Also located on the northern coast but east of San Juan is Lo’za, named in honor of Yuisa or Luisa, one of the women caciques on the island when the Spanish conquerors arrived. Luisa later married Pedro Mexia. In 1515, the village where she and her husband resided was attacked by Carib Indians and all were killed. The land and Indians under Luisa’s command were acquired by I–igo Lopez de Cervantes, the judge and governor of the island.
In the last decades of the sixteenth century, Lo’za became a sugar cane center. To provide hand labor, many black slaves were brought to work at the mills and plantations. There were repeated attacks from the Carib Indians, English, and French but the sugar plantations kept growing and so did the negro population. Lo’za was proclaimed a town officially in 1692, among the first on the island. Descendants of the slaves still live in Lo’za and the town is famous for its blend of African and Christian heritage and traditions. The town is of humble origins and its church, plaza, and alcald’a are simple, unadorned pieces of architectural design.