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Mayagüez (Spanish pronunciation: [maʝaˈɣwes]) is the eighth-largest municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.). It was founded as Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, and is also known as La Sultana del Oeste (The Sultaness of the West), Ciudad de las Aguas Puras (City of Pure Waters), or Ciudad del Mangó (City of the Mango). On April 6, 1894, the Spanish Crown gave it the formal title of Excelente Ciudad de Mayagüez (Excellent City of Mayagüez). Mayagüez is located in the center of the western coast on the island of Puerto Rico. It is a principal city of the Mayagüez Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area.
The Mayagüez Metro Area (and part of Añasco) lies today on two former Taíno Cacicazgos (chiefdoms): Yaguex and Yagüeca, a region noted for its record of colonial resistance (i.e., Urayoán and Legend of Diego Salcedo). The Tainos constituted the majority of the island's inhabitants at the time of contact with Europeans in 1493 and called it Borikén or Borinquen, which means: "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords." Today, this appellation and its variations continue to designate the Island of Puerto Rico and its people. These Taínos came from South American branches of Arawakan speakers, more specifically from Venezuela, and lived in small villages, organized their society in clans and named their chiefs Cacique. They were farmers who domesticated crops as pineapples, cassava, and sweet potatoes supplemented by fish and seafood.
Mayagüez was founded on September 18, 1760 by a group led by brothers Faustino and Lorenzo Martínez de Matos, Juan de Silva and Juan de Aponte, at a hill located about one kilometer inland from Mayagüez Bay and the outlet of the Yagüez River. The Spanish Crown granted the founders the right to self-government in 1763, formally separating the town from the larger Partido de San Germán.
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