Puerto Cortés known as Puerto de Caballos, is a city on the north Caribbean coast of Honduras, right on the Laguna de Alvarado, north of San Pedro Sula and east of Omoa, with a natural bay. The present city was founded in the early colonial period, it grew in the twentieth century, thanks to the railroad, banana production. In terms of volume of traffic the seaport is the largest in Central America and the 36th largest in the world; as of 2014, Puerto Cortés has a population of some 200,000. Gil González Dávila founded the city in 1524 and called Villa de la Natividad de Nuestra Señora, now known as Cieneguita. In 1526 Hernán Cortés came to punish González Dávila and when he arrived on Honduras' coast from Mexico and started unloading horses and cargo from the ships, several horses were drowned, for that reason Cortés called it Puerto Caballos. By 1533, a local native leader, called Çiçumba had destroyed the town taking a woman from Sevilla, Spain captive. After Çiçumba's defeat in 1536 by Pedro de Alvarado, a new town, Puerto de Caballos was founded on the southern shore of the body of water known as the Laguna de Alvarado.
The English attacked Puerto Caballos. Christopher Newport occupied the town in the Battle of Puerto Caballos, part of the Anglo–Spanish War; because it was vulnerable to pirates until the building of the Spanish fort at Omoa in the 18th century, it had few permanent residents in the 16th and 17th centuries. People preferred to come out to the coast from San Pedro. In 1869 Puerto Caballos changed its name to Puerto Cortés in honour of Hernán Cortés; the proposal to construct an "inter-oceanic railway" in 1850, a product of the demand for transport from the Atlantic to the Pacific caused by the United States Gold Rush of 1849, began with the anchoring of the railroad at Puerto Cortés. The rail line construction had many problems. In 1876 President Marco Aurelio Soto nationalised the Trans-Oceanic Railroad, which only reached to San Pedro Sula; when the Panama Canal was completed in 1903, the alternative plan to connect the coasts was abandoned. The region became an early centre for banana production in Honduras through cultivation and export, the port was a leader in the export of bananas.
The early banana export industry came to be dominated by foreigners. His concession was in both banks of the Cuyamel River. However, in 1910 Samuel Zemurray's Cuyamel Fruit Company purchased these 5,000 acres, but soon branched out, both with more land and with political and tax concessions after Zemurray installed Manuel Bonilla in office as president using mercenaries hired in the area and abroad. In addition to awarding Cuyamel additional land, Bonilla waived the company's tax obligations. Cuyamel had built port facilities at Omoa, but began using the facilities at Puerto Cortés and soon came to dominate them to the point that local shippers had to ask Cuyamel's permission to use the port. In 1918, Cuyamel constructed a railroad spur into Puerto Cortés, in 1920 he obtained effective control over the National Railroad, from this and a network of clandestine railroads the company controlled all transport to the port; when Zemurray sold Cuyamel Fruit to United Fruit in 1929, the giant company had great influence in Puerto Cortés and in Honduras as a whole.
In August, Puerto Cortés celebrates its patronal festivities during two weeks. The last day is known as Noche Veneciana. 15 August is a local holiday in honour of Virgen de la Asunción. In September 2001, the Bridge Laguna de Alvarado was rebuilt and inaugurated after the old bridge, a 50 years old structure, was badly damaged in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch. A concrete wall that surrounds and protects a portion of the coastline in the bay area, was built close to the north end of Bridge La Laguna, this wall is known as El Malecón, the Spanish word for'jetty' or'pier'; the first four-lane highway in Honduras was inaugurated in 1996, connecting Puerto Cortés and the city of San Pedro Sula. In 1966, the Empresa Nacional Portuaria was created. A free trade zone was created in 1976. Among all worldwide seaports that export containers with goods with destination to USA, Puerto Cortés is the 36th in terms of volume; because of its proximity to US seaports in the Gulf of Mexico and on the East Coast and its seaport infrastructure, Puerto Cortés was included in the US Container Security Initiative, the first such port in Central America.
