Lajas () 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 barrios 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
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 Righteous). Jacome
is the Mallorquin
form of James (Ia'akov). Catalan Jews from Majorca
were part of the early settlers in the South of (Boriken
) (Puerto Rico).
Puerto Rico was ceded by Spain
in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War
under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898
and became a territory of the United States. In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Lajas was 8,789.
The village of La Parguera
is a popular tourist destination to see the famous Bahía Fosforescente
(Phosphorescent Bay) and its keys and islet's.
People from the El Combate community in barrio Boquerón
are known as ''mata con hacha'' ("those who kill with axes") based on folklore
about a fight over the ''salinas'', where those from Cabo Rojo fought with axes against people from the adjacent town of Lajas. Because the people from Lajas apparently fought back by throwing stones they are known as ''tira piedras'' ("those who throw stones").
Lajas is located on the southern coast. Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge
is a national protected area located in Lajas.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Lajas is subdivided into barrios
. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a small barrio referred to as .
# Lajas barrio-pueblo
# Lajas Arriba
# Sabana Yeguas
# Santa Rosa
Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions
in turn, are further subdivided into smaller local populated place areas/units called sectores (''sectors'' in English). The types of ''sectores'' may vary, from normally ''sector'' to ''urbanización'' to ''reparto'' to ''barriada'' to ''residencial'', among others.
(Special Communities of Puerto Rico) are marginalized communities whose citizens are experiencing a certain amount of social exclusion
. A map shows these communities occur in nearly every municipality of the commonwealth. Of the 742 places that were on the list in 2014, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Lajas: El Papayo, El Tendal, Sector Sabana Yeguas, La Haya, Las Cuevas, Los Jovillos, Maguayo, Piñalejos, and Tokio.
Lajas is famous for its main touristic attraction, Phosphorescent Bay
(La Parguera), a place where bioluminescent dinoflagellate
s 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
There are 5 beaches in Lajas.
Some of the main attractions of Lajas are:
*Old Train Station
*Old Silver Mines
*Lajeño soldier Monument
*Isla Mata la Gata
*Pineapple Processing Plant Ruins
*Rosada Beach or Playita Rosada
*Alien route, which is a landing strip developed by a local from Lajas to welcome extraterrestrial landings.
Festivals and events
Lajas celebrates its patron saint
festival in February. The is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.
Other festivals and events celebrated in Lajas include:
*Kite Festival – February / March
*Festival de Pesca de la Aguja Azul – May
*Pineapple Festival () - May or June, where up to 50,000 people come for arts, crafts, music and 30,000 lbs. of pineapple
*Fiesta de San Pedro Festival – June
*Agriculture Fair or () – June / July
*Christmas Parade and Artisans Fair – December
Like all municipalities in Puerto Rico
, Lajas is administered by a mayor. The current mayor is Jayson Martínez, from the New Progressive Party
(PNP). Martínez was elected at the 2020 general election
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.Elecciones Generales 2012: Escrutinio General
There are 5 bridges in Lajas.
* Luis Aponte Martínez, Roman Catholic cardinal of the Archdiocese of San Juan
* Ulises Casiano, Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Mayagüez
* Robinson Cancel, Major League Baseball player
* Jacobo Morales, actor and film director
* Jose "Joe" Basora, Puerto Rican Boxer
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
It is gold with a green band crossing it diagonally right to left; gold stands for the wealth of the land and green 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 top left there is a red cardinal's hat and in the bottom a red anchor with green; the shield has a 3 tower castle, each one with two windows and a door. On the bottom, outside the shield, a banner with the inscription ''"Ciudad Cardenalicia"'' (Cardinality City). The banner and the inscription appear in black.
Cayos de La Parguera - panoramio.jpg|Cays of La Parquera
Beach and boats in Lajas, Puerto Rico.jpg|Boats in the Caribbean Sea in Lajas
Vista panoramica de La Parguera - panoramio.jpg|Boats at La Parguera
Roseate terns Palometas.jpg|Roseate tern at La Parguera, (on the list of threatened species)
*List of Puerto Ricans
*History of Puerto Rico
*National Register of Historic Places listings in Lajas, Puerto Rico
*Did you know-Puerto Rico?
Category:Municipalities of Puerto Rico
Category:Populated coastal places in Puerto Rico
Category:Populated places established in 1883
Category:San Germán–Cabo Rojo metropolitan area