Arroyo- “Pueblo Ingrato-Pueblo Grato”

Arroyo (ah-RO-yo) was founded on the 25th December 1855 and is also known as “Pueblo Ingrato-Pueblo Grato”. The name Arroyo comes from a small brook that was used by worn-out travelers who wished to rest and take a drink of water. The city of Arroyo, which has its own local Government, in the 2000 Census had a population of 20,219. It’s located within a dry region called the Southern Coastal Valley and extends over 5 wards and Arroyo Pueblo which is the administrative center and downtown area. In the surrounding areas sugar cane is harvested.

Some interesting and prominent attractions in Arroyo are places that can be found within this area such as the Enrique Huyke Monument, La Cora Hacienda, Old Tower, Las Palmas Beach and Punta de las Figuras Lighthouse. Punta Guilarte Beach is said to be the most striking beach on the island and Hospital Lafayette in the southeast of Arroyo has been recorded as the oldest private hospital. Arroyo’s highest peaks bordering the Caribbean Sea, which is northwest of Patillas and east of Guayama, are the Yaurel, which is 686m high, the Corazon, which is 605m high, and lastly the Ancones, which is 270m high.

Punta de las Figuras is one of the success stories in the rehabilitation of historical lighthouses within Puerto Rico. Sadly most of the local lighthouses are not in operation due to deterioration and are thus not safe for public viewing. Most of this deterioration is due to the weather and in the Caribbean this includes the hurricane season which lasts up to 8 months of the year. There is also a lack of care for these potential landmarks which are supervised by the United States Coast Guard or the Local Government. An interesting fact as to why some of the restored Lighthouses are not in their original use is due to the fact that most have been fitted with a skeletal tower and consists of a flashing light. The United States Coast Guard has deemed that a lighthouse without a guidance light fitted is not considered a lighthouse.

The flag of Arroyo consists of two equal horizontal bands with the colours orange and black which signify the longevity of their past filled with their accomplishments and adventure. In the centre is the Coat of Arms with the motto ‘Arroyo Pueblo Grato’ which means ‘Arroyo Pleasing Town’ lying in a banner below.

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