There are various explanations for the origin of the latter nickname. Some believe it comes from the appearance of houses built in the mountains of the town. They were so close to each other that they appear to be leaning on each other. Others believe that it could be related to an alleged habit of Trujillo Alto residents. Another version links it to a stone that resembled a cow and was formerly located in the town. It was a meeting point for residents, who leaned against it while talking. The stone was removed from the town and placed on the banks of the Grande de Loíza River.
Trujillo Alto's population is 75,728 (2000 Census). The municipality covers an area of 54.6 square kilometers (21 square miles) and is divided into the sectors of Carraízo, Cuevas, Dos Bocas, La Gloria, Quebrada Grande, Quebrada Negrito, Saint Just and Trujillo Alto Pueblo.
Previously, the municipality's lands were dedicated mainly to agriculture and raising livestock. Coffee, sugar cane, guava, rice and tobacco, among other crops, were harvested. In recent decades, however, the municipality has experienced accelerated development marked by an increase in the construction of housing and a proliferation of commercial establishments.
The Doña Inés Park in Trujillo Alto was born from a desire to preserve green areas and nature in the town and was a project of the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation. Its objective is to create an urban lung and to propagate endemic species that are in danger of extinction.
Also, in an effort to preserve rural traditions, the municipality recently began an initiative to create a new musical form, the "seis trujillano". The verses recorded for the first of these folk songs allude to the neighborhoods, traditions, customs and culture of Trujillo Alto. The municipality is also the site of the a young folksingers school.
Trujillo Alto is the site of an important reservoir that supplies water to various surrounding towns. The Carraízo dam, built in 1954, also provides the principal source of water for the metropolitan area.
The municipality of Trujillo Alto is located in the northern part of Puerto Rico. It is bordered by San Juan on the north and west, by Caguas and Gurabo on the south and by Carolina on the east. It is part of the northern coastal plain and the karst zone. The vegetation is typical of tropical humid forests. Trujillo Alto is mostly hilly and the region is humid. Its highest elevations reach to between 656.16 and 1,640 feet (200 and 500 meters) above sea level. These are located mainly in the southern part of the municipality in the Quebrada Grande sector. According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey, elevations along the Grande de Loíza River range from 32.8 and 65.6 feet (10 to 25 meters).
Bodies of water in Trujillo Alto include the Grande de Loíza River, which crosses the municipality from the south to the east, and the Colorada, Infierno, Limones, Naranjo, Grande, Pastrana, Haya Fría and Maracuto streams, as well as the Carraízo Reservoir. This lake is the largest in Puerto Rico, covering 533 square kilometers (206 square miles). Its original capacity was 20,000 foot-acres, nearly 25 millions cubic meters. It stores potable water for the San Juan metropolitan area.
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