Florida, Puerto Rico

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Florida, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms of Florida, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa", "La Tierra del Río Encantado", "Tierra de los Mogotes"
Anthem: "Florida jardín hermoso"
Location of Florida in Puerto Rico
Location of Florida in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°21′49″N 66°34′17″W / 18.36361°N 66.57139°W / 18.36361; -66.57139Coordinates: 18°21′49″N 66°34′17″W / 18.36361°N 66.57139°W / 18.36361; -66.57139
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded 1971
 • Mayor Hon. José Gerena Polanco (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist. 3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist. 13
 • Total 10 sq mi (26 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,680
 • Density 1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
Demonym(s) Florideños
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00650

Florida (Spanish pronunciation: [floˈɾiða], Flowery) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) located north of Ciales, south of Barceloneta, east of Arecibo, and west of Manatí. Florida is spread over one ward and Florida Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Florida was founded first as a barrio of Barceloneta in 1881 when a priest, Father Carrión, the mayor of Barceloneta, and other dignitaries arrived at a terrain of almost 4 acres. They decided to establish a new barrio and the owner of the place, Don Manuel Cintrón granted the land while he retained a piece of it. The barrio was first called "Florida Adentro".

During the 20th century, several efforts were made to declare Florida as a municipality. First, on April 14, 1949, House Representative Francisco Díaz Marchand presented a project to create a legislative commission that would study the economic and social conditions of the barrio, to determine the suitability of it as an independent municipality. The project was unsuccessful. In 1960, Manuel Frías Morales presented a law that would permit the study to establish the municipality but it didn't succeed either.

Finally, on June 14, 1971, the Senate of Puerto Rico and Governor Don Luis A. Ferré approved the law that officially created the municipality of Florida. It is thus the youngest municipality established in the island.



It consists of three horizontal stripes, with the following colors and widths: green the superior and white the inferior, with five modules of width each one, the center one red, with a width of one module.

Coat of Arms

Field of silver, in an abyss, a gules (red) anchored cross, like the one in the Asturian district of Llanes. The cross is anchored between two branches of bloomed poinsettias (Poinsettia Pulcherrima). A green terrace represents the hilly terrain of the town, with a stripe forming waves outlined in silver which represents the underground river of Encantado. At the top, a three tower gold crown distinct in municipalities coat of arms. The shield can be surrounded, to its flanks and bottom by two crossed coffee tree branches with fruits.


Florida derives its name from the abundant flowers and natural resources on its land. It is also known as "La Tierra del Río Encantado" due to an underground river called Encantado. Another nickname is the "Pueblo de la Piña Cayenalisa" due to its pineapple crops.


Florida is the second smallest municipality of Puerto Rico, with an area of 10 square miles. The municipality belongs to the coastal plains of the north of Puerto Rico and it's surrounded by small hills. Several caves are formed in the town like Román Cave, Miró Cave, and Juana Gómez Cave.



The town of Florida is divided itself into several barrios or districts:

  • Aguacate
  • Ceiba
  • Comisión
  • Florida Adentro
  • Florida Pueblo
  • Fogones
  • Los Guanos
  • Los Vázquez
  • Pajonal
  • Parcelas Arroyo
  • Parcelas Selgas
  • Pueblo Viejo
  • San Agustín
  • Perol
  • Tosas



  • Enchanted Cave


Florida's economy has mostly relied on agriculture, specifically pineapple crops and other fruit related products. In recent years, there has been a spurt of manufacturing plants establishing in the area, some of them dedicated to plastics.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1950 1 —    
1960 1 +0.0%
1970 1 +0.0%
1980 7,232 +723100.0%
1990 8,689 +20.1%
2000 12,367 +42.3%

Florida is one of the least populated municipalities of Puerto Rico, perhaps due to its small size. The population, according to the 2000 census, was 12,237 with a population density of 1,236.7 people per square mile (475.6/km²). However, according to the 1970 census when the town wasn't founded yet, there was[dubious ] only one person[who?] living in the region[citation needed]. After its establishment in 1974, the population has steadily increased over the years, with only 7,232 people in the 1980 census.

Statistics taken from the 2000 census shows that 86.0% of Florideños are of White origin, 4.9% are black, 0.2% are Amerindian etc.

Race - Florida, Puerto Rico - 2000 Census[1]
Race Population  % of Total
White 11,381 92.0%
Black/African American 305 2.5%
American Indian and Alaska Native 43 0.3%
Asian 31 0.3%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
Some other race 409 3.3%
Two or more races 198 1.6%


After its initial establishment, Florida belonged to the Barceloneta region. In 1949 and 1960 there were some attempts to separate the barrio from Barceloneta, but these were unsuccessful. However, in 1974, Governor Luis A. Ferré and the Puerto Rican Senate officially declared Florida an independent municipality. Its first mayor was Jorge L. Pérez Piñeiro. The current mayor is José Gerena Polanco, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general elections.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two Senators. In 2008, José Emilio González and Angel Martínez were elected as District Senators.[2]


Florida counts with several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.


Puerto Rico Highway 22 provides access to Road #140, which leads to Florida from the cities of Mayagüez in the west, or San Juan in the north.

Like most other towns in the island, it counts with a public transportation system consisting of public cars. Taxis are also available around the town.

Mayors of Florida

  • 1974–1981 - Jorge Luis Pérez Piñeiro
  • 1981–1984 - Heriberto González Vélez
  • 1984–1992 - Juan Ramon De León Vélez [Johnny]
  • 1992–2004 - Maria Dolores Guzmán Cardona [Maggie]
  • 2004–2012 - José Aaron Pargas Ojeda
  • 2012–Present - José Gerena Polanco

Notable Floridians

  • Alexis Mateo - drag queen, entertainer and reality television personality.
  • Charlie Montoyo - former Major League Baseball player.
  • Danny Viera Carrero - First Puerto Rican Crew chief in the Secretary of Defense Plane 2008-2010 and First Puerto Rican in the Chief of Naval Operation Plane 2010-2012.

See also


  1. ^ Ethnicity 2000 census
  2. ^ Elecciones Generales 2008: Escrutinio General Archived November 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. on CEEPUR

External links

  • "Map of Florida" (PDF).  (95.2 KB)
  • Municipality of Florida (in Spanish)
  • Viability Study of Florida (in Spanish)
  • Dr. Valentín's Historical Archives (in Spanish)
  • "Florida". Salon Hogar. 
  • Welcome to Puerto Rico! Florida
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