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Municipio Autónomo de Lares
Lares City Hall in 2019
Lares City Hall in 2019
Flag of Lares
Coat of arms of Lares
Coat of arms
Ciudad del Grito (The Town of The Grito), Altar de la Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), La Capital de la Montaña (Capital of the Mountains)
Anthem: "En las verdes montañas de Lares" (In the green mountains of Lares)
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Lares Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Lares Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded April 26, 1827
 • Total 61.64 sq mi (159.6 km2)
 • Land 61.45 sq mi (159.2 km2)
 • Water .09 sq mi (0.2 km2)
 • Total 28,105
 • Density 455.95/sq mi (176.045/km2)
Demonym(s) Lareños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00669, 00631
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 111.svg PR secondary 124.svg PR secondary 129.svg Ellipse sign 128.svg Ellipse sign 134.svg Ellipse sign 135.svg

Lares is a mountain town and municipality of Puerto Rico's central-western area. Lares is 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 barrios and Lares Pueblo (Downtown Lares). It is part of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.

A city adorned with Spanish-era colonial-style churches and small downtown stores, Lares is located on 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 as El Grito de Lares (literally, The Cry of Lares, or Lares Revolt), was soon extinguished but it remains as an iconic historical event in the history of the island.


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.

Lares was one of the last municipalities to be established in Puerto Rico, receiving its charter from the then governor and captain-general of the Province of Puerto Rico, Don Miguel de la Torre, on October 6, 1831. The lengthy process was begun in 1824 and was led by Don Juan Francisco de Soto Mayor. However late its official foundation, Lares had its beginnings as el Hato de Lariz in the early 16th century. The Spanish word hato means pasture or cattle ranch. This particular hato owes its name to Don Amador de Lariz a Spanish nobleman and colonizer. In 1525, the Spanish Crown granted him an encomienda (a tract of land) that more or less occupies present day Lares, along with one hundred and fifty Tainos to work the property. The name Lariz is of ancient Basque origin and as far as is known, Don Amador de Lariz left no descendents and his name has disappeared from Puerto Rican genealogy. Over the centuries the Basque name was transformed into a Spanish one but interestingly enough, the Jibaros, or mountain-folk of the region, pronounce it LAH-reh to this day.

Prior to becoming a municipality in its own right, Lares was a barrio or ward of the town of San Sebastian del Pepino. The principal reason for Lares' foundation was the long and arduous travel that families residing there encountered in going to San Sebastian to attend mass and to conduct their secular business affairs. According to Spanish law, any barrio that was at least three leagues distant (a league is roughly equivalent to three miles) from the nearest church and, had a least 10 vecinos (citizens who were the head of their household) could petition the central government to allow it to become a municipality, provided, there were no objections from their present municipal government and, other adjacent ones. In any event, over the course of seven years the founders of Lares overcame various difficulties and the municipality of Lares came into being.


Lares Pueblo
Downtown Lares: July 2007


The following comprise the wards in the municipality of Lares:

  • Bartolo
  • Buenos Aires
  • Callejones
  • Espino
  • Lares
  • Lares Pueblo
  • La Torre
  • Mirasol
  • Pezuela
  • Piletas
  • Pueblo
  • Río Prieto
  • Castaner


Landmarks and places of interest

  • El Ayuntamiento de Castaner
  • Hacienda Collazo
  • Parque El Jíbaro
  • Hacienda El Porvenir
  • Heladería de Lares (ice cream parlor)
  • Hacienda La Lealtad


Festivals and events

Lares Cathedral
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,


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 20,883
1910 22,650 8.5%
1920 25,197 11.2%
1930 27,351 8.5%
1940 29,914 9.4%
1950 29,951 0.1%
1960 26,922 −10.1%
1970 25,263 −6.2%
1980 26,743 5.9%
1990 29,015 8.5%
2000 34,415 18.6%
2010 30,753 −10.6%
2020 28,105 −8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

Like most of Puerto Rico, Lares population originated with the Taino Indians and then many immigrants from Spain settled the central highland, most prominently the Andalusian, Canarian and Extremaduran Spanish migration who formed the bulk of the Jibaro or white peasant stock of the island. The Andalusian, Canarian and Extremaduran Spaniards also influenced much of the Puerto Rican culture which explains the use of Spanish and the Spanish architecture that can be found in the city.



Lares Puerto Rico 1942
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 Arms

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.

Notable Lareños

  • Singer, composer and Virtuoso Guitarist Jose Feliciano who wrote and sang the Feliz Navidad Song, was born in Lares on September 8, 1945
  • Denise Quiñones - Miss Universe 2001
  • Luis Hernández Aquino
  • Odilio González (born March 5, 1937), known by his stage name El Jibarito de Lares, is a Puerto Rican singer, guitarist and music composer who has been singing and composing for more than 65 years.


Heladeria de Lares
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-flavored ice cream.

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

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 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.


Héctor Hernández Arana school, Lares, Puerto Rico
Héctor Hernández Arana school, Lares, Puerto Rico

The Héctor Hernández Arana Primary school is located in Lares.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Lares (Puerto Rico) para niños

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