La Balear

This Hacienda La Balear is not to be confused with Hacienda Balear in the Municipality Maricao established ca. 1870 by Ramón Frontera Pons who also owned Hacienda Santiaga and Hacienda Unión in Maricao and Hacienda Llanada in Lares.  Hacienda Balear in Maricao last known owner in the early 1960s, before it was broken up in smal farms and distributed under one of the Government social programs, was Fernando Muñoz McCormick.  In 1978 only scant ruins remained of its buildings. 

The origins of Hacienda La Balear, named after the Balearic Islands, the birthplace of its first owners, dates back to 1870, the firm Castañer Hnos. and Hacienda Los Rabanos later known as Hacienda Castañer .  Ca.1880 Castañer Hnos. acquired a hacienda from Gregorio Cardona which by 1898 consisting of 282 cuerdas was renamed La Balear.  Through the years, additional land was added to La Balear growing it to 950 cuerdas.  It remained in the ownership of Castañer Hnos. until 1898 when Juan Castañer Anglada retired and moved to Spain and the firm Sucrs. de Castañer Hnos. S en C was created.  In 1938 upon the final dissolution of Sucrs. de Castañer Hnos. S en C, La Balear passed on to Juan Castañer Anglada's daughter Maria Castañer Vallés (1886- ) and her husband Antonio Ozonas Frontera (1870- ).  Today it is owned by Antonio Ozonas Marqués (1932- ) the son of Bartolomé Ozonas Castañer (1907-1997) and Francisca Marqués.

When Juan Castañer Anglada decided to return back to Spain and retire, all his properties and businesses passed on the Scres. de Castañer Hnos. S en C which was run by his natural son Ramón Castañer Velez, Pedro Pons and Miguel Alemañy Casasnovas who Ramón brought in as partners in the firm to help in running its diverse businesses.  After Scres. de Castañer Hnos. S en C closed operations in 1928  in part as the result of the damage casued by Hurrican San Felipe, it was legally dissolved in 1938 when all the assets and liabilities of the firm were distributed among its members.  As a result of the distribution, Bartolomé Ozonas Castañer retained ownership of La Balear.

In 1957 the Government of Puerto Rico expropriated some 200 cuerdas from Hacienda La Balear for the creation of Lake Guayo which splits the hacienda in two.  Hacienda La Balear is located on the  Southeastern shores of Lake Guayo near the township of Castañer and today is a thriving business dedicated to the production of coffee, plantains and oranges for export.

In a 1977 HAER Report prepared by Archeologist Luis Pumarada O'Neill, he states that there was no old coffee machinery left at the time but that its structures were large enough to reflect its past.