Municipalities / Lares
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General Information

Versión español
The Ten Commandments of the Free Mens
The municipality of Lares is also known as the "the 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. of The Grito," "Capital of the Mountains" and the "Altar of the Fatherland." This municipality covers 159.4 square kilometers (61.5 square miles). It is divided into the sectors of Bartolo, Buenos Aires, Callejones, Espino, Lares, La Torre, Mirasol, Pezuela, Piletas and Río Prieto. According to the 2000 Census, it had 34,415 residents, who are known as lareños.

Lares is known for growing coffee. Today, other agricultural products are also grown, including oranges, bananas and (hydroponic) tomatoes, as well as fruits such as plantains, and root vegetables such as yautia and ñame. Its economy is also based on manufacturing of leather products, clothing and shoes. Raising livestock is a secondary activity.

The municipality also has manganese deposits which are inactive today because of intense exploitation in the past. According to historian Mario Villar Roces, important deposits of copper have also been found in the earth of Lares.


Lares is located in the west central region of the island. It is bordered to the north by the town of Camuy, on the south by Yauco and Maricao, on the west by San Sebastián and Las Marías and on the east by Hatillo, Adjuntas and Utuado.

Geographically, the municipality is part of the zone known as the central mountainous interior. Its highest elevations are found in the south, as the central mountain range extends through this area. Lares has an average temperature of 75 degrees F and annual precipitation of 97 inches.

The highest elevations are the Santo Domingo peak in the Bartolo sector which rises to 700 meters (2,296 feet) above sea level; the Malo peak in the Río Prieto sector, at 640 meters (2,100 feet); La Torre peak in the Mirasol sector, at 579 meters (1,899 feet) and La Mina peak, at 671 meters (2,200 feet). Between the Río Prieto sector of Lares and the Indiera Alta sector of Maricao rises Las Mulas peak, at 500 meters (1,640 feet) and in La Torre sector La Torrecilla peak rises to 430 meters (1,411 feet) above sea level.

Four important rivers form in this municipality: the Blanco River, the Culebrinas River, the Camuy River and the Guajataca River. The Blanco River is also known as the Grande de Añasco or the Guasio and empties into the Mona Channel. Among its tributaries in Lares are the Achiote and Grande streams, which empty into the Guayo River. The Guayo and Prieto lakes are found in the watershed of this river. The lake or reservoir called Guayo is formed by the course of the river of the same name, on the border of the Bartolo sector of Lares and the Indiera Alta sector of Maricao. The lake is used to produce electricity, for irrigation, and for fishing.

The Culebrinas River forms in the Espino sector and empties into the sea in the municipality of Aguada, after having run 44 kilometers or 28 miles. Among its tributaries in Lares are the Juncal River and the Infierno creek. The Camuy River, which forms in the Lares sector and empties into the Atlantic Ocean in Camuy, is 35 kilometers or 22 miles in length. The municipality is also irrigated by tributaries of the Piedras and Angeles rivers.

The Guajataca River forms in the Buenos Aires sector and empties into the Atlantic on the border between Aguadilla and Isabela. Its approximate length is 40 kilometers or 25 miles. The tributaries of the Guajataca River that pass through Lares are Anón and Los Muertos streams.

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Version: 09032502 Rev. 1
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Grito de Lares 1868
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Lares History
About Lares
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