Camuy (kahm-WEE) is a municipality in Puerto Rico located on the Valley of Quebradillas, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Lares; east of Quebradillas; and west of Hatillo. Camuy is spread over 12 wards and Camuy Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The town celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007.
founded in 1807 by Petronila Matos
, and formerly part of Arecibo
. Camuy is located in the northwestern coastal region of Puerto Rico, less than 5 minutes west of Hatillo on PR 2 and PR 119. The name Camuy
is known to be derived from the Taíno
language, although a number of legends give differing explanations for the origin of the name. One such legend claims the name comes from the Taíno word for "sun", another claims derivation from canuy
, Taíno for "beautiful scenery", and still another states that Camuy
was the name of the Taíno chief Yumac
with the letters inverted. The "sun" legend is reflected in the coat of arms for the municipality.
In its beginnings Camuy was integrated into the Party of San Antonio de la Tuna. The "parties" were great extensions of land that divided Puerto Rico. This region today is known as Isabela. At the time the party covered the area between Aguadilla and Arecibo, what is known today as the municipalities of Camuy, Hatillo, Quebradillas, Isabela, Utuado, and San Sebastián.
The population of Camuy was 35,244 at the 2000 census, and it has land area of . The municipality is a popular suburb, although it is growing economically more slowly than neighboring Hatillo.
The flag is green like the Coat of Arms. A white undulating band runs horizontally across and is interrupted in the middle by the figure of the Camuy sun, in this case represented by the colors yellow and black.
Coat of Arms
The silver-waving stripe symbolizes the Camuy River (interrupted in the center because the river goes underground for part of its trajectory). The three tower crown distinguishes Camuy as a municipality.
- Abra Honda
- Camuy Arriba
- Camuy Pueblo
Camuy belongs to the zone designated as the plateau of the northwest where the terrain is level and known as the Valley of Quebradillas. Towards the interior of the municipality, the topography becomes very irregular near Cibao. This strip of land, a zone of wooded hills and depressions, divides Camuy completely into two strips, north and south. The northern strip is known as Lomas de los Puertos.
The Camuy River forms part of the hydrographic system with a length of 24 miles, which at one point becomes a narrow canyon that forms one of the most beautiful cave systems in the world, Rio Camuy Caverns. The Camuy River along with the Caverns are the 3rd largest and longest underground system in the world and the river is one of the few remaining active underground rivers in the Americas, stretching for miles.
The Cibao River is also part of the system.
Pedazo de Borinquen
By Ramón Jovito Barreto
Canto a este pueblo donde he nacido,
de verdes montes y de azul mar,
de un río travieso
que está escondido
pero que brota cual manantial.
¡Camuy mi pueblo,
Camuy mi campo,
pedazo bello de Borinquen
el sol taíno te da su encanto,
yo no te cambio eres mi edén!
Hoy de tu historia yo siento orgullo
del Grito fuiste mecha inicial.
Por la Estrellada te han conocido
por Las Cavernas por tu central.
¡Camuy mi pueblo,
Camuy mi campo,
pedazo bello de Borinquén,
el sol taíno te da su encanto,
yo no te cambio eres mi edén!
Agriculture (sugarcane and cattle some time ago).
Tourism plays an important role in Camuy's economy due in part to the Camuy River Cave Park, La Cueva de Camuy Recreational Area and Camuy's public beaches.
There's an active manufacturing industry in the city, including companies such Cazador Apparel, Seamless Textiles and Camuy Furniture Warehouse. The city used to be home of the largest Hanes and Pam An Shoes Manufacturing Plants in Puerto Rico.
In terms of commercial development, several fast foods franchises, banks and stores can be found in Camuy, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Maker, Westernbank, MeSalve, Claro among others. In the actuality there are two strip malls under construction; Camuy Shopping Court and Camuy Plaza Shopping Center. The first one is set to open during the first quarter of 2009.
Camuy is known for its Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy
(Camuy River Cave Park), a large network of natural limestone caves
and underground waterways shared with nearby municipalities of Hatillo and Lares
. The cave system was first documented in the 1973 book Discovery At The Rio Camuy
(ISBN 0-517-50594-0) by Russell and Jeanne Gurnee. The park built around the cave system features tours of some of the caves, and is one of the most popular natural attractions in Puerto Rico
. The caverns were created by the Río Camuy
(Camuy River), one of the few active underground rivers in the Americas
, and the third longest underground river in the world. In recognition of this, the Camuy coat of arms includes a symbol for the underground river. Camuy is also known for the handsome Medina family especially Hector Medina grandson and son of Lolo Medina.
