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Geographic Description

Location and Topography

The Municipality of Lajas is located in the southwestern part of Puerto Rico. It borders the municipality of San German in the north, The Caribbean Sea in the south, Guánica and Sabana Grande in the east, and the municipality of Cabo Rojo in the west.  It is composed of 11 neighborhoods (barrios).  It's area cover approximately 60.1 square miles. It is among the first 16 municipalities of the major territorial expansion.

Lajas comprises the geographic regions known as Valle de Lajas (Lajas Valley) and las Lomas de Sudoeste (the Southwestern Hills).  Its territory extends in a vast plain between two lines of parallel hills: Las Lomos de Santa Marta (The Hills of Santa Marta) to the North, and Sierra Bermeja (Brownish-red Mountains) mountain range to the South. It is in the later where it reaches its highest point with an elevation of approximately 1.000 feet. Its average elevation is 40 feet above sea level.

There are two natural wonders in Lajas.  They are the Fluorescent Bay in La Parguera and Laguna Cartegena between the barrios (neighborhoods) of Llanos and Parlmarejo

The Land:

The plain that includes the territory of Lajas was the last region of the island to emerge from the oceans.  As a result of this submersion, low elevation and low slope, the drainage is deficient in some places and the ground has a high level of saltpeter. The Rainfall is 38 inches on average per year. The climate in the southeast is the driest in Puerto Rico allowing for the production of salt along the cost from Ponce to Boqueron.

The Valle de Lajas (Valley of Lajas) lacks rivers.  To the east of the valley is the Rió Loco de Yauco and to the north the Ganajibo; to whom the poetess Maria Cadilla de Martinez named Rió Pirata (the Pirate River) because it steals the eastern currents and send them to the south. Very fertile areas exist, and others have been rehabilitated for cultivation as a result of the Proyecto de Riego del Valle de Lajas (Lajas Valley Irrigation Project) established in the 1950s. This consists of a main canal that starts at a dam regulating the Rió Loco until the entrance to the Valle de Lajas, along the northern border of the valley, next to the base of the hills in Boquerón.  From several lateral branches the land south of the main canal are served.

The 1982 Census of Agriculture indicates the utilization of 31,291 cords of land. They are principally used for pastures, sugar cane, pineapples and small fruit. Approximately 20 percent of the total area is urbanized.

Created by Steven Fine, Datagems