Villa Alegría – The History of the Site


In the beautiful hills of Cayey, Puerto Rico – 45 minutes south of the San Juan metropolitan area and almost the same distance from Ponce – is a sector called Jájome. Nestled by the side of the road in Jájome Alto is the former summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Alegría.*

A reminder of their time in residence is a whimsical mural painted by Mrs. Carmen Pons de Alegría (generally known as Mela), lining the walls leading to the downstairs of the house. It is evident from the remnants of the gardens they once tended and the exotic plants regaling the rear of the house and the many little touches of comfort within the house, that this was a well-loved home, enjoyed by dear ones over the course of the more than 80 years the house has stood on kilometer 14.7, Route 15.

The house, whose particular style is called a Quinta (pronounced: kin-tah), is set in the front of a seven acre property near the sloping country road, bordered by thick forestry and tropical flowers. It is now the home of Sensei Francisco Paco Genko-ji Lugoviña and Dharma Holder Noemí Koji Santana who soon will open it to peacemakers, wounded healers, and anyone making the journey from any corner of the world for whatever points you in this direction.

We bought the property before we even knew how anything else would happen and it took ten years before we were able to turn our attention to putting a foundation under the dream. Actually, the physical foundation of the main house, which is close to 100 years old, is very solid.

It has withstood tropical downpours, hurricanes, dry spells, and the comings and goings of families, students, dignitaries and even a short-lived residency of bat families.

  • Edited - Front Door
  • be72d8_2bba350900b84a61b09cc29625572b47
  • Small Mural
  • Villa Alegria Tiles
  • Small-bananas ready in a few days