Adjuntas is nicknamed "the Switzerland of Puerto Rico", because of its relatively chilly weather. Many Puerto Rican mountain towns have cooler weather than the rest of the island; Adjuntas is no exception: the average yearly weather is 21 °C (70 °F) (High: 28 °C/83 °F; Low: 14 °C/58 °F). Its mild climate attracts a good number of islanders tourists during the summer months. The town has a small hotel named Monte Rio and a good size parador, or country inn, called Villa Sotomayor.
Adjuntas' Zip Code 00601 is the lowest in the United States.
As colonization progressed, Adjuntas became part of the San Blas de Illescas de Coamo village, which was founded in 1579 and became the most important settlement in the south. It is believed that the name "Adjuntas" derives from the term of "being close" to Coamo. As population shifted to Ponce, Adjuntas became more linked to that town, and then to Utuado, being a ward of this municipality in 1739.
With 20 families established in the region, the residents of Adjuntas vouched for the settlement to be officially recognized. The town of Adjuntas was then founded in August 11, 1815, with Diego Maldonado being elected as its representative. A city hall and public square were built shortly after.
After the mid-19th century, Adjuntas welcomed many immigrants from the Mediterranean islands Corsica and Majorca. Some of them established coffee plantations. During the last decades of the 19th Century, the coffee produced in Adjuntas was exported to Europe, United States and even the Vatican.
The discovery of rich deposits of copper, gold and other minerals during the 1960s motivated some local community and environmental leaders to oppose the mining. Casa Pueblo, a local community organization settled in Adjuntas, opposed to the mining and advocates for the preservation of natural resources in Puerto Rico.
Historian Pedro Tomás de Córdova described the terrain as "high, and mountainous, and very healthy". He also praised the quality of the terrain for agriculture. Adjuntas' highest peak is Monte Guilarte (3,773 ft; 1,150 m), followed by Vaquiñas (3,346 ft; 1,020 m). Guilarte itself is the sixth highest peak in Puerto Rico, and is located in Guilarte State Forest. Córdova also mentioned the water features, describing 26 rivers and 16 creeks that ran through the region.
Adjuntas features a tropical rainforest climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate. While the town technically features a tropical rainforest climate, due to its high elevation, the climate is noticeably cooler than the norm for this climate category. Summers are warm (83°-85 °F) in the daytime and mild at nighttime (60°-63 °F). Meanwhile, winters are moderately warm with cool temperatures at night. During daytime high temperatures are around 79 °F (26 °C) in the town, and 68 °F (20 °C) in the nearby mountains. Winter night temperatures are between in the 55 °F (13 °C) and 60 °F (16 °C) range, but after cold fronts temperatures can drop down to 45 °F (7 °C).
Historian Lidio Cruz Monclova noted that some doctors requested patients to travel to Adjuntas to stay in a hotel called "La Adjunteña". The hotel was the property of C.L. Ginestre, and served both tourists and the sick. Cruz noted that doctors believed the colder temperatures of the town were beneficial to health.
Castillo de los Niños
According to mayor Jaime Barlucea, Adjuntas receives approximately 700 tourists per weekend. Most of them want to visit the haciendas established there during past centuries. Some of them are: Hacienda Bareal, Hacienda El Muerto, Hacienda Arbela, and Hacienda Pietri. Other landmarks are Monte Guilarte, and the Inabón waterfall.
Another known tourist stop in Adjuntas is Casa Pueblo, a local museum and cultural institution founded by a group of activists that fought against the copper mine exploitation of the area for decades. Casa Pueblo is responsible for many environmental projects, namely the preservation of hundreds of acres of woods and bodies of water.
However, some residents and businesspeople from Adjuntas maintain that the government has not taken advantage of the many tourist attractions in town, which include three forests, waterfalls, lakes, and many renowned restaurants. One of the projects that has received media coverage is the Castillo de los Niños, built during the mayoralty of Barlucea. Castillo de los Niños is a recreational park resembling a castle, with gazebos.