In December 2005, the US government signed an agreement with Honduras's government and opened a US Customs Office in Puerto Cortés. Under this agreement, all containers exported from Puerto Cortés that are destined for any US seaport are checked by US Customs officials in Honduras. In March 2007, under the Megaport initiative, three RPMs were installed in Puerto Cortés by US DOE to inspect all containers with destination to USA, checking for possible dangerous radioactive threats. On 2 April 2007 the RPMs became operative. Puerto Cortés is home of a football team known as Platense, which in 1966 won its first Honduran National Football Champion. In 2001 the team won its second national championship, they play their home games at the Estadio Excélsior. Atlético Portuario was another football club based in the city. Ibis Fernandez – Author, Actor and Filmmaker. Edgar Alvarez – Foo
Honduras the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. In the past, it was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Honduras" to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became modern-day Belize; the republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, before the Spanish invaded in the sixteenth century; the Spanish introduced Roman Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has endured much social strife and political instability, remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. In 1960, the northern part of what was the Mosquito Coast was transferred from Nicaragua to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.
The nation's economy is agricultural, making it vulnerable to natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The lower class is agriculturally based while wealth is concentrated in the country's urban centers. Honduras has a Human Development Index of 0.625, classifying it as a nation with medium development. When the Index is adjusted for income inequality, its Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index is 0.443. Honduran society is predominantly Mestizo; the nation had a high political stability until its 2009 coup and again with the 2017 presidential election. Honduras has high levels of sexual violence. Honduras has a population exceeding 9 million, its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone, as reflected in the area's demographics and culture. Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, tropical fruit, sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market; the literal meaning of the term "Honduras" is "depths" in Spanish.
The name could either refer to the bay of Trujillo as an anchorage, fondura in the Leonese dialect of Spanish, or to Columbus's alleged quote that "Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas Honduras". It was not until the end of the 16th century. Prior to 1580, Honduras referred to only the eastern part of the province, Higueras referred to the western part. Another early name is Guaymuras, revived as the name for the political dialogue in 2009 that took place in Honduras as opposed to Costa Rica. Hondurans are referred to as Catracho or Catracha in Spanish; the word was coined by Nicaraguans and derives from the last name of the Spanish Honduran General Florencio Xatruch, who in 1857 led Honduran armed forces against an attempted invasion by North American adventurer William Walker. The nickname is considered not derogatory. In pre-Columbian times, modern Honduras was part of the Mesoamerican cultural area. In the west, Mayan civilization flourished for hundreds of years; the dominant state within Honduras' borders was in Copán.
Copán fell with the other Lowland centres during the conflagrations of the Terminal Classic in the 9th century. The Maya of this civilization survive in western Honduras as the Ch'orti', isolated from their Choltian linguistic peers to the west. Remnants of other Pre-Columbian cultures are found throughout the country. Archaeologists have studied sites such as Naco and La Sierra in the Naco Valley, Los Naranjos on Lake Yojoa, Yarumela in the Comayagua Valley, La Ceiba and Salitron Viejo, Selin Farm and Cuyamel in the Aguan valley, Cerro Palenque, Curruste, Despoloncal in the lower Ulua river valley, many others. On his fourth and the final voyage to the New World in 1502, Christopher Columbus landed near the modern town of Trujillo, near Guaimoreto Lagoon, becoming the first European to visit the Bay Islands on the coast of Honduras. On 30 July 1502, Columbus sent his brother Bartholomew to explore the islands and Bartholomew encountered a Mayan trading vessel from Yucatán, carrying well-dressed Maya and a rich cargo.
