Cidra Reservoir

Cidra Reservoir

Founded in 1809, Cidra is known as the “town of eternal spring” because of its cool temperatures. It is also known as the “town of the plain pigeon” because of the abundance of the endangered Puerto Rican plain pigeon (Columba inornata wetmorei), the only pigeon on the island that has blue eyes. This bird is larger than the common pigeon, has gray feathers and the wing coverts are edged in white. Its feet are reddish and its bill is black. It is often confused with the white-tipped dove, the white-winged dove and the zenaida dove.

Residents of Cidra, known as cidreños, numbered 42,753 persons, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. This municipality, located in the east-central region of the island, borders the municipalities of Comerio and Aguas Buenas on the north and Cayey on the south, Aibonito lies to the west and Caguas to the east. Cidra covers an area of 93.6 square kilometers (36.1 square miles). The territory is organized into thirteen sectors: Arenas, Bayamón, Beatriz, Ceiba, Cidra Pueblo, Honduras, Monte Llano, Rabanal, Rincón, Río Abajo, Salto, Sud and Toíta.

Geography

The municipality of Cidra is located on a plateau surrounded by mountains and streams in the northeast part of the island. Because of its location in the mountainous region, Cidra enjoys a subtropical climate with moderate temperatures.

The municipality’s terrain has been classified based on its slopes into categories of flat, semi-flat, moderate and steep. The steep terrain covers a total of 8,233 cuerdas while less steep areas cover 6,473 cuerdas. Another 2,708 cuerdas are considered flat or semi-flat, mostly along the length of La Plata River.

Elevations in the municipality range between 656 to 2,296 feet (200 and 700 meters). The highest points are the Almirante and Viento Caliente peaks 2,198 feet (669.950 meters), located in the Rabanal and Honduras sectors, and the Plana and Gordo peaks 2,165 feet (659.892 meters), which are located in the Honduras sector. The lowest point is near the Cidra dam.

The soil of Cidra originated as cretaceous rocks of volcanic and igneous formation and includes eight different groups and 12 series of soil.

Cidra has four rivers, ten streams and a manmade lake. Its rivers are: La Plata, Clavijo, Bayamón, and Arroyata. The most important streams are Galindo, Caña, Bocana, Del Blanco, La Catalina, Ceiba, Pueblo Viejo, Solano, Prieta and Quebradillas. Lake Cidra is 300 cuerdas in size and has a capacity of 1.8 billion gallons of water. It supplies water to San Juan, Cataño, Río Piedras and other towns.

Nuestra Señora del Carmen Parish

Nuestra Señora del Carmen Parish

Growing citron (cidra, in Spanish) trees to sell the fruit for export was common in this region. From there came the municipality’s name, “Cidra Ridge.” Originally, it was a sector of the municipality of Cayey de Muesas.

Although there is no documentary proof, it is believed that a Catalan with the last name of Frujols built a chapel high in the mountains of Cidra around 1795, and within a few years a small hamlet had formed around it.

In 1807, a group of residents in the settlement and its surrounding areas authorized Victoriano de Rivera to ask the governor for authorization to found a town and an independent parish.

In 1809, Bibiana Vázquez, a landowner, donated the land needed for founding the town. After that, Governor Salvador Meléndez granted the residents’ petition. Meléndez designated Victoriano de Rivera to direct the town, but he fell ill shortly thereafter and was replaced by Wenceslao Vázquez.

By 1810, a wood church had been built and dedicated to San Juan Nepomuceno. It had a parish priest, a sacristan and a caretaker. On November 23, 1818, Cidra was elevated to the level of an independent parish. The same year, construction of the city hall began.

By 1822, Cidra had two private schools, but there were no public schools. Two years later, the Royal Road connected the town with Caguas.

In 1838, the municipality was organized into ten sectors: Arenas, Beatriz, Cidra Pueblo, Montellano (as it was written in that era), Rabanal, Río Abajo, Honduras, Rincón, Bayamón and Honduras. In 1868, the population surpassed 5,000 residents, including nearly two hundred immigrants from Spain, several French and Italians, and 195 slaves.

At the end of the 19th century, public education was still practically nonexistent. The government provided just one teacher for the entire zone. Because of the scarcity of schools on the island, more advanced students often taught the others.

Cidra residents have various popular legends about the horse that gallops in the night, about nocturnal horsemen who ride through the town, and the old woman who appears in the church or the old man at the entrance to the cemetery who asks for a ride and then disappears.

Popular personalities include don Nano with his coconut candies, doña Coca and her rice pasteles and don Vale with his coconut horchata.

Symbols

Flag


The flag has one vertical and two horizontal bands. The upper band is green, the lower is gold, and the vertical is brown. The green evokes the landscape that is spring-like throughout the year. The gold symbolizes the richness of the region’s fruits and waterways and the spirituality of the area and its residents. The brown alludes to the Virgin del Carmen, the patron saint of Cidra, and the Puerto Rican plain pigeon, a species found nowhere else in the world and that is most abundant in this municipality.
The municipal coat of arms appears on the flag where the three bands of color meet.

