Open main menu

Lares (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlaɾes]) is a city and a mountain municipality of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico's central-western area located north of Maricao and Yauco; south of Camuy, east of San Sebastián and Las Marias; and west of Hatillo, Utuado and Adjuntas. Lares is spread over 10 wards and Lares Pueblo (Downtown Lares). It is part of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Municipio Autónomo de Lares
City and Municipality
The City Hall in Lares, 2019
The City Hall in Lares, 2019
Flag of Lares
Ciudad del Grito (The Cry of Lares),[1] Los Patriotas (The Patriots)
Anthem: "En las verdes montañas de Lares" (In the green mountains of Lares)
Location of Lares in Puerto Rico
Location of Lares in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°17′42″N 66°52′43″W / 18.29500°N 66.87861°W / 18.29500; -66.87861Coordinates: 18°17′42″N 66°52′43″W / 18.29500°N 66.87861°W / 18.29500; -66.87861
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
FoundedApril 26, 1827
 • MayorRoberto Pagán Centeno (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.5 - Ponce
 • Total159.6 km2 (61.64 sq mi)
 • Land159.2 km2 (61.45 sq mi)
 • Water0.2 km2 (.09 sq mi)
 • Total30,753
 • Density190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
00669, 00631
Major routesPR secondary 111.svg PR secondary 124.svg PR secondary 129.svg Ellipse sign 128.svg Ellipse sign 134.svg Ellipse sign 135.svg

A city adorned with Spanish-era style churches and small downtown area stores, Lares is a breezy area that is about 1.5 hours from San Juan by car.

A significant event that occurred in Lares, the 1868 uprising brought on by pro-independence rebels who wanted Puerto Rico to gain its freedom from Spain. The movement, known thereafter as El Grito de Lares (literally, The Cry of Lares, or Lares Revolt), was soon extinguished.

The flag of Lares (the first Puerto Rican flag) is now considered by many Puerto Ricans to be the symbol of their independence movement. Initially developed to represent the island's struggle to gain its emancipation from Spain, the flag is now used by those struggling to liberate the island from the United States. The flag was displayed during the week of September 17 to 23 of 2018, at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art located within the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of El Grito de Lares.[2]



Lares was founded on April 26, 1827 by Francisco de Sotomayor and Pedro Vélez Borrero. The city was named after one of its settlers, Don Amador de Lariz, a Spanish nobleman.[3][4]

When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Lares was 20,883.[5]


Lares[6] is a mountainous municipality located in the central western part of the island of Puerto Rico. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, the municipality has a total area of 61.64 square miles (159.6 km2), of which 61.45 square miles (159.2 km2) is land and .09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.


There are 10 caves in Lares. Cueva Machos and Cueva Pajita are located in Callejones barrio.[7]

Hurricane MariaEdit

Lares se levanta sign seen in Lares, June 2019

Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Lares. In many areas of Lares there were more than 25 landslides per square mile due to the significant amount of rainfall.[8][9] Puerto Rico se levanta (Puerto Rico will stand up) became the slogan used across the island to communicate the island would rise again.[10]

When the hurricane hit, the Municipal Cemetery of Lares was damaged by landslides. Total affected were about 5,000 burial plots, with the burial places shifting, some plots opened, exposing cadavers. In response, the municipality closed the cemetery to the public.[11][12] In early 2019, El Nuevo Día newspaper in Puerto Rico began listing the names of the cadavers that would be exhumed and moved to other cemeteries, a long and delicate process. On March 4, an update was given by Lares officials on how the issue was being handled.[13] On May 10, 2019, it was announced that a decision had been made to build a temporary wooden structure separating the affected area so that family members could visit the plots that were unaffected by the hurricane-triggered landslides.[14]


Subdivisions of Lares.

