“El Grito de Lares”
Lares is a small city, located near the bustling city of San Juan, in the central region of Puerto Rico. The city covers an area of approximately 161 square kilometers and has an estimated population of more than 33,000 residents. Pedro Velez Borrero and Francisco de Sotomayor founded the city of Lares on 26 April 1827. Its name was derived from Don Amador de Lariz, one of the first settlers of the city. This quaint tourist destination in Puerto Rico is also known as "El Pueblo del Grito", or the "City of the Revolt".
History was made in Lares on 23 September 1868 when a group of rebels, later known as “El Grito de Lares” meaning “the Lares Revolt”, decided to fight the Spaniards for independence. Their victory did not last long, but it was a moment in history that will always be remembered.
Visitors will find Lares to be a destination in Puerto Rico that is filled with quaint shops, lovely stores and memories of the Spanish rule. Slices of history are strongly reflected in most of the churches in the city and it is recommended that guests to Lares visit some of the more noteworthy sights. Places such as the El Porvenir Hacienda, La Lealtad Hacienda, the Castaner Settlement and the El Jibaro Park are fascinating sights to see. A stop at the Helanderia Lares Ice Cream Parlor will give visitors the opportunity to taste unique flavors such as Beans & Rice and even Corn.
Agriculture is an important sector in the economy of this city and local products are top quality coffee, tomatoes, bananas and oranges. Sport also plays a vital role in the culture of Lares, especially when it comes to volleyball. The local team, the Lares Patriotas, has nurtured international players such as Ariel Rodriguez and Gregory Berrios and has also brought home a few championship cups. Other talents and famous people from Lares include Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quinones, musician Jose Feliciano and political activist Francisco Matos Paoli.
Lares also hosts a number of festivals during the year, such as the Fiesta de Reyes in Jaunuary, the Almojabana Festival in March, the Bananas Festival in June and the Fiestas Patronales in December. The city of Lares is a destination in Puerto Rico that has managed to hold on to its historical values and traditions. This is a city of beauty that simply must be explored.