Adjuntas, Puerto Rico 

The municipality of Adjuntas is also know as the «City of the Sleeping Giant,» the «Land of Lakes,» and the «Switzerland of the Americas.» It is bordered on the north by Lares and Utuado; on the south by Yauco, Guayanilla and Peñuelas; on the east by Utuado and Ponce; and on the west by Lares and Yauco.

In the early 20th century, in 1906, United States president Theodore Roosevelt participated in a parade on the island as part of a trip to the Panama Canal. Visiting the municipality of Adjuntas, he compared it to the landscape of Switzerland because of its mountains. That was the source of the nickname comparing it to that country.

Its other nickname, the «City of the Sleeping Giant,» refers to the silhouette of a mountain that can be seen from the town. Adjuntas also has a number of lakes and reservoirs, which inspired the nickname «Land of Lakes.» Its most important reservoirs are Las Garzas and Lake Guayo. Among the other hydrological resources of the municipality are the Portugués, Grande de Arecibo and Grande de Añasco rivers.

Adjuntas has a population of 19,143 residents (2000 Census). The municipality is organized into the sectors of Portillo, Tanamá, Capáez, Pellejas, Guayabo Dulce, Guayo, Yahuecas, Guilarte, Garzas, Saltillo, Portugués, Vegas Arriba, Vegas Abajo, Juan González, Yayales and Limaní. The total area of Adjuntas is 172.9 square kilometers (66.47 square miles).

In the 1980s, a community based organization was created in Adjuntas that successfully stopped a mining project that threatened several towns in the central mountain range. Since then, the environmental and community activism of Casa Pueblo has continued and today it manages the Adjuntas Lands Puerto Rican Biosphere Reserve. The reserve has 36,000 cuerdas (14,149 hectares) of land, distributed across ten municipalities. The region’s elevations range from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (607 to 1,219 meters) above sea level.

Since the late decades of the 19th century, growing coffee has been the main economic activity in the town. Indeed, the founding of the town was tied to this industry. The coffee produced in Adjuntas is well regarded in the local and international markets and today this municipality is one of the main producers of coffee on the island. However, other industries such as raising livestock, growing fruit, and manufacturing clothing and electronic equipment have developed.

In the Limaní sector of Adjuntas, at more than 1,800 feet (549 meters) above sea level, is the experimental agricultural substation of the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayaguez Campus College of Agricultural Sciences. On a 188-cuerda farm, located in the coffee-growing region, researchers study agronomy related to the cultivation of coffee and fruits, such as peaches.

The town is also known as the site of the founding in 1943 of the Cidra farmers cooperative. The cooperative exported the unique fruit to Europe. Curiously, the fruit sometimes returned to the island on the top of Christmas fruitcakes made in Italy.


Adjuntas is part of the western region of the central mountain range, which gives it its mountainous topography. The highest elevation is Mount Guilarte at 3,953 feet (1,205 meters). Other peaks are Silla de Calderón at 3,773 feet (1,105 meters) and Vaquiñas at 3,346 feet (1,020 meters) above sea level. Other mountains, though lower in elevation, are the Mercado (Yahuecas sector), Palo Seco (Portillo sector), La Quinta and Avispa (Guayabo Dulpe sector) and Leoncilla (Guayo sector). All of these are more than 800 meters (2,625 feet) in elevation.

The complex hydrology of Adjuntas includes rivers that are part of three different watersheds. The Grande de Arecibo River forms in the Juan González sector of Adjuntas and crosses the territory from north to south, eventually emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Also forming in the territory of Adjuntas are the Pellejas and Tanamá rivers, both tributaries of the Grande de Arecibo River.

The rivers that are part of the western or Mona Channel watershed are the Blanco and the Prieto, both tributaries of the Grande de Añasco, which is formed by the union of these two rivers. The Portugués River, which is part of the southern or Caribbean watershed, is formed in the Portugués sector of the municipality, cross the municipality of Ponce and empties into the Caribbean Sea. Its tributary, the Corcho River, also flows through the municipality.

Also in Adjuntas are the Adjuntas, Garzas, Guayo, Pellejas and Yahuecas lakes. All of them take their names from the sectors in which they are located, although generally they extend into the territory of adjacent sectors. The Adjuntas, Garzas and Pellejas lakes are part of the Grande de Arecibo river watershed; the Guavo and Yahuecas are part of the Grande de Añasco river watershed.

Of all of them, the one with the greatest water storage capacity is Guavo Lake: 17,400 foot/acres (21,462,552 cubic meters). It is the sixth largest reservoir in Puerto Rico by volume. Yahuecas Lake has the largest watershed area: 45 square kilometers (17.4 miles). The lake with the highest altitude is Garzas, which is 734 meters (2,415 feet) above sea level and is the second-highest reservoir in Puerto Rico.

