Loíza, Puerto Rico

Loíza, Puerto Rico

Loíza (loo-EE-zah) is a small town and municipality ("municipio") in the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, north of Canóvanas; east of Carolina; and west of Río Grande. Loíza is spread over 5 wards and Loíza Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city).


Loíza was proclaimed a town officially in 1719 and named in honor of Yuisa or Luisa, one of the women caciques on the island when the Spanish conquerors arrived.

A beach-town with apartment complex buildings, Loíza is on one of the two main landing paths to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport; pilots of airliners landing from the east at "Luis Muñoz Marín" usually fly over Loíza. The airport would today be part of Loiza, had Isla Verde not been annexed to Carolina and the residents of that area displaced. In the 1970s, an Aero Virgin Islands DC-3 plane crashed in a Loíza beach, with no fatalities.

Loíza was populated by freed or escaped African slaves during the town's first years. Today, most of Loíza's population is of African descent. Due to neglect from the government and ineffective mayors, many in Loiza live below poverty as on the rest of the island.

In the early 1930s, residents from Loiza were displaced from what is now Isla Verde in Carolina in order to build what was then called Isla Verde International Airport, but was later changed to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. These residents were moved to Sabana Abajo in Carolina. Because of this, many residents of this area in Carolina have their roots in Loiza, and many families claim to be from both areas.

One of Loiza's barrios, Loíza aldea, is famous across Puerto Rico because it has been a talent pool for dancers and artisans. Formerly a center for black Puerto Rican music, it is said to be the traditional birthplace of the musical form known as "plena" along with Ponce. Though "Loiza Aldea" refers to "El Pueblo" or "Downtown Loiza", many across the island refer to it as such as a means of discrimination as aldea means "village" in Spanish. Each year there is a celebration in Loiza where people parade around wearing "Máscaras de Vejigante". "Máscaras de Vejigante" are a type of mask made in Loíza. They are made of coconut, and painted in multiple colors.

Loiza is known as "La Capital de la Tradicion"- "The Capital of Traditions"- for its "bomba" music, traditional Taíno and African dishes, artisanry, and distinct culture. Loiza is home to such celebrities as the "Hermanos Ayala", Samuel Lind, Daniel Lind, DJ Eliel, DJ Tito, La Sista, Abrante, Mangani, etc. and many artists have roots in Loiza like Daddy Yankee (his father is known as El Negro from "Los Hermanos Ayala", Ramon Ayala),Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Lennox from "Zion y Lennox", Mackie from "Mackie y Yaga" and many others.


Red and gold and Green with three undulating stripes - The silhouette of a bell tower in the first stripe represents religious tradition and also serves as a symbol of the Church of Saint Patrick as an historical monument...

Coat of Arms

The mounted figure of Santiago Apostle, dominant in the shield, proclaims the devotion to the saint that the Loiceños profess, manifested in a special way during the celebration of traditional festivities every July 25th. The flames are emblem of the Holy Spirit, bearer of the seven gifts, a title of the old church of Loíza. The undulating stripe represents the Grande de Loíza River, notable in geography, history and literature of Puerto Rico. The crown symbolizes the famous Taína Chief Yuisa, who dwelled in Loíza territory and found a tragic death. The trebols represent San Patrick, Apostle of Ireland and patron of the population.


The population of the municipality was 32,537 at the 2000 census.

As of the census of 2000, there were 32,537 people, 10,927 households, and 6,140 families residing in the municipality. The population density was 646.1/km² (1,673.4/mi²). There were 10,927 housing units at an average density of 217/km² (562/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 20.1% White, 67.2% Black, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.0% from other races, and 5.6% from two or more races.

There were 10,927 households out of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 29.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.3% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.39 and the average family size was 3.77.

In the town the population was spread out with 39.3% under the age of 19, 7.8% from 20 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years.

The median income for a household in the town was $8,962, and the median income for a family was $9,911. Males had a median income of $14,076 versus $12,903 for females. The per capita income for the town was $4,707. 67% of the population and 64.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 62.3% of those under the age of 18 and 59.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Barrios (Districts/Wards) [http://welcome.topuertorico.org/maps/loiza.pdf]

*Loíza Pueblo
*Medianía Baja
**Sector Honduras
**Sector La 23
**Sector Los Parrilla
**Sector El Jobo
**Sector El Mamey
*Parcelas Suárez
*Medianía Alta
**Sector Pueblo del Niño
**Sector Tocones
**Sector Colobó
**Sector Miñi-Miñe
**Sector Melilla
**Sector Las Carreras
**Sector El Ceiba
**Villa Cristiana
**Parcelas Vieques

*Torrecilla Alta
*Torrecilla Baja
**Sector Arena
**Sector Vacia Talega
**Sector La Torre
**Comunidad Piñones


Loíza is located at 18° 25' 11.5104" North, 65° 52' 23.1456" West (18.419864, -65.873096)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 170.19 km² (65.71 mi²). 50.36 km² (19.44 mi²) of it is land and 119.83 km² (46.27 mi²) of it is water.


Loiceños en Acción By Lolita Cuevas

Loiceño en acción
deja huella de tu yo
en tu tradición;
tu bandera has de honrar,
tus raíces y tu himno exaltar.

Loiceño, has de marcar
en el tiempo
el orgullo de tu honor;
tu vehemencia
ha de encontrar
luz divina
en horizontes de alta mar.

Unidos vamos adelante,
unidos en amor y paz;
nuestra historia
es la esperanza
que a nuestra patria
hará triunfar.

Cultiva tu tierra, es tesoro,
estudia y lucha
sin cesar,
que Loíza es hija digna
de Borinquén,
pueblo de amor y paz.



Coconnuts,Fruits,Sugar Canes




*small amounts

Landmarks and places of interest

*Aviones Beach
*Ayala Family Artesan Centre
*Julia de Burgos Walk
*María de la Cruz Cavern
*Piñones Lagoon
*San Patricio Parish
*Vacía Talega Beach

Festivals and events

*Mayombe Carnival - February
*San Patricio Patron Festivities - March
*Santiago Apóstol Festivities - July

Notable "Loiceños"

*Belen Blanco de Zequeria
*Bernardino Pizarro - Independence leader, Planter
*Castor Ayala - Master Artesan
*Francisco E. Mundo Arzuaga - Mayor y professor
*Ramón Suárez - Founder of the Mimiya Hospital, Santurce
*William Cepeda-Musician
*Tego Calderon - Reggaton artist
* Dra. Irma A Gimenez - Famosa Clarividente de Maturis, Loiza , Srta Loiza 1972
* Luis Jose "Renovado" Gimenez - Maestro de Escuela
* Aristides "canequita" Pizarro - Miembro fundador del Mocambo
* Luis Emilio Pizarro - Presidente Vitalicio del Bar El Mocambo
* Ramon M Jimenez " Kid Loiza "- Boxeador, Record de Knock outs (perdio todas sus peleas via knock out)
* Jaime Gimenez - Director de orquesta los Saxofones de Loiza
* Carlos (Quinoes) Velazquez - professional "pelotero"


External links

* [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=05000US72087&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-PH1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=CO-2 Loíza and its barrios, United States Census Bureau]
* [http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/prvi/ Historic Places in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary]

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