San Juan Capistrano (pronounced [sæn wɑn kæpɪˈstɹɑnoʊ] in English and [san xwan kapisˈtɾano] in Spanish) is a city in southern Orange County, California, USA, located approximately 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Downtown Santa Ana. The current OMB metropolitan designation for San Juan Capistrano and the Orange County Area is “Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA.” The population was 33,826 at the 2000 census. The city was created around Mission San Juan Capistrano, and many of the homes and strip malls resemble the Spanish architecture that compose the building. It is home to the widest variety of homes in Orange County, with 10 million dollar homes in the gated communities of the hills, homes built prior to 1900 in its central district — some being adobes from the 18th century — and working ranches in its foothills. San Juan Capistrano is probably best known for the annual migration of the cliff swallows that reputedly migrate each year from Argentina to the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,826 people, 10,930 households, and 8,197 families residing in the city. The population density was 919.1/km² (2,381.2/mi²). There were 11,320 housing units at an average density of 307.6/km² (796.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 28.47% White, 0.78% African American, 1.07% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 14.21% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. 72.13% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 10,930 households, 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.7% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $35,392, and the median income for a family was $39,481. Males had a median income of $27,574 versus $21,821 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,926. About 6.6% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over. The Crime Index is 445, National Average is 300. Only 15 percent of people in San Juan Capistrano possess a bachelor degree.
In the state legislature San Juan Capistrano is located in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Mark Wyland, and in the 73rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Diane Harkey. Federally, San Juan Capistrano is located in California's 44th and 48th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +6 and R +8 respectively and is represented by Republicans Ken Calvert and John Campbell respectively.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.1 km² (14.3 mi²). 36.8 km² (14.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.98%) is water.
|Laguna Niguel||Mission Viejo||Orange County |
|Laguna Niguel||Orange County |
|San Juan Capistrano|
|Dana Point||Dana Point / San Clemente||San Clemente|
San Juan Capistrano is the site of a Catholic mission for which it is named, Mission San Juan Capistrano. When the Mission was founded in 1776, the region was populated by the Acjachemen band of Native Americans, called Juaneños by the Spanish. The mission was named after the Franciscan saint Giovanni da Capistrano (1386-1456).
The city is the site of California's oldest residential neighborhood, Los Rios. It is also the home of the oldest in use building in California, the Serra Chapel in the Mission. The area was the site of both the first vineyard and first winery in California.
In the 1830s Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of the classic Two Years Before the Mast visited the area as a sailor engaged in the hide trade on board the ship Pilgrim. Describing the locale, which then included what is now the neighboring city of Dana Point, he gushed, "San Juan is the only romantic spot in California." The area was also the locale of the first Zorro novella, The Curse of Capistrano, published in 1919 (later renamed The Mark of Zorro after the success of the film of the same name).
San Juan Capistrano is also known for its cliff swallows. The protected birds are reputed to return from migration on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) each year, a day celebrated by the city's annual Swallows' Day Parade and other festive events and old west 1890s style Melodrama at the Camino Real Playhouse starring San Juan's Villain at Large Professor Mack played by Gary McCarver of The New Home for American Melodrama. The swallows are reputed to leave on October 23, the former feast day of St. John of Capistrano. The 1940 hit song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", written by Leon René, is a love song centering on these annual events.
The city is served by Capistrano Unified School District. In the 2007-2008 academic year San Juan Hills High School opened with about 600 freshmen students. It is the city's only public high school. Ultimately, nearly all San Juan Capistrano's high school students will move to this campus as well as some students from Capistrano Beach and southern Ladera Ranch. Residents from these other communities did not want to attend a school in San Juan on the basis that is was farther than the current schools they were attending and that the communities had too many differences. Many residents wanted to stay at the established high schools their communities had been attending for years. Much of the tension has died down, but there is still substantial resentment that children of residents in Capistrano Beach, who have historically attended San Clemente High School, should be compelled to take the long journey to the new high school. These residents contend the County of Orange should follow its original long range plan and complete La Pata Parkway through to San Clemente which would permit students in the Talega subdivision to attend the school which was built and intended for their use and redirect those students away from San Clemente High School.
The city also has four private, Christian, college prep schools named Capistrano Valley Christian Schools (Pre-K through 12th grade), Saddleback Valley Christian School (Pre-K through 12th grade), St. Margaret's Episcopal School (also Pre-K through 12th grade), and J. Serra Catholic High School (9th through 12th grade).
The city also has two private kindergarten through eighth grade schools named Mission Parish School and Rancho Capistrano Christian School. Mission Parish School is located on the historic Mission grounds, utilizes some of the historic buildings as classrooms, and is situated next to Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano. The other is Rancho Capistrano Christian School, located off Highway 5 on the Crystal Cathedral's south campus. The campus at Rancho Capistrano is also host to meetings and conventions, as well as summer camps.