Yabucoa (Spanish pronunciation: [ʝaβuˈkoa]) is a municipality in Puerto Rico located in the eastern region, north of Maunabo; south of San Lorenzo, Las Piedras and Humacao; and east of Patillas. Yabucoa is spread over 9 barrios and Yabucoa barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The region of what is now Yabucoa belonged to the Taíno region of Guayaney, which covered a portion of the southeast region of Puerto Rico. The region was led by cacique Güaraca. After the Spanish colonization, the region of Yabucoa belonged to Humacao, and its territory was mostly used for cattle and farming. Yabucoa, as a town, was founded on October 3, 1793 when Don Manuel Colón de Bonilla and his wife, Doña Catalina Morales Pacheco, donated the lands to the people.
Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a high-end, category 4 hurricane, knocking out power to the entire island (and also affected access to clean water). The hurricane triggered numerous landslides in Yabucoa with its significant rainfall.
Elderly were especially affected because many homes were completely destroyed.
Many elderly living in Yabucoa died as a result of Hurricane Maria. People on oxygen machines died with the lack of electrical power. In June, 2018 the administrators of the municipality stated that they noticed an uptick in mortality rates (deaths) and were relaying the information since February, of 2018 but the government of Puerto Rico was not interested in hearing about it.