Puerto Rico

Añasco, Puerto Rico: Where the Gods Came to Die

Did the town of Añasco host the first Puerto Rican revolution? It did, if you believe the legend of Diego Salcedo.

Did the town of Añasco host the first Puerto Rican revolution? It did, if you believe the legend of Diego Salcedo.

By the time Juan Ponce de León assumed office as governor of Borikén (Puerto Rico) in 1508, the native Taínos were “pacified,” forced to work as slaves under the Spanish encomienda system. According to legend, the Taínos viewed the Spaniards as “gods” and immortal beings. The conquistadors felt safe and in command. Little did they know that head Taíno cacique (chieftain) of Añasco, Urayóan, was onto them, suspicious of the Spanish-deity scam. In 1511, they received a visit from an alleged soldier and encomendero, Diego Salcedo, a young Spaniard with apparently no record of when was he born and to which parents… basically a historical nobody. To add insult to injury, Salcedo asked Urayoán if he could find him some indians to carry his baggage across the river. Urayóan secretly told the Taínos that when they reached the deepest part of the river, halt and drop him in the water, then hold him submerged until he drowns. After Salcedo’s death, the Taínos waited three days to confirm that Spaniards, in fact, were not gods. After Salcedo failed to resurrect, Agüeybaná II, the head cacique of Puerto Rico at the time, ordered the Taínos to revolt.  

This is why Añasco plays such an important role in the history of Puerto Rico. I think you should definitely take time to visit and enjoy the following attractions while you are there:

National Park Tres Hermanos

This is a vacation center managed by the National Parks of Puerto Rico Company.  It has 32 cabins, 120 villas, a swimming pool, basketball courts and areas for beach volleyball. There is a camping area which has a fee of $10 per night or $17 if you wish light and water, also it has facilities for campers that you can use from $25 to $40 per night. My understanding is that it is currently closed but soon to reopen in 2017. Their phone number is 787-826-1610.

Villa Pesquera

This is the fishing village or town, and where you can find the fresh clams the town is famous for. If you are into fishing, this is the place to be.

The Public Plaza and San Antonio Abad Parish

Here is where you will find the statue of Diego Salcedo being drowned by the Taínos, and it is also the resting place of Grito de Lares hero Mariana Bracetti Cuevas and her son José Adolfo Pesante, the murdered mayor whose name the Plaza now carries.

Don Maceta and Kaplash

If you go to Añasco, you can’t skip visiting Don Maceta Restaurant. They serve ridiculous amounts of food at a decent price, and also have a bungee jump and a zip line (recommended before eating). If you just one some amazing empanadillas, go to Kaplash who claims they have the best empanadillas on the island.

The Magic Shanty

Have you ever felt like running away from your chaotic life and just take a break? This rustic one-room cabin in the mountains is perfect for that. It is a great getaway, even for the residents of the island.

I hope this information is useful if you plan to visit Añasco. For a sneak-peek, I included the video below:

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