Since its foundation in the 19th Century, the production of coffee, sugarcane, small fruits, and cattle have formed the foundation of the agriculture of Adjuntas. During the middle of the 20th Century, however, the production of sugar declined with the arrival of manufacturing industries.
Adjuntas is still considered one of the main producers of coffee in the island, producing 32% of the coffee consumed in the island. Other products produced in Adjuntas are tropical crops such as bananas, citron and peaches.
During the middle of the 20th Century, some manufacturing industries established themselves in town as part of Operation Bootstrap. However, as of 2012, most of them have already closed. One of the last manufacturing companies in town, a military uniforms company, closed in March 2012.
Adjuntas currently has a population of 19,483. This represents a growth of 340, from 19,143 in 2000. Throughout the years, it hasn't shown significant changes, with the highest being 22,556 (1940) and the lowest in the last century being 18,075 (1930).
80% of the Per capita income of Adjuntas is a product of agriculture. In 2010, unemployment hit 20.2%. According to mayor, Jaime Barlucea, it decreased to 18.7 in 2011. However, according to the Department of Employment of Puerto Rico, it increased to 21.3.
The right side of the coat of arms is divided in three fields. The upper and lower field have green crosses in white fields. The crosses, known as the "Illesca cross" is also present in the symbols of Coamo, because of the relationship between both towns. Two bells lie in the middle field, also a representation of the name of "Adjuntas".
Two coffee branches surround the coat of arms, representing Adjuntas location and its importance in the coffee industry of the island. The castle at the top represents the title of village given to Adjuntas by Spain in 1894.
The flag of Adjuntas has similar symbolisms. A white diagonal stripe divides the flag in two triangles. The upper one is purple, while the lower one is green. In the middle of each triangle lies a white "Illesca cross". The white color symbolizes purity, while purple represents Saint Joachim's cloth and green the nature of the town.
Adjuntas has several nicknames. One is "La ciudad del gigante dormido" ("The city of the sleeping giant"). This is a reference to one of the mountains of the city, which is compared to a "sleeping giant". Another nickname is "La Suiza de Puerto Rico" ("The Switzerland of Puerto Rico") which is a reference to Adjuntas' relatively low temperatures. Adjuntas has an average yearly weather of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, Adjuntas is also called "La tierra de los lagos" ("Land of lakes") because of its many waterholes.
In 1874, General José Laureano Sanz, Governor of Puerto Rico, sponsored a road from Ponce to Arecibo, going across Adjuntas and Utuado. In 1885, it is believed that the road was under construction.
Nowadays, the main road to Adjuntas is PR-10, that connects the cities of Ponce in the south and Arecibo in the north, going across Adjuntas in the center. Before the PR-10 was built, roads like the PR-123, and other small roads were used to reach town.
There is also a small airport in Adjuntas that caters to private airplanes.
According to sources, there has not been a murder in Adjuntas since 2009. However, burglary and theft have increased. Some residents attribute the rise in crime to unemployment and the lack of activities for the youth.
Aristides A. Moll Boscana - Poet, writer, translator and politician. He was the first Puerto Rican to write a complete modernista poetry book: Mi misa rosa (1905). In United States he worked as a technical writer for the federal government, as a translator of the first Spanish-language edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and as Secretary of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in Washington, DC, where he edited the Latin American edition of its bulletin. He participated of many Latin American public health conferences, the first World Health Organization conference in Paris, France, and represented El Salvador during the WHO constitutional conference in New York. He wrote many public health related essays and prepared two bilingual (Spanish - English) medical dictionaries and a Spanish medical manual for physicians. He published Aesculapius in Latin America, a history of medicine in the Americas.
First Lieutenant César Luis González - The first Puerto Rican pilot in the United States Army Air Forces and the first Puerto Rican pilot to die in World War II. His name is listed on the "Roll of Honor" of the 314th Troop Carrier Group World War II and Adjuntas has honored his memory by naming a street "Calle Cesar González" after him.