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Carolina

(kah-ro-LEE-nah)

Carolina is known as "La Tierra de Gigantes" (land of giants), in honor of one of its inhabitants: Don Felipe Birriel, who was the tallest man in Puerto Rican history, with an unconfirmed height of 2.413 meters or seven feet eleven inches (7' 11").

Carolina is also known as "El Pueblo de los Tumba Brazos" (arm hackers' town), because in old days, it is said that people resolved their conflicts with a duel.

Carolina was originally founded by Spanish colonizer Alonzo Pizarro Hermona in 1816 as San Miguel de Trujillo Bajo (lower Trujillo), along with its counterpart Trujillo Alto, after Trujillo, a city located in Caceres, Spain, where he came from.

The story is told that the origin of the name "San Fernando de la Carolina" was in honor of Don Fernando de Norzagaray, Captain General of the Island and Don Fernando Cotoner, Civil Governor and Captain General who certified the foundation of the new town. The name "de la Carolina" corresponds to the name of Don Gaspar Martinéz' daughter, Carolina de San Juan, the person who donated the land to establish the municipality.

Another story states that, Trujillo Bajo was renamed to San Fernando de la Carolina, but later shortened to Carolina, after Charles II of Spain.

Located about 12 miles (19 km) east of the capital, on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico. Carolina is home of the island's main and busiest airport, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is located in Isla Verde.

Points of Interest and Landmarks

The Club Gallístico de Puerto Rico cockfighting pit hosts fights twice a week. The facilities include a closed circuit TV, two bars and a restaurant. Open Thu and Sat 2:00pm-9:00pm. Located on 6600 Isla Verde Ave., (787) 791-1557.

The city has several museums that are well worth visiting. El Museo del Niño (Children's Museum) is home of over 100 fun and interactive exhibitions where children can play, explore and learn. Located on Sabcgez Vilella Ave. (Campo Rico) with Fidalgo Diaz Ave., (787) 257-0261. Museo Galería de los Gigantes

pays tribute to eight Carolina-natives: Felipe Birriel, Roberto "El Boquio" Alberty, Julia de Burgos, Cecilia Orta, Roberto Clemente, Jesús Maria Sanromá, José E. Aponte De La Torre and Jesús T. Piñero. Located on Ignacio Arzuaga Street, the corner of Jose de Diego Plaza de Recreo Rey Fernando, (787) 757-2626. Museo de Arte e Historia features exhibits about the evolution of Latin America. Located on 2-12 Cll Dr Barbosa, (787) 701-0245,

The Casa Escuté Museum, also known as the Escuté Building, is a Spanish colonial style structure, built in 1805. Once served as a mayor's house, court and casino. Today serves as a museum, featuring works of local and international plastic artists. Open Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm. Located on Arzuaga St & Amadeus, (787) 757-2626 Ext. 3902.

Other places worth exploring include:

  • Buena Vista Ruins
  • Carolina Beach
  • Grande de Loiza River
  • Jesus T. Piñero Monument
  • Julia de Burgos Park
  • Isla Verde Beach
  • Isla Verde Club Gallistico
  • Plaza Carolina Simon Mall
  • Piñones Beach
  • Roberto Clemente Ciudad Deportiva

Economy

Carolina once was an important center for sugar production. Today, Carolina is Puerto Rico's fourth largest city and is dubbed the Industrial Capital of Puerto Rico for its concentration of factories, with over 100 factories. Manufacturing plants produce pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and chemicals. Carolina is also considered one of the most important tourist centers in the island.

Geography

Carolina is bordering the Atlantic Ocean; south of Gurabo and Juncos; east of Trujillo Alto and San Juan; and west of Canóvanas and Loíza. Its rivers are: Grande de Loíza, and Canovanillas.

The Grande de Loíza river runs through the center from west to east. The Canovanillas River also flows through the city and serves as a boundary between Canovanas and Carolina, and receives from Gonzalez, Las Lajas, Limones and Cambute streams. The Maracuta, Pastrana and Hoya Fría streams are part of the Grande de Loiza river basin. The lagoons of Pinones, San Jose and La Torrecilla are part of its hydrographic system.

Carolina is made up of 13 barrios (wards/districts):

  • Barrazas
  • Cacao
  • Cangrejo Arriba
  • Canovanillas
  • Carruzos
  • Cedro
  • Hoyo Mulas
  • Martín González
  • Pueblo
  • Sabana Abajo
  • San Antón
  • Santa Cruz
  • Trujillo Bajo

Climate

Carolina annual precipitation is 74 inches, and its average temperature is 86°F. August is the warmest month of the year. January is the coldest month of the year.