Coat of Arms


The coat of arms was created by J.J. Santa-Pinter. The red flag that cross the seal diagonally represents the name of the municipality and symbolizes the patriotism of the population and their daily struggles, as well as the martyrdom of Juan Nepomuceno, the original patron saint. A citron fruit and a gold cornucopia with fruits appear on the red band and allude to Cidra’s history as one of the largest fruit producers on the island.

In the upper right portion is a scapular that symbolizes devotion to the Virgin del Carmen, the town’s patron saint, and a black miter that represents Saint Juan Nepomuceno. In the lower left, on a blue background, is a plain pigeon flying over a mountain with three peaks, which indicates the geographic location of the municipality in the island’s central mountain range.

Casa del rey or Old City Hall

Casa del rey or Old City Hall

1820 – Pedro Lebrón

1825 – Prudencio Vázquez

1826 – José de Rivera

1827- 1832 Luis Muñoz Iglesia

1846 – Luis Muñoz Iglesia

1850 – Miguel Salgado

1850 – 1854 Miguel Aguiar

1855 – 1856 Froilán Santana

1859 – José María Buitrago

1861 – José Tomás de Sárraga

1861 – 1862 Mauricio López Arias

1864 – Manuel Otero

1866 – Luis Gomila

1867 – Luis Gomila

1867 – Leandro Santos

1868 – Pedro González

1868 – Eusebio Ayo

1868 – Leandro Santos

1869 – José Amigó

1869 – Alfredo E. Alfonso

1869 – Sebastián Muñoz

1870 – Nicolás Vázquez

1871 – Nicolás Vázquez

1872 – Federico Aguayo

1872 – Emilio Ibáñez

1872 – Joaquín del Rosario

1872 – Marcelino Romany

1873 – Nicolás Vázquez

1873 – Federico Aguayo

1874 – Pedro Ortiz

1875 – Manuel Gil Sánchez

1876 – Luis R. García

1876 – Domingo Salinas

1877 – Luis R. García

1877 – 1879 Juan Vidal Martorell

1879 – Félix Vázquez

1879 – Leandro Santos

1879 –1881 Juan Navarro

1882 – José Botet

1882 – Juan Navarro

1883 – Nepomuceno Quiles

1884 – 1885 Luis Bas

1885 – ? Bernier

1886 – ? Santana

1888 – Luis Bas

1888 – José Botet

1889 –1890 Perfecto Paradís

1890 – José Botet

1891 – Luis García Sánchez

1892 – Luis García Sánchez

1892 – Juan Guillort

1892 – Eleuterio Piñero

1893 – Narciso Frainer

1893 – ? Seguer

1894 – Narciso Frainer

1894- Francisco Sariego

1895 – A. Gándara

1895 – 1896 Francisco Sariego

1898 – Tomás Mestre

1899 – Modesto Ferrer

1900 – Oscar Porrata

1900 – Modesto Ferrer

1905 – Escolástico Ferrer Santiago

1906 – Jacinto Meléndez

1907 – Práxedes Santiago

1912 – Miguel Nogueras

1914 – Francisco M. Zeno

1920 – Vicente Muñoz

1923 – Angel Manuel Díaz

1924 – Blas C. Torres

1928 – Basilio Nieves

1930 – ángel Manuel Díaz

1932 – Dr. Rafael Rivera

1933 – Jacinto Santos J.

1936 – Narciso Rodríguez

1940 – Basilio Nieves

1942 – Tomás Pérez Díaz

1944 – Rodolfo Rodríguez

1948 – Modesto Ferrer Rodríguez

1963 – Emilio Reyes Vázquez

1971 – Tomás Rodríguez Díaz

1979 – Diego Reyes

1979 – Pedro Rivera Rivera

1981 – Luis A. Santos Flores

1985 – Félix Agosto Reyes

1989 – 2012 Angel L. Malavé Zayas

2012 – currently Javier Carrasquillo Cruz

First Baptist Church in Cidra

First Baptist Church in Cidra

Mayor
Javier Carrasquillo Cruz

Places of Interest

• Ceiba Tree
• Lake Cidra
• Del Carmen Parish
• Las Hamacas Bridge
• Iberia Theater

Illustrious Citizens 

Luis López Santos– athlete – baseball

Nicolás Ortiz Colón- writer

Víctor Serrano- writer)

Myrna Vázquez Díaz- actress

Pedro Vázquez Urbina– writer

Viviana Vázquez- granted land for the construction of the town of Cidra

Events

• Plains Pigeon Festival – November
• Patron Saint Festival – July
• Myrna Vázquez Díaz Week – February

Note: These articles have been edited and checked by academics and specialists in History. Discrepancies may exist among historians regarding some data.

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: June 04, 2015.

Images Gallery of Cidra

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