Bartholomew's men stole the cargo they wanted and kidnapped the ship's elderly captain to serve as an interpreter in the first recorded encounter between the Spanish and the Maya. In March 1524, Gil González Dávila became the first Spaniard to enter Honduras as a conquistador. Followed by Hernán Cortés, who had brought forces down from Mexico. Much of the conquest took place in the following two decades, first by groups loyal to Cristóbal de Olid, by those loyal to Francisco de Montejo but most by those following Alvarado. In addition to Spanish resources, the conquerors relied on armed forces from Mexico—Tlaxcalans and Mexica armies of thousands who remained garrisoned in the region. Resistance to conquest was led in particular by Lempira. Many regions in the north of Honduras never fell to the Spanish, notably the Miskito Kingdom. After the Spanish conquest, Honduras became part of Spain's vast empire in the New World within the Kingdom of Guatemala. Trujillo and Gracias were the first city-capitals.
The Spanish ruled the region for three centuries. Honduras was organized as a province of the Kingdom of Guatemala and the capital was fixed, first at Trujillo on the Atlantic coast, at Comayagua, final
Spaniards, or the Spanish people, are a Romance ethnic group that are indigenous to Spain. They share a common Spanish culture, history and language. Within Spain, there are a number of nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history and diverse culture. Although the official language of Spain is known as "Spanish", it is only one of the national languages of Spain, is less ambiguously known as Castilian, a standard language based on the medieval romance speech of the Kingdom of Castile in north and central Spain; the Spanish people's heritage includes the pre-Celts and Celts. There are several spoken regional languages, most notably Basque and Galician. There are many populations outside Spain with ancestors who emigrated from Spain and who share a Hispanic culture; the Roman Republic conquered Iberia during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages, with the exception of Basque, stem from the Vulgar Latin; the Germanic Vandals and Suebi, with part of the Iranian Alans under King Respendial conquered the peninsula in 409 AD.
In turn, the Visigoths established themselves in Spain. The Iberian Peninsula was conquered and brought under the rule of the Arab Umayyads in 711 and by the Berber North African dynasties the Almohads and the Almoravids in the 11th and 12th centuries. Following the eight century Christian Reconquista against the Moors, the modern Spanish state was formed with the union of the Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, the conquest of the last Muslim Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and the Canary Islands in the late 15th century. In the early 16th century the Kingdom of Navarre was conquered; as Spain expanded its empire in the Americas, religious minorities in Spain such as Jews and Muslims were either converted or expelled and the Catholic church fiercely persecuted heresy during a period known as the Spanish Inquisition. A small number of Spaniards descend from converted Jewish and North Africans, as a result of the 800 years of Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. In parallel, a wave of emigration to the Americas began, with over 1.86 million Spaniards emigrating to the Spanish Americas during the colonial period and the population of the Spanish Empire had risen to 16.8 million by the end of the 18th century In the post-colonial period, a further 3.5 million Spanish left for the Americas Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Spain is home to one of the largest communities of Romani people. The Government's statistical agency CIS estimated in 2007 that the number of Gitanos present in Spain is around one million; the Spanish Roma, which belong to the Iberian Kale subgroup, are a formerly-nomadic community, which spread across Western Asia, North Africa, Europe, first reaching Spain in the 15th century. The population of Spain is becoming diverse due to recent immigration. From 2000 to 2010, Spain had among the highest per capita immigration rates in the world and the second highest absolute net migration in the World and immigrants now make up about 10% of the population; the prolonged economic crisis between 2008 and 2015 reduced both immigration rates and the total number of foreigners in the country, Spain becoming once more a net emigrant country. The earliest modern humans inhabiting Spain are believed to have been Neolithic peoples who may have arrived in the Iberian Peninsula as early as 35,000–40,000 years ago.
In more recent times the Iberians are believed to have arrived or developed in the region between the 4th millennium BC and the 3rd millennium BC settling along the Mediterranean coast. Celts settled in Spain during the Iron Age; some of those tribes in North-central Spain, which had cultural contact with the Iberians, are called Celtiberians. In addition, a group known as the Tartessians and Turdetanians inhabited southwestern Spain and who are believed to have developed a separate civilization of Phoenician influence; the seafaring Phoenicians and Carthaginians successively founded trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast over a period of several centuries. The Second Punic War between the Carthaginians and Romans was fought in what is now Spain and Portugal; the Roman Republic conquered Iberia during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC transformed most of the region into a series of Latin-speaking provinces. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages, with the exception of Basque, stem from the Vulgar Latin, spoken in Hispania, which evolved into the modern languages of the Iberian Peninsula, including Castilian, which became the main lingua franca of Spain, is now known in most countries as Spanish.
