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Lajas, Puerto Rico

Lajas, Puerto Rico
Municipality
Flag of Lajas, Puerto Rico
Flag
Nickname(s): "La Ciudad Cardenalicia", "Los Tira Piedras"
Anthem: "Nuestro Lajas, pueblito querido"
Location of Lajas in Puerto Rico
Location of Lajas in Puerto Rico
Coordinates:
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
Founded 1883
Government
 • Mayor Hon. Marcos Irizarry (PPD)
 • Senatorial dist. 5 - Ponce
 • Representative dist. 21
Area
 • Total 76.85 sq mi (199.04 km2)
 • Land 61 sq mi (158 km2)
 • Water 15.85 sq mi (41.04 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 25,753
 • Density 340/sq mi (130/km2)
Demonym(s) Lajeños
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Zip code 00667

Lajas (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in southwestern Puerto Rico, on the southern coast of the island, bordering the Caribbean Sea, south of San Germán and Sabana Grande; east of Cabo Rojo; and west of Guánica. Lajas is spread over 11 wards plus Lajas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Germán-Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Cityscape 3
    • Barrios 3.1
  • Tourism 4
    • Landmarks and places of interest 4.1
  • Culture 5
    • Festivals and events 5.1
  • Government 6
  • Symbols 7
    • Flag 7.1
    • Coat of Arms 7.2
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Famous lajeños 10
  • External links 11

History

Located at the Lajas Valley, the town was founded in 1883 by the Xueta Teodoro Jacome Pagan. Xuetes (Chuetas) were Majorcan Jews (Sephardi Catalan Jews). Some families changed their names from Jacome to the Castilian form Santiago (Saint James the greater). Jacome is the Mallorquin form of James (Ia'akov). Catalonian Jews from Majorca were part of the early settlers in the South of (Boriken) Puerto Rico. The village of La Parguera (founded in 1940 by Andrew Breedlove and fishermen from Guánica and Cabo Rojo) is a popular tourist destination to see the famous Bahía Fosforescente (Phosphoresent Bay) and its keys and islet's.

Geography

Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge is a national protected area.

Cityscape

Barrios

Lajas is divided into the following barrios (wards/districts):[1][2]

  • Candelaria
  • La Costa
  • Lajas Arriba
  • Lajas Pueblo
  • Llanos
  • Palmarejo
  • Paris
  • Parguera
  • La Plata
  • Sábana Yeguas
  • Santa Rosa

Tourism

Lajas is famous for its main touristic attraction, Phosphorescent Bay (La Parguera), a place where bioluminescent dinoflagellates of different colors appear when the water moves. The origin of the colored lights is the object of many legends. Lajas is also a fishing town.

Landmarks and places of interest

Caracoles, a mangrove island off La Parguera
  • Cartagena Lagoon
  • Indian Museum
  • Old Train Station
  • Old Silver Mines
  • La Parguera
  • Lajeño soldier Monument
  • Isla Magueyes
  • Isla Mata la Gata
  • Pineapple Processing Plant Ruins
  • Rosada Beach or Playita Rosada
  • Caracoles
  • Caribe Fisheries
  • Alien rute

Culture

Festivals and events

  • Matron Festivities - February
  • International Kite Festival - February
  • Agro Fair- March
  • Pineapple Festival - March
  • E. Ramírez Marathon - March
  • Kite Festival - June
  • Fish Festival - July
  • Cock Fight Festival - October

Government

Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, Lajas is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Marcos Irizarry, from the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Irizarry was elected at the 2012 general election, but he had served before from 1997 to 2009.

The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district V, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Ramón Ruiz and Martín Vargas Morales, from the Popular Democratic Party, were elected as District Senators.[3]

Symbols

Flag

The flag consists of three (3) horizontal stripes; the superior one green, the center white and the bottom one yellow. A fourth cross. In the center of that cross we have two arms united with a ripe yellow pineapple. The cross is surrounded by eleven gold stars; five in the superior (north) part and six in the inferior (south) part of the cross forming a circle.

Coat of Arms

The body is gold with a green band crossing it diagonally right to left; the color gold stands for the wealth of the land and green stands for the beauty of the valley which is a gift from mother nature to Lajas. The band is adorned, at each end, with a pineapple bordered in gold and black. In the center of the band, also in gold, a marine shell. In the left superior side there is a red cardinal's hat and in the inferior a red anchor with a green; the shield has 3 tower castle, each one with two windows and one door. On the bottom, outside the shield, a banner with the inscription "Ciudad Cardenalicia" (Cardinality City). The banner and the inscription appear in black.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.rootsweb.com/~prsanjua/m-lajas.gif
  2. ^ Map of the Neighborhoods (Barrios) of Lajas
  3. ^ Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General on CEEPUR

Famous lajeños

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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