Lost Children of The Chorotegas

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Is one of the eight indigenous groups of Costa Rica, the Chorotegas, vanishing?

At first glance Matambú looks like any other Costa Rican small town with its town square, a soccer field, a school, a church and a pulpería. People walking around aren’t different from anyone else that you would see anywhere in the country. What makes this town worth paying attention to is that it is the Matambú Indigenous Reservation, one of the 22 Indian Reservations of Costa Rica.Matambú, with its 1710 hectare land, was created on June 26th, 1976, with the founding of the Matambú Development Association. It is the home to the Chorotegas, who are the indigenous group of the Guanacaste region.

Arrival of Spanish conquerors changed the balance of this ethnic group. According to one theory, the Spanish took most of the Chorotega men down to Peru to use them as workers, leaving very few women and children behind. The motivation behind this act also remains a question. This was when the assimilation started that lead to the loss of their language and culture

Whether it is the ignorance of new generations or strategic assimilation on different levels, loss or transformation of the Chorotega culture has been inevitable.