Hispania emerged as an important part of the Roman Empire and produced notable historical figures such as Trajan, Hadrian and Quintilian. The Germanic Vandals and Suebi, with part of the Iranian Alans under King Respendial, arrived in the peninsula in 409 AD. Part of the Vandals with the remaining Alans, now under Geiseric in personal union removed themselves to North Africa after a few conflicts with another Germanic tribe, the Visigoths, who established in Toulouse supported Roman campaigns against the Vandals and Alans in 415–19 AD and became the dominant power in Iberia for three centuries; the Visigoths were romanized in the eastern Empire and Christians, so their integration withi
Council of the Indies
The Council of the Indies. The crown held absolute power over the Indies and the Council of the Indies was the administrative and advisory body for those overseas realms, it was established in 1524 by Charles V to administer "the Indies," Spain's name for its territories. Such an administrative entity, on the conciliar model of the Council of Castile, was created following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521, which demonstrated the importance of the Americas. An itinerary council that followed Charles V, it was subsequently established as an autonomous body with legislative and judicial functions by Philip II of Spain and placed in Madrid in 1561; the Council of the Indies was abolished in 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes restored in 1814 by Ferdinand VII of Spain, definitively abolished in 1834 by the regency, acting on behalf of the four-year-old Isabella II of Spain. Queen Isabella had granted extensive authority to Christopher Columbus, but withdrew that authority, established direct royal control, putting matters of the Indies in the hands of her chaplain, Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca in 1493.
The Catholic Monarchs designated Rodríguez de Fonseca to study the problems related to the colonization process arising from what was seen as tyrannical behavior of Governor Christopher Columbus and his misgovernment of Natives and Iberian settlers. Rodríguez de Fonseca became minister for the Indies and laid the foundations for the creation of a colonial bureaucracy, he presided over a committee or council, which contained a number of members of the Council of Castile, formed a Junta de Indias of about eight counselors. Emperor Charles V was using the term "Council of the Indies" in 1519; the Council of the Indies was formally created on August 1, 1524. The king was informed weekly, sometimes daily, of decisions reached by the Council, which came to exercise supreme authority over the Indies at the local level and over the Casa de Contratación founded in 1503 at Seville as a customs storehouse for the Indies. Civil suits of sufficient importance could be appealed from an audiencia in the New World to the Council, functioning as a court of last resort.
There were two secretaries of the Council, one in charge of Peru, Chile and the Kingdom of New Granada. The name of the Council did not change with the addition of the indias orientales of the Philippines and other Pacific territories claimed by Spain to the original indias occidentales. Internecine fighting and political instability in Peru and the untiring efforts of Bartolomé de las Casas on behalf of the natives' rights resulted in Charles's overhaul of the structure of the Council in 1542 with issuing of the "New Laws," which put limits on the rights of Spanish holders of encomiendas, grants of indigenous labor. Under Charles II the Council undertook the project to formally codify the large volume of Council and Crown's decisions and legislation for the Indies in the 1680 publication, the Laws of the Indies and re-codified in 1791; the Council of the Indies was headed by an ecclesiastic, but the councilors were non-clerics trained in law. In years and royal favorites were in the ranks of councilors, as well as men who had experience in the high courts of the Indies.
A key example of such an experienced councilor was Juan de Solórzano Pereira, author of Política Indiana, who served in Peru prior to being named to the Council of the Indies and led the project on the Laws of the Indies. Other noteworthy Presidents of the Council were es:Francisco Tello de Sandoval. Although the Council had responsibility for all aspects of the Indies, under Philip II the financial aspects of the empire were shifted to the Council on Finance in 1556-57, a source of conflict between the two councils since Spanish America came to be the source of the empire's wealth; when the Holy Office of the Inquisition was established as an institution in Mexico and Lima in the 1570s, the Council of the Indies was removed from control. The head of the Supreme Council of the Inquisition, es:Juan de Ovando y Godoy became president of the Council of the Indies 1571-75, he was appalled by the ignorance of the Indies by those serving on the Council. He sought the creation of a general description of the territories, never completed, but the Relaciones geográficas were the result of that project.
