What Do Experts Say About the Center Of the American Continent, Does It Have a Costa Rican Signature?

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    Definitely, each area belonging to the different countries of the world contains a treasure of history that many of the locality are unaware of, that they could learn and give it value.

    For example, the geographer, Social Studies teacher and UNED researcher, Carlos A. Solano, for several years now has been working to find out more about Ochomogo in Costa Rica, in addition to finding the plaque that was located in the town and that in his opinion, would show that the center of America is there.

    Solano, focuses his hypothesis on a fact that there are those who are in charge of knowing more than what can be seen with the naked eye in different areas of a country, that is important, because they can always find a historical wealth that can change its meaning in other nations, in addition to obtaining authentic academic satisfaction.

    He observed several years ago precisely in front of the Recope campus, in Alto de Ochomogo, in Cartago in what is now Recope there was a metal plate attached to a wall, it said “Continental Water Division”, it is no longer there and that is what the Costa Rican geographer wants to know about.

    Carlos Solano is convinced that if he finds the plate, the mystery would be cleared up, which is why he has gone to the National Geographic Institute, and has talked with retired workers from Recope and even from Incofer.

    It is worth noting that the researcher was one of the first inhabitants of Ochomogo, after what was the tragedy of the well-known Taras River on December 9th and 10th, 1963.

    The Taras River Landslide

    After heavy rains, wide flood waters were formed from the top of the Irazú volcano, so that the Reventado river took on a dimension of more than 500 meters wide, through which rocks of several tons and thick mudslides descended, taking 400 houses, factories, schools, cemeteries, corrals and, of course, roads that were devastated. 15 were the dead left by the tragedy, also many missing and 50 injured. Many of the survivors moved to Alto de Ochomogo, from there you have a good view of various land points in Cartago such as Taras.

    Does the Center of America have a Costa Rican signature?

    In the teaching of history and geography, it is essential to investigate toponymy (study of the origin and meaning of the proper names of places), of towns, roads and places at a local and national level.

    In fact, in several places in Central America there are towns or geographical features that bear this name: Río Ochomogo, located between the Departments of Granada and Rivas, this river flows into Lake Nicaragua, in Nicaragua. In Honduras and Guatemala there are towns with the same name.

    Have you ever read that the exact center of the American continent is in Costa Rica? As we have previously mentioned and as Solano has well investigated, the “Continental Water Division” of the American continent is located in the heart of Ochomogo, something like the geographic center of the American continent, other studies record that it deals with the division of drainage between the slopes of the Atlantic (Cartago) and the Pacific (San José).

    Very interesting isn’t it?

    If we talk about Ochomogo, it has a lot to offer in terms of history and from its heights you can appreciate an incredible view. Ochomogo, is a town named San Nicolás, in the province of Cartago; It is located in a mountain pass between the cities of San José and Cartago. It is the mountain that welcomes you to Cartago when you come from Chepe. Today, the Alto de Ochomogo is a highly populated community.

    The name “Ochomogo” and more historical events

    The name or term “Ochomogo” originates from the Chorotega language and in Nahualt mythology: Oxomogo means “the first man”. In the case of Costa Rica, its grammatical genesis is of Chorotega origin.

    When the first Spanish conquerors arrived in the national territory, the Chorotega indigenous people already used this name to designate a geographical region at the foot of the so-called Carpintera hills (Collados de Ochomogo) in the province of Cartago.


    The Nahualt ethnic group had a wide geographic distribution, extending from central Mexico to Nicaragua. The names derived from Nahualt arrived in Central America through the Spanish chronicles.

    Now, focusing on history, in Altos de Ochomogo, every August 2nd, thousands of people walk towards the Basilica of the Virgen de los Ángeles. In 1835, a definitive battle of the so-called “Guerra de la Liga” was fought, in which the forces of Cartago were defeated, the event occurred during the term of Braulio Carrillo, a fact that meant the transfer of the country’s capital (which at that time was Cartago) to San José.

    In 1948 the Ochomogo Pact arose from a conversation in Ochomogo between José Figueres Ferrer, leader of the National Liberation Army and Manuel Mora, who was leader of the Communist Party, they agreed to avoid a confrontation in San José between the fighting forces, which It would have caused a bloodbath. The Pact was the end of the Costa Rican Civil War.

    Finally, and beyond what the geographer and researcher Carlos Solano says, the Carthaginian historian Franco Fernández, said he remembers the label and the children asking their parents for its meaning, but for him, that does not mean that it is the center of America, except that there the waters divided towards the Atlantic or the Pacific. Perhaps reinforcements are needed to further expand the investigation and thus find the lost plate. Although Solano has so many years dedicated to it.

    Resonance Costa Rica
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