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The Founders of Orocovis


There were more than sixty residents on this zone who participated in the founding of the town of Barros (today Orocovis), either playing a key role or those who at least made some contribution to the project. Only the names of 22 of them are known:

1. Juan Rivera de Santiago* - Donated the 15 acres that today make up the downtown area and the La Guaira Hill. He was the Captain Settler (founder) and first Teniente a Guerra (War Lieutenant). Three of his sons (2, 5 and 15) also participated in the founding of the town as well as one of his sons-in-law (14).

2. Eulalia Rivera Meléndez - The only female to participate in the founding of the town and owner of the lands where an attempt was initially made to establish the town on the border of the Barros and Orocovis neighborhoods. From her farm she sold 14 acres and donated an additional one for this purpose. She was also known as Doña Olaya.

3. Francisco de Sales Díaz* - Second Teniente a Guerra (War Lieutenant).

4. Juan Prudencio Alvarado - Leader of the Orocovis neighborhood of Barranquitas in 1823.

5. Cayetano Rivera Meléndez - Member of the Urban Guard and Corporation Counsel.


6. Lorenzo Meléndez - Six of his sons participated in the foundation process (7-12).

7. Ramón Meléndez*

8. Juan Lorenzo Meléndez*

9. Esteban Meléndez

10. Blas Meléndez

11. José Meléndez

12. Fernando Meléndez

13. Ciprián Colón

14. Luis Rodríguez Burgos

15. Juan de Rivera Meléndez

16. Vicente Vega

17. Máximo Martínez

18. Francisco Ortiz

19. Juan de Dios Tirado

20. Antonio Quiles

21. Gregorio Ortega   

22. Domingo Ayala


[*] = "The largest contributors at that time were Don Francisco de Sales Díaz, Don Juan de Rivera y Santiago, Don Ramón Meléndez [...] and Don Juan Lorenzo Meléndez. These gentlemen composed what might be called the wealthy element..."

- Pedro Arroyo Vivas, Crónicas de Barros (1945), pgs 35-36

Teniente a Guerra (roughly translated as War Lieutenant) was a position that combined the duties of mayor, military lieutenant and judge.



- Crónicas de Barros (Pedro Arroyo Vivas, 1945) pgs. 28, 29 y 31
- Genealogy investigati
ons  by Reniett Ramírez

Teniente a Guerra

Site created by Reniet Ramírez (2023)

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