Monday, November 17, 2014

Aguadilla - El Nuevo Jardín del Atlántico

Aguadilla (Spanish pronunciation: [aɣwaˈðiʝa]), founded in 1775 by Luis de Córdova, is a city and municipality located in the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, north of Aguada, and Moca and west of Isabela. Aguadilla is spread over 15 wards and Aguadilla Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is a principal city of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Aguadilla has been the recipient of the "Best Quality of Life Award", given by the National Mayor Association, in 2002 and 2004.
Nickname(s): "El Nuevo Jardín del Atlántico"( the New Garden of the Atlantic), "La Villa del Ojo de Agua", "El Pueblo de los Tiburones" (The Village of Sharks).
Anthem: "Playita Aguadillana"

Alcardia
According to sources, a Taíno settlement called Amamón was located close to the Culebrinas River.
The present territory of Aguadilla was originally part of the territory of Aguada. In 1775, the foundation of Aguadilla by Don Luis de Córdova was approved.[3] But it wasn't until 1780 that the territory was properly segregated, making the founding of the town official. Originally, Aguadilla was constituted by the Victoria and Higüey wards.[4] This region was already inhabited and known as Aguadilla before 1770. In 1776, Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra in his description of the towns of the island, mentioned it as the "new Town of San Carlos of the Aguadilla." Nevertheless, according to Dr. Agustín Stahl in his Foundation of Aguadilla, it was not until 1780 that the town was officially founded. The construction of a new church and the proceedings to become an independent village began in the 1775.
The population in the Village of Aguadilla continued to increase constantly mainly due to its excellent port and strategic location in the route of the boats. In 1776, when Santo Domingo became independent for the first time, the loyals to Spain emigrated to Puerto Rico, mainly to Aguadilla, which caused the population to continue increasing significantly. In 1831, according to Don Pedro Tomás de Córdova, the party of Aguadilla belonged to Aguada. At this time, the territorial organization of Aguadilla was as follows: Pueblo Norte (North Town), Pueblo Sur (South Town), Ceiba Alta, Ceiba Baja, Montaña, Malezas, Aguacate, Dos Palmas, Camaseyes, Plainela, Borinquen, Arenales, Higüey, Corrales, Victoria, and Mangual.
Tourism
Aguadilla is part of the Porta del Sol touristic region in Puerto Rico. The Porta del Sol website highlights Aguadilla's beaches for surfing.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Aguadilla has the most beaches in the island, with nineteen. Some of the beaches are considered among the best for surfing, like Surfer's Beach, Gas Chambers, Crash Boat, Wilderness, among others. Because of this, Aguadilla has served as host to surfing competitions, like the ISA World Championship in 1988.

Points of Interest
Aguadilla is best known to visitors for its beaches. Aguadilla's most popular surfing beaches include Crash Boat, famous for it's crystal clear waters, Gas Chambers, and Wilderness.

Among Aguadilla's main attractions you will find the popular Parque Acuático Las Cascadas, a modern aquatic theme park, the biggest in the Caribbean and the Merendero, with a beautiful view of the town's bay and the nearby Desecheo islet. Located on Highway #2 in front of the city stadium. Adults $15.95, children $13.95; (787) 819-1030.

The town center is known as Plaza de Recreo, located in front of the old catholic church and the Alcaldía  (Major's House).

Ice Skating Arena
Another of Aguadilla's attractions is the Ojo de Agua (water eye), this is an underground fresh water source that anciently was used by the Aguadilla Harbor in times of Spanish Occupation. As you stroll through the plaza you will find the monument to the memory of composer Rafael Hernandez, considered one of the most important figures in 20th-century popular Puerto Rican music.

The city is also home of the Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena, the only ice skating facility in the Caribbean region. Located in Plaza Plácido Acevedo, Carr. 442 km. 4.2. Open daily. Admissions $10-13; 787-819-5555.

Events and festivals
Aguadilla is the site of several yearly celebrations and festivals. The most notable are:
  • Velorio de Reyes - Celebrated mostly in January, they are a religious ceremony held as gratitude to the Three Kings for some answered prayer. They usually consist of hymns, prayers, and other religious expressions.[17]
  • Kite Festival - Held in April, it includes kiosks, music, and kite flying.[18]
  • Fiestas San Antonio - April[citation needed]
  • Verbena de Corrales - May[citation needed]
  • Beach Festival - June[19]
  • Festival del Atún - Celebrated in July, it is a festival dedicated to the fishing of the tuna.
  • Festival de la Música - July
  • Fiestas Patronales San Carlos - October
Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernández Airport (IATA: BQN, ICAO: TJBQ, FAA LID: BQN) is a joint civil-military airport located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. It is named after the Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín and is the second international airport in Puerto Rico in the region of Porta del Sol, Puerto Rico's west coast. It is also home to Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen.
Rafael Hernandez Airport mainly serves Puerto Rican westerners living in the Eastern Region of the United States. The airport previously served as a focus city for PAWA Dominicana.


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