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Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Municipality
View of Adjuntas from a nearby mountain.
View of Adjuntas from a nearby mountain.
Flag of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Flag
Coat of arms of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "La Ciudad del Gigante Dormido", "La Suiza de Puerto Rico"
Anthem: "Adjuntas es mi amor"
Location of Adjuntas in Puerto Rico
Location of Adjuntas in Puerto Rico
Country  United States
Territory  Puerto Rico
Founded August 11, 1815
Founded by Diego Maldonado
Elevation 504 m (1,654 ft)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 19,483
Demonym(s) Adjunteños
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00601, 00631
Website adjuntas.com

Adjuntas (Spanish pronunciation: [aðˈxuntas]) is a small mountainside municipality in Puerto Rico located central midwest of the island on the Cordillera Central, north of Yauco, Guayanilla and Peñuelas; southeast of Utuado; east of Lares and Yauco; and west of Ponce. Adjuntas is spread over 16 wards and Adjuntas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Adjuntas is about two hours by car westward from the capital, San Juan. It is the principal city of the Adjuntas Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Adjuntas is nicknamed "the Switzerland of Puerto Rico", because of its relatively chilly weather. Many Puerto Rican mountain towns have cooler weather than the rest of the island; Adjuntas is no exception: the average yearly weather is 21 °C (70 °F) (High: 28 °C/83 °F; Low: 14 °C/58 °F). Its mild climate attracts a good number of islanders tourists during the summer months. The town has a small hotel named Monte Rio and a good size parador, or country inn, called Villa Sotomayor.

Adjuntas' Zip Code 00601 is the lowest in the United States.

History

Although there are petroglyphs and traces of Taíno people in Adjuntas, there is no proof that the region was dominated by a specific cacique. Nearby caciques like Guarionex and Urayoán could've had some control over the area.

According to historian Aurelio Tió, during the Spanish colonization of Puerto Rico in the 16th Century, it is believed that a Spanish interpreter called Juan González settled in the region. Also, historian Cayetano Coll y Toste wrote a legend about Spanish people looking for gold in the region of Adjuntas.

As colonization progressed, Adjuntas became part of the San Blas de Illescas de Coamo village, which was founded in 1579 and became the most important settlement in the south. It is believed that the name "Adjuntas" derives from the term of "being close" to Coamo. As population shifted to Ponce, Adjuntas became more linked to that town, and then to Utuado, being a ward of this municipality in 1739.

With 20 families established in the region, the residents of Adjuntas vouched for the settlement to be officially recognized. The town of Adjuntas was then founded in August 11, 1815, with Diego Maldonado being elected as its representative. A city hall and public square were built shortly after.

Adjuntas, early 20th Century
Adjuntas in the early 20th Century

Adjuntas was one of the main cities where the Anusim, Maranos, and other Sephardi Jews settled. Many of these families were of the Torres, Perez or Peretz, and Bennazar families among others. Berberena and Mozarabes settled there too.

Taíno families from neighboring Utuado can also be found in this area, along with escaped cimarrones, or African slaves, who intermarried with the Taíno. DNA genetic evidence shows that many Africans fled up the Camino Real into the mountains to escape the sugar plantations of Ponce. The Mandinka, Wolof & Fulani mtDNA African haplotype, L1b, is present here. Taíno haplogroups A & C can also be found in this area.

Theodore Roosevelt in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Postcard of President Theodore Roosevelt during his visit to Adjuntas

After the mid-19th century, Adjuntas welcomed many immigrants from the Mediterranean islands Corsica and Majorca. Some of them established coffee plantations. During the last decades of the 19th Century, the coffee produced in Adjuntas was exported to Europe, United States and even the Vatican.

Adjuntas was proclaimed a "villa", or a first order municipality, by the Spanish Government Monarchy in 1894. Several years after, the town was occupied by the United States Army forces during the Spanish–American War of 1898 and was visited by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

The discovery of rich deposits of copper, gold and other minerals during the 1960s motivated some local community and environmental leaders to oppose the mining. Casa Pueblo, a local community organization settled in Adjuntas, opposed to the mining and advocates for the preservation of natural resources in Puerto Rico.

