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Fundación Del Pueblo De Lares
por
G. E. Morales Muñoz
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( Introduction by Miguel E. Hernandez )
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Background:

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-ree 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.
Following is a roster of the founding vecinos and their immediate families along with some with some of their genealogical data.   This information is from: "Fundacion del Pueblo de Lares" by G.E. Morales Muñoz.   It was published in Puerto Rico in 1946 and is out of print.   Mr. Morales, was born in 1898 and is deceased.   He taught history at the University of Puerto Rico for many years and also complied "Fundacion del Pueblo de Cataño" ; "Fundacion del Pueblo de Dorado"; "Fundacion del Pueblo de Guanadia" and "Fundacion del Pueblo de Gurabo".

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 Última modificación el: 23 de febrero de 2000 | Last Update: February 23, 2000
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