portal
  • History of Puerto Rico
  • List of former national capitals
  • List of national capitals
  • List of people from San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Military history of Puerto Rico
  • Spanish Colonial style
  • Geography portal
  • North America portal
  • United States portal
  • Caribbean portal
  • Puerto Rico portal
  • New Spain portal


  1. ^ Official records for San Juan were kept at downtown from November 1898 to December 1955 and at San Juan Marin Int'l since January 1956


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External links

  • City of San Juan
  • National Park Service – San Juan
  • Historic Places in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
  • National Weather Service – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • San Juan Puerto Rico

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