Geography

Weather chart for Adjuntas (Climate - Tropical Rainforest (Af))
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6.7
 
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3.2
 
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temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches

The terrain in Adjuntas is very mountainous, due to its location in the Cordillera Central. It borders Utuado in the north and east, Lares and Yauco to the west, and Guayanilla, Peñuelas, and Ponce to the south.

Historian Pedro Tomás de Córdova described the terrain as "high, and mountainous, and very healthy". He also praised the quality of the terrain for agriculture. Adjuntas' highest peak is Monte Guilarte (3,773 ft; 1,150 m), followed by Vaquiñas (3,346 ft; 1,020 m). Guilarte itself is the sixth highest peak in Puerto Rico, and is located in Guilarte State Forest. Córdova also mentioned the water features, describing 26 rivers and 16 creeks that ran through the region.

Climate

Adjuntas features a tropical rainforest climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate. While the town technically features a tropical rainforest climate, due to its high elevation, the climate is noticeably cooler than the norm for this climate category. Summers are warm (83°-85 °F) in the daytime and mild at nighttime (60°-63 °F). Meanwhile, winters are moderately warm with cool temperatures at night. During daytime, high temperatures are around 79 °F (26 °C) in the town and 68 °F (20 °C) in the nearby mountains. Winter night temperatures are between in the 55 °F (13 °C) and 60 °F (16 °C) range, but after cold fronts temperatures can drop down to 45 °F (7 °C).

Cityscape

Numbered map of Adjuntas wards

Barrios

The municipality of Adjuntas is made up of 17 barrios (wards/districts).

  1. Adjuntas Pueblo
  2. Capáez
  3. Garzas
  4. Guayabo Dulce
  5. Guayo
  6. Guilarte
  7. Pellejas
  8. Limaní
  9. Juan Gonzalez
  10. Portillo
  11. Portuguez
  12. Saltillo
  13. Tanamá
  14. Vegas Abajo
  15. Vegas Arriba
  16. Yahuecas
  17. Yayales

Tourism

Historian Lidio Cruz Monclova noted that some doctors requested patients to travel to Adjuntas to stay in a hotel called "La Adjunteña". The hotel was the property of C.L. Ginestre, and served both tourists and the sick. Cruz noted that doctors believed the colder temperatures of the town were beneficial to health.

Castillo de los niños
Castillo de los Niños

According to mayor Jaime Barlucea, Adjuntas receives approximately 700 tourists per weekend. Most of them want to visit the haciendas established there during past centuries. Some of them are: Hacienda Bareal, Hacienda El Muerto, Hacienda Arbela, and Hacienda Pietri. Other landmarks are Monte Guilarte, and the Inabón waterfall.

Another known tourist stop in Adjuntas is Casa Pueblo, a local museum and cultural institution founded by a group of activists that fought against the copper mine exploitation of the area for decades. Casa Pueblo is responsible for many environmental projects, namely the preservation of hundreds of acres of woods and bodies of water.

However, some residents and businesspeople from Adjuntas maintain that the government has not taken advantage of the many tourist attractions in town, which include three forests, waterfalls, lakes, and many renowned restaurants. One of the projects that has received media coverage is the Castillo de los Niños, built during the mayoralty of Barlucea. Castillo de los Niños is a recreational park resembling a castle, with gazebos.

Culture

Like most municipalities, Adjuntas celebrates its fiestas patronales annually. They begin in August 21 and are dedicated to Saint Joachim and Saint Anne.

Sports

The town has a professional volleyball team called Gigantes de Adjuntas that plays on the LVSM in Puerto Rico. The team won a title in 1973.