10-Day Forecast

Notable People

There are many well-known "carolinenses", among them:

  • Alfredo Escalona
  • Domingo Gonzalez
  • Elsie Van thin
  • Esteban de Jesus
  • Ezequiel Quillin Angulo
  • Felipe Birriel Fernandez, "El Gigante de Carolina"
  • Fortunato Vizcarrondo, poet and musician
  • Guillermo Angel Luciano
  • Jesús Maria Sanromá
  • Jesús T. Piñero, first U.S. appointed governor
  • Jose Ezequiel Angulo Luciano, boxer
  • Julia de Burgos, poet
  • Maria Teresa Serrano
  • Ramón Hernández
  • Ramón Mellado Parsons
  • Roberto Clemente, baseball player
  • Wilfredo Benitez, boxer

Restaurants

  • Basilico Ristorante (Italian), (787) 727-6380
  • Borinquen Grill and Brewing Company (American), (787) 268-1900
  • Cafe Tierra Gigante (Puerto Rican), (787) 276-0195
  • Caribbean Grill (International), (787) 253-1700
  • Casa Dante (Puerto Rican), (787) 726-7310
  • Chili's Grill & Bar (Carolina) (American), (787) 750-5375
  • Chili's Grill & Bar (Plaza Carolina) (American), (787) 701-1515
  • Ciao Mediterranean Cafe (International), (787) 791-6100 x 240
  • Dennys Carolina (American), (787) 253-3080
  • Fontana di Roma (Italian), (787) 982-3992
  • Fuddruckers (Carolina) (American), (787) 769-3344
  • Gelo's Bagel (Cafe), (787) 791-2575
  • Grand Market (Steak/Italian/Puerto Rican), (787) 791-6100
  • Il Nonno (Italian), (787) 728-8050
  • La Gran Movida (Puerto Rican), (787) 768-6507
  • La Llave Del Mar (Puerto Rican), (787) 791-7227
  • La Playita Lounge (American/Deli/Sandwich), (787) 791-1115
  • La Torre de Pizza (Italian), (787) 752-2230
  • Lin's Restaurant (Chinese), (787) 791-6635
  • Mangos Cafe (Puerto Rican), (787) 727-9328
  • Marcelo Restaurant (Sea Food), (787) 750-1290
  • Momoyama (Japanese), (787) 791-6100
  • Ocean Bar & Grill, The (Puerto Rican), (787) 253-1700
  • Passaggio Ristorante (Italian), (787) 791-6100
  • Pepin’s Café & Tasca (International), (787) 728-6280
  • Pizzaiolo (International), (787) 268-0622
  • Soleil Beach Club (Sea Food), (787) 253-1033
  • Steaks & Co. Grill and Bar (American), (787) 727-7882
  • Tangerine (International), (787) 728-3666
  • The Bistro (International), (787) 791-1000
  • The Casino Lounge (American), (787) 253-1700
    Fax (787) 253-0909
  • The Lobby Lounge (American), (787) 253-1700
    Fax (787) 253-0909
  • The Vineyard Room (American), (787) 253-1700
    Fax (787) 253-0909
  • Tiramisu Cafe Ristorante (Italian), (787) 726-3162

Accommodations

There are several well-known hotels, along other types of accommodation.

  • Caribe Mountain Villas (Small Inn), (787) 769-0860
    787-863-5296
  • Casa de Playa (Hotel), (800) 916-2272 or (787) 728-9779
  • Coral by the Sea Hotel & Restaurant (Hotel), (787) 791-6868
  • Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort (Hotel), Toll Free: 1-800-791-2553
    (787) 791-0404
  • ESJ Towers (Hotel), 1-800-468-2026
    (787) 791-5151
  • Holiday Inn Carolina (Hotel), (787) 253-9000
  • Howard Johnson Hotel Carolina (Hotel), (787) 728-1300
  • Ritz Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa and Casino (Hotel), (787) 253-1700
  • San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel (Hotel), (787) 253-0100

Festivals and Events

  • Feria de Artesania Femenina - April
  • Feria de Artesanias - July
  • Fiestas Patronales de San Fernando - May
    Every year, Carolina celebrates a patron saint festival. The festivities include dances, food, parades and religious processions. (787) 752-0665
  • Semana de Roberto Clemente - August

Symbols

Flag

The flag consists of three vertical bands, the laterals white and the middle red. The laterals are seeded with black ermine tails in the heraldic way as for the coat of arms. The middle band of the flag shows a red field with the sword and crown of the coat of arms.

Coat of Arms

Carolina Coat of Arms

Education

There are 46 public schools in Carolina, education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Carolina is also home of 8 colleges and universities.

Demographics *

176,762
Population
169,597 (July 2013 est.)

Land Area: 45.32 sq mi

Density: 3900.3 per sq mi

Median Age: 38.1

Economics *

$7,235
Per capita income (2013)
Puerto Rico: $11,068

Median household income: $28,674
Puerto Rico: $19,624

Persons below poverty line: 30.00 %

Housing, families and educational attainment *

67,192
Number of households
Housing units density: 1761.7

Persons per household: 3.13

High school grad or higher: 81.0%

* U.S. Census Bureau 2010 data unless otherwise noted.

Map References

Coordinates: 18.4061° N, 65.9672° W

Zip Code: 00979, 00981, 00982, 00983, 00984, 00985, 00986, 00987, 00988

Driving Distance from San Juan: 6.9 miles

Driving Time: 16 minutes


Other Resources

Did You Know?

In Puerto Rico, life expectancy at birth for the population has increased from 29.8 years in 1902 to 79.4 years in 2016.