The height of the Council's power was in the sixteenth century. Its power declined and the quality of the councillors decreased. In the final years of the Hapsburg dynasty, some appointments were sold or were accorded to people unqualified, such as a nine-year-old boy, whose father had rendered services to the crown. With the ascension of the Bourbon dynasty at the start of the eighteenth century, a series of administrative changes, known as the Bourbon reforms, were introduced. In 1714 Philip V created a Secretariat of the Navy and the Indies with a single Minister of the Indies, which superseded the administrative functions of the Council, although the Council continued to function in a secondary role until the ninet
Gulf of Fonseca
The Gulf of Fonseca, part of the Pacific Ocean, is a gulf on Central America, bordering El Salvador and Nicaragua. Fonseca Bay was discovered for Europeans in 1522 by Gil González de Ávila, named by him after his patron, Archbishop Juan Fonseca, the implacable enemy of Columbus. In 1849, E. G. Squier negotiated a treaty for the United States to build a canal across Honduras from the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf. Frederick Chatfield, the British commander in Central America, was afraid the American presence in Honduras would destabilize the British Mosquito Coast, sent his fleet to occupy El Tigre Island at the entrance to the Gulf. Shortly thereafter however, Squier demanded the British leave, since he had anticipated the occupation and negotiated the island's temporary cession to the United States. Chatfield could only comply. All three countries—Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua—with coastline along the Gulf have been involved in a lengthy dispute over the rights to the Gulf and the islands located within.
In 1917, the Central American Court of Justice ruled in trial which became known as the Fonseca case. It arose out of a controversy between El Nicaragua; the latter had entered the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty which granted a portion of the bay to the United States for the establishment of a naval base. El Salvador argued; the court sided with El Salvador. In 1992, a chamber of the International Court of Justice decided the Land and Maritime Frontier Dispute, of which the Gulf dispute was a part; the ICJ determined that El Salvador and Nicaragua were to share control of the Gulf of Fonseca. El Salvador was awarded the islands of Meanguera and Meanguerita, while Honduras was awarded El Tigre Island; the Gulf of Fonseca covers an area of about 3,200 km2, with a coastline that extends for 261 km, of which 185 km are in Honduras, 40 km in Nicaragua, 29 km in El Salvador. The climate in the Gulf is typical of tropical and subtropical regions, with two distinct seasons, the rainy and the dry; the Gulf receives nearly 80% of its total yearly rainfall of 1,400–1,600 mm during the rainy season from May to November.
The dry season occurs between December and May and contributes to an annual evaporation rate of 2,800 mm. As a result of less water flowing into the Gulf, the currents tend to flow inward from the Pacific Ocean, levels of salinity in the estuaries increase, seasonal drought occurs. Temperatures in the Gulf average between 25 and 30 °C. Relative humidity varies between 86 % depending on location. In contrast, the interior of the country is semitropical and cooler with an average temperature of 26 °C; the vegetation of the wetland ecosystem is dominated by species of mangroves. Of the six species of mangrove identified in the Gulf, red mangrove is the most common occupying the areas permanently inundated by the tides. Black mangrove is the second-most pervasive species and is found around the rivers where sediments are deposited along the shoreline. White mangrove is the third-most dominant, followed by botoncillo; the dominance of different species over others correlates with the frequency of floods, water quality, levels of salinity.
