Guanacaste History: Part 2


Guanacaste was home to various tribes. The predominant tribe were the Chorotega that were part of the Mesoamerican tribes and were pushed towards the north western part of Costa Rica by other larger tribes such as the Mayans who were believed to have pushed tribes south due to territorial conflicts. By the time the Spanish Conquistadors had arrived the Chorotega were some of the most advanced tribes in the area with a steady society and economical sustainability. 

The Chorotega, as the Mayans did, pushed other tribes already located in the Costa Rican territory further south or assimilated them into their culture by means of religion, traditions and culture. The Corobici which lived on the eastern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula lived in peace along with the Chorotega, but during the Spanish Conquest while the Chorotega fought the Spaniards, the Corobici are rumored to have traveled over the Guanacaste volcanic mountain range to later give origin to what is known now as the Maleku tribe.

The Chorotega lived as an agricultural tribe with warriors that had wooden swords and jade knives. They thrived on corn, cotton, fish, beans and tubers. They were also avid potters. Their pottery still existing today and a commercial enterprise thanks to local tourism. 

Although some Chorotega remain, very little of their traditions were kept due to the decimation of the tribe due to being used as slaves to mine gold in Peru and Panama. Afterwards, settlers would bring in slaves from Africa to work the fields.