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History of the Municipality of Choloma

The city of Choloma, initially called THOLOMAC, which in the indigenous language means “Hill at the Foot of the Valley“, was a village that dates back to the pre-Columbian era. This settlement was located near a chieftaincy of the Xicaque tribe, descendants of the Maya-Ulúa branch, who at that time sustained themselves through activities such as agriculture and trade in the Sula Valley.

During the Spanish conquest of Honduras, this territory became the scene of conflicts between colonizers and the indigenous tribes. The most significant conflict occurred when the Spanish captain Pedro de Alvarado, after pacifying the Indians of Quimistán, headed to the Sula Valley with the same purpose. There, he encountered the cacique Cicumba, chief of the THOLOMAC CHAPARRO and TICAMAYA tribes. Alvarado stormed Cicumba’s fortification, captured him, and later executed him, renaming the area as Coloma.

Historical records indicate that in 1525, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés mentioned “Choloma” as an indigenous town in his fifth letter to the King of Spain. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a conquistador who accompanied Cortés, also mentioned this name in his letters. However, after the conquest during the colonial era, this name disappeared. After the events, all the villages in the chieftaincy declined significantly. Tholomac persisted as an indigenous village of little importance until the late 17th century when it was reorganized by Franciscan priests, who baptized it with the name Santa María de Candelaria in 1676.

During this period, Santa María de Candelaria, or Candelaria, was a crucial location for the Spanish government as it served as a link between Comayagua and the Port of Omoa. In 1739, Candelaria, Getegua, Ticamaya, and other settlements in the Sula Valley were destroyed by the Sambos who entered the territory through the Caribbean Sea and navigated the Ulúa and Chamelecón rivers with the support of the English, in rebellion against Spanish rule.

As a result of this event, the inhabitants of the village of Candelaria relocated to a nearby place that is now known as El Chaparro neighborhood. They named it Choloma. After 1739, the Villa San Pedro de Puerto Caballos, known today as the city of San Pedro Sula, functioned as a transit point between the central part of the province and the northern coast. Due to rapid growth and development, San Pedro Sula absorbed neighboring indigenous villages, including Choloma, which became part of this departmental district.

With the formation of the State of Honduras after independence in 1821, San Pedro Sula and the Village of Choloma became part of the department of Santa Bárbara, which constituted the first territorial division of Honduras. The department of Cortés was later separated from the department of Santa Bárbara and established on July 4, 1893. In the administration of Dr. Policarpo Bonilla on May 13, 1894, the municipality of El Paraíso was created within the department. José María Cobos became its first mayor, with Marco Ramos as the first councilman and Juan Romero as the syndic.

In 1892, two years before the official creation of the municipality, the inhabitants of the municipal seat of Choloma established periodic limitations of the Choloma River (1891, 1906, 1909, 1996, 1998). As a result, the residents declared the river their “fatal enemy.” Additionally, their location was on private land called Título Sábanas Del Carmen, owned by Mr. Juan Federico Debrot, who imposed high land taxes on the residents who used it for agriculture.

These historical precedents led to an important request to the government at that time through the Municipality of San Pedro Sula. They requested the creation of ejidos (common lands) in the place called Pueblo Nuevo, which was then national land, to relocate the city to flat lands free from flooding. However, this dream and desire were never realized and faded over time. The first mayor, José María Cobos, was the one who requested the national land under the name of Título de Chávez, but he obtained it under his own name on August 26, 1899.

In 1905, the population was decimated by yellow fever, and all the victims were buried in a place now called Trincheras. An architectural work called El Obelisco was erected there, representing the site of the battle in the civil war between Vicente Tosta and Gregorio Ferrera in 1919. Today, the obelisk is semi-destroyed, and a new obelisk was built in the central park to honor the aforementioned cause.

According to historical records, 408 years later, the name of the municipality, Choloma, was formally accepted during a municipal corporation session and by the general public. This is documented in Act No. 26 of September 15, 1933, and endorsed by Executive Agreement No. 447 on September 26, 1933, by President Tiburcio Carias Andino.

Another significant historical event was when the municipal seat of Choloma was granted city status by Decree 108 on November 12, 1941. This status was reaffirmed in 1954 by the National Congress during the presidency of Dr. Juan Manuel Gálvez.

Since then, the city had achieved a significant level of economic development, becoming the third most important city in the Department of Cortés.

It was in the 1990s that this city presented a new face to Honduras and the world. It became, for many, the capital of the Honduran maquila industry due to the significant boost it provided to national production and employment opportunities for the population. The number of these companies in Choloma represents a significant percentage, averaging about one-third of the national textile production.