The cycle of tides is 2.3 m on average per day in the Gulf. During low tides, the soils are inhabited by crabs and other species. During the high tide, the mangrove forests serve as a feeding ground and habitat for fish and other species, as the root structure of mangroves provides a refuge from larger predators. A number of volcanoes lie around the gulf. Footnotes to history UNESCO Land and Maritime Frontier Dispute, International Court of Justice case registry Application for Revision of the Judgment of 11 September 1992 in the Case concerning the Land and Maritime Frontier Dispute, International Court of Justice case registry
Santo Domingo Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population. In 2010, its population was counted as 965,040, rising to 2,908,607 when its surrounding metropolitan area was included; the city is coterminous with the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional, itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province. Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, was the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, castle and fortress in the New World; the city's Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo, from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic's dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself.
Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation. Santo Domingo is the cultural, political and industrial center of the Dominican Republic, with the country's most important industries being located within the city. Santo Domingo serves as the chief seaport of the country; the city's harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates the largest vessels, the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic. Temperatures are high year round, with cooler breezes in the winter time. Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the native Taíno people populated the island which they called Quisqueya and Ayiti, which Columbus named Hispaniola, including the territory of today's Republic of Haiti. At the time, the island's territory consisted of five chiefdoms: Marién, Maguá, Maguana and Higüey; these were ruled by caciques Guacanagarix, Caonabo, Bohechío, Cayacoa. Dating from 1493, when the Spanish settled on the island, from 5 August 1498, Santo Domingo became the oldest European city in the Americas.
Bartholomew Columbus founded the settlement and named it La Nueva Isabela, after an earlier settlement in the north named after the Queen of Spain Isabella I. In 1495 it was renamed "Santo Domingo", in honor of Saint Dominic. Santo Domingo came to be known as the "Gateway to the Caribbean" and the chief town in Hispaniola from on. Expeditions which led to Ponce de León's colonization of Puerto Rico, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar's colonization of Cuba, Hernando Cortes' conquest of Mexico, Vasco Núñez de Balboa's sighting of the Pacific Ocean were all launched from Santo Domingo. In June 1502, Santo Domingo was destroyed by a major hurricane, the new Governor Nicolás de Ovando had it rebuilt on a different site on the other side of the Ozama River; the original layout of the city and a large portion of its defensive wall can still be appreciated today throughout the Colonial Zone, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Diego Colon arrived in 1509, assuming the powers of admiral. In 1512, Ferdinand established a Real Audiencia with Juan Ortiz de Matienzo, Marcelo de Villalobos, Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon appointed as judges of appeal.
In 1514, Pedro Ibanez de Ibarra arrived with the Laws of Burgos. Rodrigo de Alburquerque was named repartidor de indios and soon named visitadores to enforce the laws. In 1586, Francis Drake of England held it for ransom. Drake's invasion signaled the decline of Spanish dominion over Hispaniola, accentuated in the early 17th century by policies that resulted in the depopulation of most of the island outside of the capital. An expedition sent by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 attacked the city of Santo Domingo, but the expedition failed with the loss of 3,000 men; the English troops took the less guarded colony of Jamaica, instead. In 1697, the Treaty of Ryswick included the acknowledgement by Spain of France's dominion over the Western third of the island, now Haiti. From 1795 to 1822 the city changed hands several times along with the colony it headed; the city was ceded to France in 1795 after years of struggles, it was captured by Haitian rebels in 1801, recovered by France in 1802, was once again reclaimed by Spain in 1809.
In 1821 Santo Domingo became the capital of an independent nation after the Criollo bourgeois within the country, led by José Núñez de Cáceres, overthrew the Spanish crown. The nation was unified with Haiti just two months later; the city and the colony lost much of their Spanish-born peninsular population as a result of these events which caused a great deal of instability and unrest. On 27 February 1844 Santo Domingo was again the capital of a free nation, when it gained its independence from Haiti, led by Dominican nationalist Juan Pablo Duarte; the city was a prize fought over by various political factions over the succeeding decades of instability. In addition, the country had to fight multiple battles with Haiti. In 1861 Spain returned to the country, having struck a bargain with Dominican dictator Pedro Santana whereby the latter was granted several honorific titles and privileges, in exchange for annexing the young nation back to Spanish rule; the Dominican Restoration War began in 1863 however, in 1865 the country was free again after Spain withdrew.