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Lares is divided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located near the center of the municipality, in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[15][16][17][18]


Landmarks and places of interestEdit


Festivals and eventsEdit

Catedral de Lares (Lares Cathedral): July 2007
  • Feast of the Three Kings - January
  • Romantic Party - February
  • Almojabana Festival - March
  • Founding of Lares - April
  • Handcrafted market - May
  • Banana (Guineo) Festival - June
  • Cultural World Contest - August
  • Grito de Lares - September
  • Bonsai Gathering - October
  • Feast of the Patron Saint - December


Lares has a professional volleyball team called Patriotas de Lares (Lares Patriots) that have international players including: Brock Ullrich, Gregory Berrios, Ramon "Monchito" Hernandez, and Ariel Rodriguez. The Patriotas won 3 championships, in 1981, 1983 and 2002. In 1981 and 1983 they beat Corozal in the finals and in 2002 they beat Naranjito. Some of the Native players were: David Vera 1979, Rigoberto Guiyoti 1979, Modesto 1980, Luis Vera 1980, Carlos Vera 1980,


Heladeria de Lares (Lares Ice Cream Shop), July 2007

Lares' economy is primarily agricultural. Harvested products include; bananas, coffee, oranges, and tomatoes.

Tourism also plays a significant role in the municipality's economy. The Heladeria de Lares (Lares Ice Cream Shop) is well known around Puerto Rico for its unorthodox selection of ice cream including; rice and beans ice cream.[22]

There was a large population exodus, out of Lares, after September 20, 2017 when Hurricane Maria struck the island.[23]

In 2016, Rural Opportunities Puerto Rico Inc. (ROPRI) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed the building of 24 (one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom) units[24] in Lares, specifically for farmers (in Spanish: agricultores), and their families, to live and work. It is called Alturas de Castañer (Castañer Heights) and there the families work to grow coffee, bananas and other crops which are sold to markets, and restaurants nearby.[25]

Special Communities ProgramEdit

Spearheaded by then governor Sila María Calderón, Law 1-2001 was passed in 2001,[26] to identify Puerto Rico's marginalized communities.[27] In 2017, then governor Ricardo Rosselló created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program.[28][29] Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Lares: Castañer, Cerro Avispa, Comunidad Anón, Comunidad Arizona, Comunidad El Bajadero, Comunidad Peligro, Comunidad San Felipe, and Seburuquillo.[30]


Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[31]
1899 (shown as 1900)[32] 1910-1930[33]
1930-1950[34] 1960-2000[35] 2010[17]

Like most of the people of Puerto Rico, Lares population originated with the Taino Indians and then many immigrants from Spain settled the central highland, most prominently the Andalusian and Canarian Spanish migration who formed the bulk of the Jibaro or white peasant stock of the island.[36] The Andalusian and Canarian Spaniards also influenced much of the Puerto Rican culture which explains the main Spanish dialect, and the Spanish architecture that surrounds the city. Europe had a lot of influences in their cultures, you can see evidence of European art throughout the island as well. This area of the Island has an array of cultures. Basque, French, Corsican and Italian is highly predominant due to the introduction of coffee in this region of the Island. Unlike coastal towns, in the mountain regions of Puerto Rico the people are predominantly white.


The mayor of Lares is a member of the Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP). His name is Roberto Pagán Centeno.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district V, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Ramón Ruiz and Martín Vargas Morales, from the Popular Democratic Party, were elected as District Senators.[37]


Héctor Hernández Arana school, Lares, Puerto Rico
  • Escuela Héctor Hernández Arana[38]



Lares in 1942

The origins of the municipality's flag can be traced back to the days of the failed 1868 revolt against Spanish rule known as the Grito de Lares. The flag is derived from the Dominican Republic flag of 1844-49 (reflecting the rebel leaders' dream to eventually join with the Dominican Republic and Cuba into one nation) and was knitted by Mariana Bracetti, a revolutionary leader, at the behest of Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances, the revolt's leader, who designed it. This flag is formed by a white Latin cross in the center. The width of the arms and base are equal to a third part of the latitude of the emblem. It has two quadrilaterals located above and two below the arms of the cross. The superior (top) ones are blue and the inferior (bottom) ones red. A five-point white star is located in the center of the left superior (top) quadrilateral.

