Welcome to Loíza
A Taíno village when the conquistadores arrived, the area was named after Loaíza, the female cacique (chief) who ruled over it. As the Taínos were decimated by hard labor, brutality and disease, slaves from West Africa were brought to replace them in the sugarcane fields. As time passed, emancipated slaves were relocated here to help defend against intruders and, eventually, the area became a haven for escaped slaves. By 1719, the village had grown large enough to be declared an official town. Today Loíza has one of the highest concentrations of Afro-Puerto Ricans on the island, descendants of the Africans brought to these shores long ago. The town is known for its cultural richness and African influences in its food, music, dance and art.