The Origins of Tortuguero PDF Print E-mail
There is little information that has been preserved about pre-Columbian life in the Tortuguero region, and the little information available raises more questions than answers about the first people who lived there.

The small number of archaeological finds in this area leads one to believe that there were not many villages and communities in the area.

Tortuguero Costa RicaThe few sites that have been found and studied are Chaparr�n, between the San Carlos and Saripiqu� rivers, Anita Grande, Severo Ledesma and La Caba�a, between the Jim�nez and Parismina rivers, but all these are far away from the coastal regions. It is possible to think that the local conflicts between family groups and villages motivated a move by the first people to the mountainous areas, where they could find refuge in the mountains.

The arrival of the Spaniards, the climate, the unknown density of the jungle and the difficulty in storing food are all possible reasons that prompted the move by the first peoples to higher elevations and the safety of the mountains. This move is the reason that there were no towns in the Tortuguero area when the first outsiders arrived and proclaimed to the Spanish Crown as the �empty Atlantic.

Hern�n S�nchez de Badajoz, with no more than a handful of soldiers, disembarked on the Sixaola river in 1539, and founded the first city whose function was to be the tip of the spear in the conquest of the Caribbean. Because the governments were more interested in the riches of Peru, the Tortuguero region became a haven for pirates and privateers

There were a couple diverse expeditions exploring the area, but even so by the end of the XVI century most of the region was still inhospitable and inaccessible. The excursions by the Spanish soldiers to obtain slaves from the local towns for manual labor was one of the few ways that anything at all was discovered about the interior regions.

The English had allied themselves with the zambos, mosquitos and mulatos cimarrones from the coast of Nicaragua, and besieged the coasts and plains of the Caribbean from the province of Costa Rica. This, in addition to the resistance to the advances of the Spanish soldiers, the lack of consolidated populations, and the little interest of the governors for the development of the region, marked a notable population decrease for the plains and the location of human settlement in the zone of refuge.

Tortuguero Costa RicaA group of black people, who arrived in 1621 due to a shipwreck, stayed on the coast and mixed with some indigenous settlers of the Nicaraguan coast, giving birth to a radically mixed group�the Zambos-Mosquitos. Some of their settlements were in the north-Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. It is worth it to add the testimony of a French traveler, the Count of Pergny, at the beginning of the XX century:

One says that this way (by Parismina) they passed the Mosquito Indians on the way to sack the populations of Matina. The reef, very dangerous, prevents the foundation of a port and the town does not have... but two hundred inhabitants... living on the fishing of turtles, harvesting coconuts, cutting wood... some gather rubber and others harvest cacao...

< Prev   Next >
Home arrow Art and Culture arrow Costa Rica History arrow The Origins of Tortuguero

Did you know?

Tempisque river is a nature�s lovers paradise. La Amistad bridge is the longest in Costa Rica.

La Amistad bridge Costa Rica

Costa Rica Pictures

Barva Volcano, Central Valley
We have 3 guests online

Costa Rica

Tourism Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Important to Know
Travel to Costa Rica
Ecotourism and Nature
Activities and Sports
Geographical Division
Protected Areas
Costa Rican Volcanoes
Costa Rican Beaches
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Information Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
General Information
Art and Culture
People and Society
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Business Center
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Business and Economy
Development- Services
Real Estate - Investment
Costa Rican Coffee

Search Directory

Advanced Search

We are in Costa Rica. For more information, comments or suggestions, please contact us here.
© 1996 - 2015 Costa Rica Tourism. ® All rights reserved.