To the west of Adjuntas, in the center of the coffee growing region, is the Guilarte forest, which consists of 1,457 hectares (3,600 acres) and is sectioned into six zones. The forest covers parts of the municipalities of Adjuntas, Peñuelas, Guayanilla and Yauco. Because of its location, it is classified as a high range forest. Its elevation ranges between 760 meters (2,492 feet) and 1,205 meters (3,953 feet), the high point of Mount Guilarte. The forest receives annual rainfall of 2,244 millimeters (88.7 inches). Its vegetation is quite varied, and among the species of native trees that grow there are the sierra palm, the caimitillo and the granadillo. Among the exotic plants growing there is the eucalyptus.

The three municipalities of Utuado, Jayuya and Adjuntas make up the most important and richest zone on the island, in terms of mining, due to both the quantity and quality of the minerals found there. The most important are gold and molybdenum, which have been found in association with other minerals, and copper, in the form of chalcopyrite.

According to historians, the name Adjuntas comes from the original name for the region: The Adjuntas Lands of the Village of San Blas de Illescas. It was known this way because of its ecclesiastical relationship to the village, as it was adjunta or surrounded by the village’s vicariate.

The history of the municipality has been tied to coffee since its founding. The introduction of the plant to the island in 1736 by Governor Felipe Ramírez de Estenós led to the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico becoming populated. In 1805, the residents, which consisted of some twenty families, built a small chapel because the church in Utuado, to which they were ascribed, was distant and not easily accessible. The residents decided to ask the ecclesiastical authorities for authorization to create a new parish, and they chose landowner Diego Maldonado as their spokesman. Adjuntas officially became a town on August 11, 1815; the date on which the town’s church was blessed and devoted to San Joaquín. That year, the population was 713 residents.

In 1818, the territory of the municipality was organized into the sectors of Capáez, Garzas, Juan González, Pellejas, Pueblo Abajo or the urban zone, and Saltillo. In 1825, the Jagüeca sector was created and in 1845, the Portugués, Jayalse, Guilarte, Limaní, Guayo, Guayabo Dulce and Tanamá sectors were added.

In 1878, the Portillo sector was created; the Vega sector was divided into two, Vegas Abajo and Vegas Arriba; Jayalse became Yayales and Jagüeca was changed to Yahuecas. The town had ten streets, a main plaza, the church, council hall, civil guard headquarters, a butcher shop, and a cemetery that was being built. The population of the municipality had grown to more than 14,000 residents. In 1894, Adjuntas was given the title of villa by royal decree.

The cultivation of coffee, a determining factor in the creation and development of the municipality, declined after the end of the 19th century. In the same era, copper mining began at the Córcega mine. Today, coffee remains an important part of the Adjuntas economy but on a lesser scale. Other agricultural products are also produced, such as cidra, which is processed into jellies that are exported. There are also small factories producing clothing and electronic equipment. Raising livestock is a secondary economic activity.

The Cidra Festival takes place in Adjuntas each year in March. The patron saint festival is held around August 21, which is San Joaquín and Santa Ana Day.



The Adjuntas flag  is derived from the town’s coat of arms. A white band diagonally divides it into two scalene triangles. The upper one is violet and the lower one is green. In the center of each triangle is a white cross that symbolizes San Joaquín and Santa Ana. The white color symbolizes purity, the violet symbolizes the cloak of San Joaquín and the green symbolizes the vegetation of the town.

Coat of arms

The Adjuntas coat of arms  includes a walking stick or crook that represents the patriarch San Joaquín, father of the Holy Virgin Mary. The distaff represents domestic work and also symbolizes Santa Ana, the mother of the Virgin Mary. The star represents the Virgin. The bells and crosses allude to the name of the town, Adjuntas. The crosses are taken from the seal of Coamo and their origins lie in the coat of arms of the Illescas lineage, which is historically related to the old village of San Blas. The coffee branches allude to Adjuntas’ location in the coffee-growing region of Puerto Rico. The walled crown is a smaller version of the four towers to signify that in the Spanish era it was granted the title of «villa» by the crown.

Places of interest

• Casa Pueblo
• La Arbela Estate
• Luz de Luna Estate (Yahuecas)
• Oliver Estate, Limaní
• San Joaquín Church
• The Written Rock
• Mount Guilarte
• Museum of Culture

Illustrious Citizens

Angelita Bosch– First woman pharmacist in Puerto Rico.

Rafael de Jesús Cordero– Economist; Auditor of Puerto Rico; first Comptroller of Puerto Rico.

Arístides Moll Boscana– Poet; began the literary modernist movement in Puerto Rico.

Josefina Moll Boscana– Poet and writer. Sister of Arístides Moll Boscana.

Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas. Military officer, dental surgeon and scientist. Discovered the bacteria that causes dental cavities.


• Patron Saint Festival – August
• El Gigante Marathon – July
• Eduardo Vera Marathon – December
• Troubadour Contest – December
• Cidra Festival – August


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