| United States|
19.2% (Dec 2014)
78.05 sq mi
Hon Juan Carlos Garcia Padilla (PPD)
| Educational Technical College-Recinto de san Sebastian|
Coamo is a municipality founded 1579 in the south-central region of Puerto Rico (U.S.), located north of Santa Isabel; south of Orocovis and Barranquitas; east of Villalba and Juana Diaz; and west of Aibonito and Salinas. Coamo is spread over 10 wards and Coamo Pueblo – the downtown area and the administrative center of the city. It is both a principal city of the Coamo Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.
Coamo is a small town nestled in a valley about 10 miles (16 km) east of Ponce (about 30 minutes by car). It was named "San Blas Illescas de Coamo" by its first settlers. San Blas was the Catholic saint who remains the towns patron. Illescas is the Spanish town where the town founders originated (nowadays in Toledo province, Castile-La Mancha, Spain).
There are several theories regarding the origin of the word "Coamo". Some think it comes from an indigenous word that means "valley" but it is also plausible that Coamo derives its name from Coamex (or Coamey), who was a celebrated local cacique (or "chieftain" in the Taino language). Archeological digs near the region have produced some of the best examples of the islands pre-Columbian cultural artifacts.
Coamo has a series of natural hot springs, Los Banos de Coamo. The Battle of Coamo was a decisive battle of the Spanish American War (1898).
Founded on July 15, 1579, Coamo is the third-oldest settlement of the islands post-Columbian period (after San Juan in the north and San German in the west). By 1582, there were twenty families living in Coamo, in the same area where the Tainos had had their village of Guayama. Coamo officially became a town in 1616, and was given the title of "Villa" by Spanish Royal Decree in 1778.
Coamo was the administrative center that encompassed most of the southern half of the island during the early colonial period. As the agricultural and sugar industries grew and became the mainstays of the colonys economy, the province would eventually subdivide into several distinct municipalities, and the administrative center of the region would later shift west to the coastal town of Ponce.
Coamo is the home of a series of natural hot springs, Los Banos de Coamo, which have attracted visitors since before the Spaniards landed. These springs were once rumored to have been Juan Ponce de Leons legendary "fountain of youth". In the early nineteenth century, a system of pools of varying depths, sizes and temperatures was constructed at the site of these springs to serve as a spa for the colonials. During the North American invasion in the Spanish American War (1898), this site was the scene of one of the decisive battles of that conflict (the Battle of Coamo). The American troops took possession of the island, and the spa was subsequently abandoned. Though the site lay in ruins for most of the twentieth century, it continued to be a landmark to the Coamenos, who would often go to bathe in its healing thermal waters. The pools remain, but the old buildings which once hosted the islands affluent and colonial soldiers are gone, except for the remains of one central wall structure which has been preserved and incorporated into a fountain courtyard on the grounds of a popular tourist hotel and rest stop which has replaced the ancient Spanish ruins.
Coamo is an agricultural center where mangoes, corn, guanabanas, tamarindo, quenepas, avocados, oranges and plantains are grown, and where poultry and cattle are raised.
Los Banos de Coamo (Coamo Thermal Baths) – near the Santa Isabel border
Historic Museum (Pico Pomar Residence)
Church San Blas de Illescas of Coamo, construction on the church began in 1661 and is one of the oldest parish on the island.
Coamo is famous for being the host of the San Blas Half-Marathon, a yearly world-class professional marathon that attracts the best competitive runners in the world. It was inaugurated in 1963 by Delta Phi Delta Fraternity in honor to the founder of the town. World-class international and local runners compete in a 21.0975-kilometre (13.1094 mi) half-marathon. It is Puerto Ricos biggest race, and the crowds are always large.
The Maratonistas de Coamo (from the BSN) is the only professional team which the town hosts. The team has played in Coamo with mixed success since joining the league in 1985.
Coamo hosts several annual events:Patron Festivities - February
San Blas Half-Marathon - February
Flower Carnival - May
Yuca (cassava) Carnival - August
Juey (crab) Carnival - October
Bomba & Plena Festival - November