A municipality on the north coast of the island known as the “Villa del Capitán Correa”, in honor of the heroic deed of Antonio de los Reyes Correa, who defended the Village of Arecibo from the attack of the English in 1702. The Spanish crown decorated him with the Royal Effigy medal and promoted him to captain.
This village, of flat lands has a territorial extension of 127 square miles. Its lands are part of the Carso area, characterized by the presence of caves, sinkholes and mogotes on its surface.
Arecibo has 100,131 inhabitants, according to the 2000 federal census, and is divided into 19 neighborhoods: Arecibo pueblo, Arenalejos, Arrozal, Cambalache, Carreras, Domingo Ruiz, Dominguito, Esperanza, Factor, Garrochales, Hato Abajo, Hato Arriba, Hato Viejo, Islote, Miraflores, Río Arriba, Sabana Hoyos, Santana and Tanamá.
The Arecibeños celebrate several festivities during the year, among which the patron saint festivities in honor of the apostle San Felipe stand out in April and the Arecibeño Carnival in February. In addition, Arecibo is distinguished by the traditional celebration of the Cetí Festival at the end of November.
The cetí is a tiny fish that is usually caught at the mouth of the Arecibo River on the waning moon of July and the subsequent waning ones until January. Sometimes, these small fish can form a conglomeration that can measure up to 25 to 30 meters long. Thanks to this fish Arecibo is also known as the “City of Cetí”.
Arecibo has the largest radio telescope in the world. The giant concrete, aluminum and steel structure rises 565 feet above the mountains of the Esperanza neighborhood. It was built by the United States Corps of Engineers at an initial cost of nine million dollars. It was opened in November 1963 under the direction of Prof. William E. Gordon of the Cornell University School of Electrical Engineering.
The geographical position of the village – approximately 18 degrees north of the equator – turns out to be an ideal location for observing the sun and the planets. The radio-radar telescope allows the collection of signals from celestial objects arriving from the most distant areas of the universe, scientific research is also carried out on climate changes.
Arecibo played an important role as a producer in Puerto Rico’s rum industry, as it housed the Puerto Rico Distilling, founded in 1911. The company produced rums and other distilled spirits and sold them to other corporations in the country. Then, at the time of prohibition, he was engaged in the elaboration of ethyl alcohol and alcoholic Superior 70. Over time, many of the lands that belonged to this company were purchased by the government of Puerto Rico to carry out housing projects.
Currently, Arecibo has several industries related to the production of textiles, chemicals and electrical equipment, among others. Service industry, commerce and agriculture persist in the village’s economy, as does fishing.
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