The war claimed more than 50,000
Nicaragua the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City; the multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak English. Inhabited by various indigenous cultures since ancient times, the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821; the Mosquito Coast followed a different historical path, with the English colonizing it in the 17th century and coming under the British rule, as well as some minor Spanish interludes in the 19th century. It became an autonomous territory of Nicaragua in 1860 and the northernmost part of it was transferred to Honduras in 1960.
Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship and fiscal crisis, leading to the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the Contra War of the 1980s. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in folklore, cuisine and literature the latter given the literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers, such as Rubén Darío. Known as the "land of lakes and volcanoes", Nicaragua is home to the second-largest rainforest of the Americas; the country has set a goal of 90% renewable energy by the year 2020. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an popular tourist destination. There are two prevailing theories on; the first is that the name was coined by Spanish colonists based on the name Nicarao, the chieftain or cacique of a powerful indigenous tribe encountered by the Spanish conquistador Gil González Dávila during his entry into southwestern Nicaragua in 1522. This theory holds that the name Nicaragua was formed from Nicarao and agua, to reference the fact that there are two large lakes and several other bodies of water within the country.
However, as of 2002, it was determined that the cacique's real name was Macuilmiquiztli, which meant "Five Deaths" in the Nahuatl language, rather than Nicarao. The second theory is that the country's name comes from any of the following Nahuatl words: nic-anahuac, which meant "Anahuac reached this far", or "the Nahuas came this far", or "those who come from Anahuac came this far". Paleo-Americans first inhabited what is now known as Nicaragua as far back as 12,000 BCE. In pre-Columbian times, Nicaragua's indigenous people were part of the Intermediate Area, between the Mesoamerican and Andean cultural regions, within the influence of the Isthmo-Colombian area. Nicaragua's central region and its Caribbean coast were inhabited by Macro-Chibchan language ethnic groups, they had coalesced in Central America and migrated to present-day northern Colombia and nearby areas. They lived a life based on hunting and gathering, as well as fishing, performing slash-and-burn agriculture. At the end of the 15th century, western Nicaragua was inhabited by several different indigenous peoples related by culture to the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztec and Maya, by language to the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.
The Chorotegas were Mangue language ethnic groups who had arrived in Nicaragua from what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas sometime around 800 CE. The Pipil-Nicarao people were a branch of Nahuas who spoke the Nahuat dialect, like the Chorotegas, they too had come from Chiapas to Nicaragua in 1200 CE. Prior to that, the Pipil-Nicaraos had been associated with the Toltec civilization. Both the Chorotegas and the Pipil-Nicaraos were from Mexico's Cholula valley, had migrated southward. Additionally, there were trade-related colonies in Nicaragua, set up by the Aztecs starting in the 14th century. In 1502, on his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus became the first European known to have reached what is now Nicaragua as he sailed southeast toward the Isthmus of Panama. Columbus explored the Mosquito Coast on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua but did not encounter any indigenous people. 20 years the Spaniards returned to Nicaragua, this time to its southwestern part. The first attempt to conquer Nicaragua was by the conquistador Gil González Dávila, who had arrived in Panama in January 1520.
In 1522, González Dávila ventured into the area that became known as the Rivas Department of Nicaragua. It was there that he encountered an indigenous Nahua tribe led by a chieftain named Macuilmiquiztli, whose name has sometimes been erroneously referred to as "Nicarao" or "Nicaragua". At the time, the tribe's capital city was called Quauhcapolca. González Dávila had brought along two indigenous interpreters, taught the Spanish language, thus he was able to have a discourse with Macuilmiquiztli. After exploring and gathering gold in the fertile western valleys, González Dávila and his men were attacked and driven off by the Chorotega, led by the chieftain Diriangen; the Spanish attempted to convert the tribes to Christianity. The first Spanish permanent settlements were founded in 1524; that year, the conquistador