Landmarks and Places of Interest
- Hacienda Morell
- Lake Guajataca
- Peñon Brussi Beach
- Peñon Amador Beach
- Rio Camuy Cave Park
- La Cueva de Camuy
- Iglesia Monte del Calvario
- Paseo Tablado del Rio Camuy, or Rio Camuy Boardwalk
- Iglesia de Piedra
- Camuy History Museum
Festivals and Events
- Velorio Tres Reyes Magos or Three Kings Celebration - January
- Mondongo Festival - February
- Camuy Carnival - February
- Balseada del Rio Camuy - March
- Patron Festivities San José - May
- Peñon Brussi Beach Festival - July
- Cultural Fair - September
The patron saint of Camuy is San José. His day is celebrated on May 1]. The patron saint festivities are celebrated every year around the last 2 weeks of the month of May, the month of Saint Joseph. His official liturgical day is May 1.
Camuy currently has:
- 7 Public Elementary Schools
- 4 Public Intermediate School
- 3 Public High schools
There is a private elementary school called Colegio San Jose. Also there is a community college called Universal Technology College of Puerto Rico (UNITEC) which have a campus in Camuy, offering numerous technical and associate degrees.
Just like the whole island, Camuy is first and foremost Catholic but there are other religions present in the town, including Protestant denominations such as the Pentecostals, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, etc. The main church of the town is the San Jose Parish named after the patron of the town, Saint Joseph. However the other famous church is the Protestant church named "Iglesia de Piedra" (Church of Stone) because of its design. The whole church is made completely out of stone.
The town has many sports (Volleyball, Basketball, Martial Arts, Swimming etc.) but most notably are their baseball teams. Many of them are part of the little league and the intermediate system but at the top the two professional Class A and Double AA baseball teams called "Los Arenosos" (Referring to the abundance of sand from the coastline).
How to arrive
Distance from San Juan: 57 miles aprox.
ETA: 1hr. 20 minutes
Directions: From San Juan take Expressway PR#22. Then take Exit 86-B to Freeway PR#2. Continue driving toward the west until you see the sign "Camuy Centro" or Downtown Camuy in English. Then take route PR#4491 to your right until you reach downtown Camuy.
- Jose Joaquin (Yiye) Avila - famous Christian evangelist and former baseball player and bodybuilder.
- Jose Antonio Firpi - Famous Christian Evangelist, veteran of the Korean War and former catcher for the Camuy Arenas AA baseball team
- Diómedes Delgado - famous former baseball player and two time national batting champion for the Camuy Arenas team.
- Johnny Rodriguez- famous musician.
- George Torres- former basketball player in the Puerto Rican SBL.
- Daniel "La Cobra" Jimenez- former WBO Bantam and SuperBantamweight World Boxing Champion.
- Karol Rosa- model in the hit TV program "Sabado Gigante".
- Willie Colon Rosa - scout director in PR from international convention of modeling and talent.
- Juan "Cheo" Lopez Caban- founder of the Camuy Arenas Superior baseball team and former coach of the Puerto Rican National Baseball team in 1964. Member of the Puerto Rican Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Luis "Cano" Rivera Toledo- famous sports figure and former president of the Puerto Rican Athletism Federation.
- Pedro Santos Guillama- second winningest pitcher in Camuy Arenas AA team history and current team owner.
- William Rosales Perez- former mayor of Camuy and former Secretary of the Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) .
- Arnaldo Roman- world renowned baseball umpire.
- Miguel "Cuqui" Hernandez- former pitcher in the Puerto Rican National Softball team.
- Jesus "Pichy" Velazquez- former star hitter of the Camuy Arenas AA club and member of the 1980 PR National baseball team.
- Guillermo "Guille" Velazquez- former star slugging third baseman for the Camuy Arenas AA team.
- Pastor Santiago- former professional baseball umpire.
- Giancarlo Alvarado- professional pitcher currently with the Salt Lake Buzz in the Los Angeles Angels farm system.
- Ferdinand Perez- current candidate for San Juan City Mayor for the Partido Popular Democratico.
- Maribel Delgado- nationally acclaimed "cuatro" player.
- Alberto Avila Lopez- town historian.
- Rafael Roman- won the P.R. Blockbuster World Video Game Championship in 1995.
Camuy is also known as:
- Ciudad Romántica (Romantic City) - A very famous romantic radio station appeared in the early 80's in the town and listeners from across the northern region tuned in every evening.
- Ciudad de los Arenosos (City of the Arenosos) - Named after the abundance of sand in the coastline as well as the famous Doble AA baseball team, "Los Arenosos".
- Ciudad del Sol Taíno (City of the Taíno Sun) - Named after Taíno mythology. It is believed that Camuy meant "Sun".
- Ciudad de las Cavernas (City of the Caverns) - In the southern part of the municipality there's a massive cave system called "Rio Camuy Cave Park" which host the third largest subterranean river of the
Books about Camuy
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