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Puerto Rico: Our Knight of Grace Jose Rodriguez elected Mayor of Lares (January 2020)


It is with great satisfaction and pride that the Priory of Puerto Rico of the Order of St. Lazarus announces that its Knight of Grace, the Chevalier Jose Rodriguez Ruiz, has been elected as Mayor of Lares with his slogan 'El Momento es Ahora'.

Lares is a city and a mountain municipality of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico's central-western area located north of Maricao and Yauco; south of Camuy, east of San Sebastián and Las Marias; and west of Hatillo, Utuado and Adjuntas. Lares is spread over 10 wards and Lares Pueblo (Downtown Lares). It is part of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastian Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The city is adorned with Spanish-era style churches and small downtown area stores, and is about 1.5 hours from San Juan by car. A significant event that occurred in Lares was the 1868 uprising brought on by pro-independence rebels who wanted Puerto Rico to gain its freedom from Spain. The movement, known thereafter as El Grito de Lares (literally, The Cry of Lares, or Lares Revolt), was soon extinguished. The flag of Lares (the first Puerto Rican flag) is now considered by many Puerto Ricans to be the symbol of their independence movement. Initially developed to represent the island's struggle to gain its emancipation from Spain, the flag is now used by those struggling to liberate the island from the United States. The flag was displayed during the week of September 17 to 23 of 2018, at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art located within the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of El Grito de Lares.

We wish our Confrere all the best for his work on behalf of his community.

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