Hacienda Liberación, our family forest retreat, was a former coffee plantation in rural Barrio Anones, Las Marias in the Urayoán Mountains of western
Puerto Rico. With the end of the coffee plantation, nature took back the property and restored the beautiful forest decades ago. Since then, the forest has grown and is home to various species of birds, lizards, and other amazing wildlife. The main campsite area on the hill summit is called Cerro Urayoan, after the Taino chieftain (Cacique) Urayoan. In the early 1500s, it was Cacique Urayoan that ordered a group of Taino guides to drown a Spanish Conquistador in the Guaorabo River (today's Rio Grande de Añasco) to test the mortality of the Spanish whom they believed to be gods. After drowning and holding the Spaniard under water for three days, the Tainos proved that the Spanish were not gods, but humans. With news of Spanish mortality, Cacique Urayoan notified Cacique Agueybaná II and thus began the Taino war of resistance known as the Guazábara of 1511. Hacienda Liberación and Cerro Urayoan is located in the territory (yukayeke) once ruled by Cacique Urayoan and its name pays homage to this great Taino leader.