Wednesday, April 9, 2008

San Juan (IPA: [saŋ hwaŋ]) (from the Spanish San Juan Bautista, "Saint John the Baptist") is the capital and largest municipality on Puerto Rico. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 433,733, making it the 42nd-largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States. San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico ("City of Puerto Rico"). It is the oldest city in Puerto Rico as well as in the United States; and the second oldest European-established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo. The city has been the host of numerous important events within the sports community including the Pan American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games and the Caribbean Series.


San Juan is located at 18°27′0″N, 66°04′00″W, and is suitated along the north-east coast of Puerto Rico. The city lies north of Aguas Buenas and Caguas; east of Guaynabo and Bayamón; and west of Carolina and Trujillo Alto. San Juan contains two natural lagoons, the Condado and San Jose.

San Juan's climate is classified as tropical marine. San Juan enjoys an average of 82 °F (28 °C) during the year, although 90 °F or higher temperatures are often felt during the summer, especially if the winds come from the south. In the winter, lows can drop to the 60s though the average winter low is 71 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded was 60 °F on March 3, 1957 and the hottest was 98 °F on October 9, 1981. Rainfall is well-distributed all year, but the months of February, March and April are the dryest. San Juan is a tropical city.

Old San Juan occupies the western end of a rocky islet at the mouth of San Juan Bay. During the 20th century the main population centers surged well beyond the walls of the old city and onto Puerto Rico's main island, and merged with the existing settlements east and south of Old San Juan. As a result, the city is now composed of a variety of neighborhoods.


Main article: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico Old San Juan

Main article: Subdivisions of San Juan, Puerto Rico Other districts
San Juan experienced significant economic growth following World War II. During this period the city underwent an industrial revolution.
See also: List of foreign consulates in San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico Economy
Due to technological advances after World War II in the development of the airliner coupled with the island's climate and natural setting, has transformed San Juan into the springboard for tourism around the island, and has made the rest of the Caribbean known throughout the world during the last fifty years. The local universities are promoted as historic places, most notably the campus of University of Puerto Rico located in Rio Piedras, which is the oldest university in the island being founded in 1903. The campus of the Interamerican University is also regarded as an historical location being funded in 1912.

See also: List of mayors of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Criminal law is enforced by the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Law and government
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San Juan is the largest city in Puerto Rico in population. From 1899 to 1950 the municipality of San Juan excluded the township of Río Piedras. For this reason, population data and land area for the period make reference only to the Antiguo San Juan and Santurce barrios, or subdivisions, of San Juan. The old municipality of Río Piedras constituted the third most populated city of Puerto Rico at the time of its annexation in 1951. Its strategic location south of the capital served as a junction for all the principal ways of transportation of the Island and as a geographical entry to San Juan, which are factors that prompted Río Piedras's dramatic urban development in the 20th century.

San Juan is influential in the educative aspect of Puerto Rico, serving as location to many universities and colleges. The most prestigious universities in the area include the University of Puerto Rico's main campus in Río Piedras, the University of the Sacred Heart, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, the Ana G. Méndez University System's Metropolitan University and the Metropolitan campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. There are numerous minor colleges located in the city, including the Instituto Comercial de Puerto Rico Junior College and the International Junior College, located in Santurce.
In addition to dozens of state-run elementary, junior- and senior-high schools, the San Juan City Government now operates two bilingual schools, including one sports-magnet school, the first municipal-run schools in Puerto Rico.
Most of Puerto Rico's best private schools are located in San Juan, including Robinson and St. John's in the Condado, Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, St. John's Episcopal and Santa Mónica in Santurce, Espíritu Santo in Hato Rey, San José, San Ignacio and San Antonio in Río Piedras and Cupeyville in Cupey.

See also: List of notable residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is the birthplace of numerous artists and musicians, locally known as Sanjuaneros, who have significantly influenced the Puerto Rican culture. During the 20th century the musical aspect of the city was influenced by performers including Afro-Caribbean dancer and choreographer Sylvia del Villard and José Enrique Pedreira who became a renowned composer of Puerto Rican Danzas. International musicians such as renowned opera singer Justino Díaz and Grammy Award winners Raymond Ayala and Ricky Martin were born in the city. Other notable residents include writers Manuel A. Alonso and Tomas Blanco, award-winning actors Raúl Juliá and Joaquin Phoenix, and comedian Jose Miguel Agrelot. Rafael Cordero (1790–1868), was influential in the development of Puerto Rican education and is renowned as " The Father of Public Education in Puerto Rico." The city is also the home of numerous contemporary and classic art museums. The Puerto Rico Arts Museum owns the largest collection of contemporary art in Puerto Rico, housing over 1,100 permanent art pieces and displaying numerous temporary exhibitions containing artwork from various locations trough Latin America.

Arts and culture
San Juan's harbor is the fourth busiest in the Western Hemisphere, ranked among the top 17 of the world's in terms of container movement and the largest home-based cruise port in the world with over a dozen cruise ships plying its docks and each year new cruise ships either originate or call at the port. Two airports serve the Metropolitan Area: the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan's primary commercial airport located nine mile (14 km)s (14 km) from Old San Juan in neighboring Carolina which serves more than 30 domestic and international airlines; and Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport, located directly across the Caño San Antonio from Old San Juan in the Isla Grande district, used mainly by general aviation aircraft and domestic commercial flights, together with the island's central location has made it the most important transportation hub of the Caribbean.
Increased investment in public transportation has not changed the fact that San Juan is an automobile reliant city and its fast growth has sparked urban sprawl. It is currently served by five limited-access expressways and highways and numerous arterial avenues and boulevards and suffers from severe traffic congestion.

Public transport
The main hospital and medical school in the city of San Juan is "El Centro Medico de Rio Piedras" (Medical Center of Rio Piedras). It has various helicopters in service, allowing patients and people in need of medical attention to be carried to the center from many places around the island.

Health and utilities
Teams based in San Juan have been notably successful in athletic competition. The Santurce Crabbers won the National Superior Basketball League championship on 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 during this period being recognized as a dynasty. The San Juan Senators and the Santurce Crabbers were the two major baseball teams in the city, winning the championship of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League a total of seventeen times. The Santurce Crabbers are located third among teams with more championships in the Caribbean Series, winning championships in the 1951, 1953, 1955, 1993 and 2000 editions of the tournament. The city has also been the host of numerous events within the sports community; some examples include:
The recently-built $28-million San Juan Natatorium is beginning to attract islandwide and regional swim meets, as well winter training by top-rated mainland U.S. colleges and universities, including the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In July 2007, the San Juan Golf Academy and its golf driving range began operating atop the city's former sanitary landfill in Puerto Nuevo and will eventually include the city's first and only 9-hole golf course.

Host of the 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games. Sports

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