Coat of armsEdit

A white cross is centered on and extends across the shield from side to side and top to bottom; it has blue top quadrants and red bottom quadrants; it has a five pointed white star in the upper left quadrant. A chain surrounds the shield. The coat of arms as described has positioned around it on a scroll and a ribbon in a semicircle the words: "Lares Ciudad del Grito." This constitutes the stamp of Lares and identifies unmistakably the municipality of Lares.


Puerto Rico State Route 111 runs through the town.

Lares has 15 bridges.[39]

Notable LareñosEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Cry of Lares". Progreso Weekly Inc. 22 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Exhiben en UPR bandera de Lares con 150 años". Primera Hora. September 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "History and foundation of Lares". Archived from the original on 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "Lares: Ciudad de cielos abiertos". (in Spanish). SG Communications. Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 8 February 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ Joseph Prentiss Sanger; Henry Gannett; Walter Francis Willcox (1900). Informe sobre el censo de Puerto Rico, 1899, United States. War Dept. Porto Rico Census Office (in Spanish). Imprenta del Gobierno. p. 160.
  6. ^ "Lares Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  7. ^ "Lares: Ciudad de cielos abiertos". Nueva Isla (in Spanish). SG Communications. Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-02-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico". USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  9. ^ "Preliminary Locations of Landslide Impacts from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico" (PDF). USGS Landslide Hazards Program. USGS.
  10. ^ Newkirk II, Vann R. (20 September 2018). "The Situation in Puerto Rico Is Untenable". The Atlantic.
  11. ^ "Las tumbas quedan expuestas en el camposanto de Lares". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). September 26, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2019-03-03. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ Florida, Adrian (December 6, 2018). "'My Father Is In There': Anguish Builds In Puerto Rico Mountains Over Decimated Tombs". NPR.
  13. ^ "Informe sobre el Cementerio Municipal Post-Maria". FaceBook (in Spanish).
  14. ^ "Regalo de madres para familiares de difuntos en Lares". Primera Hora. 10 May 2019.
  15. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969.
  16. ^ Gwillim Law (20 May 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  17. ^ a b Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  18. ^ "Map of Lares at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ Brugueras, Melba (22 August 2015). "Conoce cómo se vive en Castañer". Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 8 February 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  20. ^ "Un pedacito de Hacienda Lealtad en el RUM". Primera Hora. 21 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Compañía de Turismo brinda certificación agroturística a Hacienda Lealtad". 18 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Histórica Heladería de Lares reabrirá sus puertas". El Nuevo Dia. 1 February 2017.
  23. ^ Robles, Frances (16 July 2017). "Exodus From a Historic Puerto Rican Town, With No End in Sight". NYTimes.
  24. ^ "Alturas De Castaner - Castaner PR Multi-Family Housing Rental". Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  25. ^ "A Community for Agricultores in Puerto Rico". Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  30. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza:Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (Primera edición ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, p. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  31. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  32. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department, Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  33. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930, 1920, and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  34. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities, Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  35. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  36. ^ Hernández, Miguel. "Brief History of the Canarian Migration to Spanish America". Archived from the original on 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2014-12-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  37. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine on CEEPUR
  38. ^ "Escuela Héctor Hernández Arana (18226)". Dept. of Education of Puerto Rico.
  39. ^ "Lares Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 2019-02-20. Retrieved 19 February 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  40. ^ "Denise Quiñones August: 1980—: Miss Universe Biography". Brief Biographies.
  41. ^ Rodríguez León O. P, Mario A. (September 15, 2014). "The Poetry of Luis Hernández Aquino". Enciclopedia PR. Enciclopedia PR.

External linksEdit