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Mayaguez

Trip Planner Caribbean  /  Puerto Rico  /  Mayaguez
(3.9/5 based on 440+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: zoos & aquariums, sightseeing, parks
Mayagüez is the eighth-largest municipality of Puerto Rico. Originally founded as "Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria" it is also known as "La Sultana del Caribe" (The Sultaness of the Caribbean), "Ciudad de las Aguas Puras" (City of Pure Waters), or "Ciudad del Mangó" (City of the Mango). On April 6, 1894, the Spanish crown gave it the formal title of "Excelente Ciudad de Mayagüez" (Excellent City of Mayaquez). Mayagüez is located in the center of the western coast on the island of Puerto Rico. It is both a principal city of the Mayagüez Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area.HistoryTaíno Indians who inhabited the territory, called the island Borikén or Borinquen which means: "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords". Today this word -used in various modifications- is still popularly used to designate the people and island of Puerto Rico. The Taíno Indians, who came from South America, inhabited the major portion of the island when the Spaniards arrived. The Taíno Indians, lived in small villages, organized in clans and led by a Cacique, or chief. They were a peaceful people who, with a limited knowledge of agriculture, lived on such domesticated tropical crops as pineapples, cassava, and sweet potatoes supplemented by seafood.Mayagüez was officially founded on September 18, 1760 by a group led by brothers Faustino and Lorenzo Martínez de Matos, Juan de Silva and Juan de Aponte, at a hill located about one kilometer inland from Mayagüez Bay and the outlet of the Yagüez River. The Spanish Crown granted the founders the right to self-government in 1763, formally separating the town from the larger Partido de San Germán. Originally the settlement was named Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Mayagüez (Our Lady of Candelaria of Mayagüez) to evoke an apparition of the Virgin Mary on the island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Most of the town's settlers, including its founders, originally migrated from the archipelago, whose patron saint is the Virgin of Candelaria.
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