La Lealtad Estate, also known as La Paragua, is an old coffee estate located in La Torre area of the municipality of Lares. During the Spanish colonial era, this estate was one of the principal coffee producers in the region. Today, many of the original structures remain standing.
The architecture of La Lealtad Estate is typical of the 19th century. The home of the owner, known as the big house, was built of local wood with a brick foundation. The two-gable roof was covered in sheets of zinc. On the lower floor was the store, the warehouse space and the garage for the coach. The machinery was located in another two-story building with a balcony. Facing this was a brick well, parts of which remain today.
The coffee drying platform, located in front of the main structures, was made of masonry and measures 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. In this area are wood wheels that were used to husk the coffee, along with an old manual machine for removing the pulp. Under the drying platform are vaults that measure 10 feet deep, 5 feet wide and 6 feet tall, where the coffee was stored. In front of the big house, as a form of decoration, was the hydraulic water wheel that produced the energy to drive the estate’s machinery.
In 1868, the slaves and laborers who worked at La Lealtad participated in the Grito de Lares, a revolution that began in the town with the goal of achieving independence for the island. Today, the structures are in the process of restoration.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Informative brochure, Residencia de la Hacienda Lealtad, Municipality of Lares.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: January 07, 2010.
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