Trujillo Alto, PR

Alonso de Trujillo founded this municipality in 1801, giving it his family name. Trujillo Alto is actually part of the Northern Coastal Plain, as well as part of what is called by locals the “Área Metro,” which denotes the San Juan Metropolitan Area. Trujillo Alto’s reputation as a laid back town garnered it the nickname El Pueblo de los Arrecostaos. A quick survey of its contributions to the island’s history shows that the trujillenses were not just that. An “arrecostao” literally means a person who is lying down or against something/someone.

The popular, sardonically-named Maratón del Arrecostao was inaugurated in 1985 and celebrated yearly in September. Many famous Puerto Rican runners have participated in the 5-mile event. The marathon is held during the weekend of the Holy Cross Festival, in honor of the patron saint of the town. There’s also the Festival del Macabeo, in honor of a local fritter made from mashed green bananas and ground beef filling. The “macabeo” recipe was invented by the wife of a mayor who wanted to help revitalize the economy back in the early 20th century. Locals claim that this delicate finger food is special because it involves more complex preparation and different ingredients from other fritters.

The private residence of Puerto Rico’s first native governor-elect, Luis Muñoz Marín, is now one of the island’s more compelling museums. Muñoz Marín is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in recent history, a politician who advocated for and realized a Puerto Rican Constitution. He formalized the island’s political relationship to the United States, what is known as the Estado Libre Asociado. The Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín continues to preserve the legacy of this historic leader.

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