Today is Tegucigalpa’s Birthday!
Tegucigalpa is celebrating its birthday today! Yes, the city is only 438 years old! Although it might seem young for most European cities, it is old by American Standards! Tegucigalpa was founded by the Spaniards of September 29, 1578. The truth is that the above date refers to the official recognition of the community as a city. Before that, it was a small village inhabited by indigenous people who worked the mines. Happy Birthday Tegucigalpa!
The tongue twisting name comes from the Nahuatl language and means “silver hill”. During colonial times, Tegucigalpa became the most important mining center in Central America. Silver was the main product from its mines. During the colonial times, Tegucigalpa was not much more that a mining center. Together with Santa Lucia and San Juancito, it was the most profitable region within the province of Honduras for the Spanish Crown.
The city became the capital of Honduras under the administration of president Soto. He was one of the partners of the Rosario Mining Company who was working the mines in San Juancito. It was of his interest to be closer to the mine that he co owned. This happened on the 30th of October, 1880. Thus, Tegucigalpa has been the capital of Honduras for almost 136 years!
Celebrating its 438th Happy Birthday, Tegucigalpa is now a Modern City!
Today Tegucigalpa is no longer a mining center. Yet you can still see some of the colonial buildings from its past glory. Perfect examples are the Cathedral of Saint Michael Archangel and the Church of Mercy. The later is one block from Central Park, next the National Congress Building. Tegucigalpa has grown to be the second largest Central American City, after Guatemala. With a population of almost two million people, it is now a modern city. There are many international hotel chains present in Tegucigalpa.
The city has changed a lot from when I first visited it 23 years ago. It seems to be aging well, getting to have more and more personality. The old part of the city retains its colonial charm, while the newer part is modern and cosmopolitan. Indeed Happy Birthday Tegucigalpa! May you continue to grow older with wisdom and charm!