Hormigueros is located in the western coastal plains of Puerto Rico and measures 28.9 square kilometers (11.16 square miles). It is also known as the "miracle towntown, founding: A group of vecinos that wanted to found a town had to grant a power of attorney to one or more other vecinos to represent them before the governor and viceroy. This person could authorize the founding of the town and the establishment of a parish. The grantors of the power of attorney had to be a majority in the given territory and more than ten in number. Once the case had been made, the governor appointed a capitán poblador or settlement official to represent the vecinos and one or more delegates, who usually lived in nearby cabildos vecinos to receive the necessary documentation. Proof was required that the settlement was so far from a church that it was very difficult for the settlers to partake of sacraments and municipal services. In general, proof was provided of the absence or bad condition of roads and bridges. If the petition was approved, it was required that the vecinos mark off the new municipality and build public works such as a church, a parish house, a government house (Casa del Rey), a slaughterhouse, and a cemetery, and to set aside land for the town square or plaza and the commons (ejidos). The vecinos were expected to cover the cost of building these works by levying special assessments. Usually one of the land owners donated some land for the founding. Once the requirements had been met, the governor authorized the founding of the town and the parish, and he appointed a Lieutenant at War who usually was the same capitán poblador.
" and "the pilgrim's town." According to the 2000 census, there are 16,614 hormigueños,
living in Benavente, Guanajibo, Hormigueros, Hormigueros Pueblo, Jagüitas, and Lavadero wards. The patron saint is Our Lady of Monserrat and the festival in her honor is held on September 8 and is one of the best-attended on the island. That day, many pilgrims flock to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Monserrat, which was built in the 16th century and is one of the most important landmarks in the town. The pilgrims also visit other old buildings, such as the Casa de los Peregrinos (Pilgrim's Inn).
The municipality''s economy is based on commerce and manufacturing. Manufacturing includes pharmaceuticals, needlework, machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment. There is limited agriculture and cattle and dairy farming. The town formerly grew tobacco, plantains, taniers, sugar cane, and coffee. There were several wooden sugar mills known as trapiches and rum was produced. Central Eureka was founded in 1881, and eventually ground up to 350,000 tons of sugarcane. The central mill closed down in 1979. Geography
Hormigueros is located on the western side of the island, and is bordered on the north by Mayagüez, on the south by Cabo Rojo
and San Germán, on the east by San Germán and on the west by Cabo Rojo. The town is located in the western humid mountains and the western valleys. The land runs from a height of 100 meters above sea level (328 feet) on the north, down to the rich alluvial valleys on the south. The entire Jagüitas ward and the northern parts of Guanajibo, Hormigueros, and Lavadero wards are hilly, and near the border with Mayagüez at Los Matos Ridge, the hills are relatively high. On the other hand, all of Benavente ward and the southern areas of Guanajibo, Hormigueros, and Lavadero wards are located in the Guanajibo Valley or the flat areas of the municipality.
The municipality is irrigated by the Guanajibo River, which is on the border with Cabo Rojo, and its tributaries, the Rosario, Seco, and Hondo rivers. The river is also fed by the Maga, Hoya Grande, and De las Lajas brooks, the latter of which in turn receives water from the Mohosa and Grande brooks.
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