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Utuado, Puerto Rico, and it's Citizens

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The objective of this project, is to create a collection of the Geni Profiles of persons connected to Utuado, Puerto Rico.

Please, feel free to add your relations from Utuado, as long as their profiles are "Public", as well as, any photographs you may have of this area.

If you feel you have a lot to contribute to this project, please, request to join the project as a collaborator.


Utuado (Spanish pronunciation: [u%CB%88twa%C3%B0o]) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the central-western mountainous region of the island known as La Cordillera Central. It is located north of Adjuntas and Ponce; south of Hatillo and Arecibo; east of Lares; and west of Ciales and Jayuya. In land area it is the third-largest municipality in Puerto Rico (after Arecibo and Ponce). According to the 2000 US Census, the city has a population of 35,336 spread over 24 wards and Utuado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The name Utuado derives from the Taíno word Otoao, meaning "between mountains". The municipality is known as La Ciudad del Viví meaning "The City of the Viví", given from the Viví River which runs through Utuado: one part of it comes from Adjuntas and the other from Jayuya. These two rivers then meet near the Fernando L. Ribas Dominicci Avenue and continue the journey to Lago Dos Bocas.

Utuado is the principal city of the Utuado micropolitan statistical area and is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area.


Utuado was founded October 12, 1739, by Sebastian de Morfi, on behalf of 60 families from Arecibo. It was the first town established in the interior mountainous region of the island known as La Cordillera Central and the 11th oldest established municipality in Puerto Rico, following San Juan, San Germán, Coamo, Arecibo, Aguada, Loiza, Ponce, Añasco, Guayama and Manatí.
Columbus's arrival

At the time of the discovery of the island on November 19, 1493, by Christopher Columbus, Puerto Rico was inhabited by the Taíno Indians. The Taínos were a culturally developed society with a universal language, a developed agricultural system, and a social organization based on caciques or chieftains. The Utuado area was ruled over by cacique Guarionex. In barrio Caguana, the Taínos built a series of courts or bateyes, Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts Site, that is considered the best example of Taino engineering in the West Indies.

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Utuado's population continued to grow as coffee gained in importance and growers saw the need for high altitudes and mountainous terrain to produce the best coffee beans. People not only migrated from the Puerto Rican coastal towns but also from Ireland (Founder Sebastian de Morfi = Sebastian Murphy), Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands of Majorca and Minorca, all seeking the riches that coffee had to offer.

Golden era of coffee - "black gold"

During the late 19th century Utuado experienced an explosive economic growth centered around the cultivation of coffee, also known at the time as oro negro or "black gold". By the 1890s Utuado was the largest producer of coffee in Puerto Rico and the second municipality (after Ponce) with the largest population. It produced a rich social life for many of its citizens and a casino and theatre were established in the town. The progress of the town was so evident that the regent Queen of Spain, María Cristina, honored the town with the title of Ciudad (City) on August 20, 1894.[1] In 1896 or 1897 Utuado was the first city in Puerto Rico with a public electric lighting system powered by a hydraulic turbine power plant,[2][3] and in that same year mayor Juan Casellas planned a train system to unite Utuado with Arecibo. By 1899 this golden era ended due to two events: the United States occupation of the island in 1898, which made sugar the new crop of importance instead of coffee (Utuado's mountainous landscape was not ideal for growing sugarcane, making it impossible for it to compete in the sugar industry), and Hurricane San Ciriaco in 1899, which destroyed the coffee haciendas.


  • [ Notable Persons from Utuado]

Political and Geographic area

  • Rio Abajo State Forest - between Arecibo and Utuado


  • Ángeles
  • Arenas
  • Caguana
  • Pueblo
  • Caonillas Abajo
  • Caonillas Arriba
  • Consejo
  • Don Alonso
  • Guaonico
  • Las Palmas
  • Limón
  • Mameyes
  • Paso Palma
  • Santa Rosa
  • Roncador
  • Sabana Grande
  • Salto Abajo
  • Salto Arriba
  • Santa Isabel
  • Tetuán 1
  • Tetuán 2
  • Viví Abajo
  • Viví Arriba


  • Utuado, Puerto Rico
  • El Porvenir de Utuado: estudio historico, descriptivo y estadistico, by Ramón Morel Campos, published by El Vapor: Ponce in 1896.
  • Libertad y Servidumbre en el Puerto Rico del siglo XIX: (los jornaleros utuadeños en vísperas del auge del café), by Fernando Picó, published by Ediciones Huracan in 1979.
  • Los Gallos Peleados, by Fernando Picó, published by Ediciones Huracan in 1983.
  • Amargo Café: los pequeños caficultores de Utuado en la segunda mitad del siglo XIX, by Fernando Picó, published by Ediciones Huracan in 1981.
  • El Dorado Borincano: La economia de la conquista 1510-1550, Jalil Sued Badillo, published by Ediciones Puerto Rico in 2001.
  • Historia Geografica, Civil y Natural de la isla de San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, Fray Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra, originally published in 1788, later published in 1866 with anotations by Jose Julian Acosta y Calbo.