Demographics

Racial - (self-defined) Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
- 2010 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White 18,146 93.1%
Black/African American 603 3.1%
American Indian and
Alaska Native
68 0.4%
Asian 5 0.0%
Native Hawaiian
Pacific Islander
1 0.0%
Some other race 411 2.1%
Two or more races 249 1.3%

Adjuntas currently has a population of 19,483. This represents a growth of 340, from 19,143 in 2000. Throughout the years, it hasn't shown significant changes, with the highest being 22,556 (1940) and the lowest in the last century being 18,075 (1930).

80% of the Per capita income of Adjuntas is a product of agriculture. In 2010, unemployment hit 20.2%. According to mayor, Jaime Barlucea, it decreased to 18.7 in 2011. However, according to the Department of Employment of Puerto Rico, it increased to 21.3.

Symbols

Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of Adjuntas

Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of Adjuntas is divided in two. The left side features a shepherd's staff crossed with a yarnwinder in a purple field. They symbolize the Old Testament patriarchs, representing Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary. An eight-pointed star sits above them representing the Virgin.

The right side of the coat of arms is divided in three fields. The upper and lower field have green crosses in white fields. The crosses, known as the "Illesca cross" is also present in the symbols of Coamo, because of the relationship between both towns. Two bells lie in the middle field, also a representation of the name of "Adjuntas".

Two coffee branches surround the coat of arms, representing Adjuntas location and its importance in the coffee industry of the island. The castle at the top represents the title of village given to Adjuntas by Spain in 1894.

Flag

The flag of Adjuntas has similar symbolisms. A white diagonal stripe divides the flag in two triangles. The upper one is purple, while the lower one is green. In the middle of each triangle lies a white "Illesca cross". The white color symbolizes purity, while purple represents Saint Joachim's cloth and green the nature of the town.

Anthem

The anthem of Adjuntas was written by José Nieves Pérez and is called "Adjuntas, mi amor".

Nicknames

Adjuntas has several nicknames. One is "La ciudad del gigante dormido" ("The city of the sleeping giant"). This is a reference to one of the mountains of the city, which is compared to a "sleeping giant". Another nickname is "La Suiza de Puerto Rico" ("The Switzerland of Puerto Rico") which is a reference to Adjuntas' relatively low temperatures. Adjuntas has an average yearly weather of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, Adjuntas is also called "La tierra de los lagos" ("Land of lakes") because of its many waterholes.

Transportation

PR-123 Ponce-Adjuntas Rd circa 1920
The Ponce–Adjuntas Road (PR-123) c. 1920

In 1874, General José Laureano Sanz, Governor of Puerto Rico, sponsored a road from Ponce to Arecibo, going across Adjuntas and Utuado. In 1885, it is believed that the road was under construction.

Nowadays, the main road to Adjuntas is PR-10, that connects the cities of Ponce in the south and Arecibo in the north, going across Adjuntas in the center. Before the PR-10 was built, roads like the PR-123, and other small roads were used to reach town.

There is also a small airport in Adjuntas that caters to private airplanes.

Notable Adjunteños

Among the notable Adjunteños are the following:

  • Aristides A. Moll Boscana - Poet, writer, translator and politician. He was the first Puerto Rican to write a complete modernista poetry book: Mi misa rosa (1905). In United States he worked as a technical writer for the federal government, as a translator of the first Spanish-language edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and as Secretary of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in Washington, DC, where he edited the Latin American edition of its bulletin. He participated of many Latin American public health conferences, the first World Health Organization conference in Paris, France, and represented El Salvador during the WHO constitutional conference in New York. He wrote many public health related essays and prepared two bilingual (Spanish - English) medical dictionaries and a Spanish medical manual for physicians. He published Aesculapius in Latin America, a history of medicine in the Americas.
  • César Luis González - The first Puerto Rican pilot in the United States Army Air Forces and the first Puerto Rican pilot to die in World War II. His name is listed on the "Roll of Honor" of the 314th Troop Carrier Group World War II and Adjuntas has honored his memory by naming a street "Calle Cesar González" after him.
  • Norman Maldonado - One of Puerto Rico's leading hematologists, former president of the University of Puerto Rico, and advocate for Puerto Rican statehood.

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