Turrialba history

Turrialba Costa Rica is native by history

The origin of this canton’s name, Turrialba, comes from an indigenous word, with Turiri meaning fire and Aba meeting River, the name Turiraba was transformed by the Spanish colonizers into Turrialba. In the pre-Columbian era the territory that today corresponds to the town of Turrialba was inhabited by native people from the reign called Oriental Huetar, who responded to the “Cacique Guarco”.

The actual Guayabo National Monument is a true testimony of the native presence in the region and it constitutes one of the largest places with archaeological structures in the country, were valuable pieces have been found, like those that are made out of stone, metal objects and ceramic. The discoveries that have been done in the area about different constructions built, confirmed the existence many years ago of a human presence in the region.

Juan Vazquez de Coronado, in 1964 went through the valley of Turrialba within returning from the trip to Quepo, walked through the mountain range of Talamanca on his way to Cartago and there he found the native Costa Rican indigenous people who were living there.

Since this discovery during the times of the colony, communication between Cartago and the ports in the Caribbean became easier but it also brought destruction to the town of Turrialba when Pirates 1666 destroyed houses and killed people, this resulted in only 10 families left in this town according to a census conducted 1697.

After the independence Costa Rica new laws were promulgated to boost the agriculture in the country, this is our November 4, 1828 this region was benefited from this law, as new lands were given to people so they could exploit them agriculture and make living for themselves. Also in 1842 the valley of Turrialba was destined to be a place of confinement for people that were accused of minor crimes, ironically because of the beauty of this region the punishment was that they were prohibited to leave.

After much that happened in this town, when it showed some progress the first school was established in the region and between the years 1885 and 1889 a couple of private schools were founded too. In 1902 the first public school was created in the area. In Turrialba there has been a church since 1575 and it was rebuilt and 1638, but it was destroyed by the same Pirates in 1666. It wasn’t until 1843 that a new church was built to cater to the religious beliefs of the people of Turrialba.