The Interesting History of Larreynaga
If you visit the department of Leon in Nicaragua you will likely come across the municipality of Larreynaga. This municipality is the second biggest in the department and is home to more than 31,000 people – a population which continues to grow steadily at a rate of approximately 2.22% each year. The town was founded on 11 August 1944 by Colonel Manuel Ignacio Pereira Quintana. The Colonel was a well-traveled and informed man who served his home town, Villa de Telica, by acting as its mayor. Every year in the month of September, various cities in Nicaragua would hold a ceremony to pay tribute to certain events and national heroes who had played a large role in the country's history. Villa de Telica’s favorite hero was Miguel Larreynaga, the man who was instrumental in securing Central America’s Independence. One day, during this ‘Month of Heroes’, the good Colonel got the idea of founding a town in honor of this legendary hero.
Because Colonel Pereira Quintana had traveled his homeland in search of adventure, he knew that there was plenty of open land in the northeastern parts of Telica. He also knew that there were many families living in the area who did not have land available to them that they could cultivate or which had access to basic city services. So he embarked on a new adventure by founding his new town here. The idea started to take form in September 1936 when he made his first visit to his chosen site. The area was known as Malpaisíllo and previously it had only been used for a railway station called ‘Leon Willow’. The estate was surrounded by beautiful mountains filled with wild animals that could easily pose a danger to the inhabitants of the city. Don Manuel was warmly received by the only inhabitant of the railway station, Mr Pedro Soza, who helped familiarize him with the site and ensure that it was perfect for his proposed town. After this Don Manuel had to travel all the way to Leon to get permission to establish a city here and, by the 8th of September 1936, he was given official permission to start building the city. News quickly spread and the idea gained support and momentum. A great crowd gathered on the official founding day of the city which was named after the legendary Miguel Larreynaga. An Act of Foundation was soon written up and signed and before long, Reymundo Escorcia had built the first house in the city.
In September 1969, the town of Larreynaga was officially declared a city – this despite problems that had arisen during its establishment and growth. It was said that the patriarch and Founder of Larreynaga watches over this great city every day, his pride growing at the sight of this steadily growing tribute to a great country and countryman.