NANDAYURE (nan-ða ʝu'-re) Being born and raised Costa Rican, my first Geography memories date back to elementary school, where our first Social Studies lessons would inevitably be linked to the country's administrative division into provinces, cantons, and
NANDAYURE (nan-ða ʝu’-re)
Being born and raised Costa Rican, my first Geography memories date back to elementary school, where our first Social Studies lessons would inevitably be linked to the country’s administrative division into provinces, cantons, and districts.
And then, I first learned about Guanacaste, its people, traditions, music, and most remarkable landmarks.
As with all other provinces, it is no secret that many places in Guanacaste are named after Catholic saints or embed a “sense of devotion” towards said faith.
So, the same goes for Guanacaste (Santa Cruz, La Cruz)…But we also have Nicoya and Nandayure, for instance, which are names of indigenous people.
Nandayure, which is a two-word name (nanda, that translates as “stream” and yure, i.e., “snake, flower, or bird”) was a princess, and the daughter of a powerful chief who followed the lineage of the first Chorotegas, a tribe/people indigenous to Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.
So, where does the link between Nandayure and Nicoya fit in here? Well, Nicoya was the last heir and leader of the Chorotegas, and fell in love with Nandayure, an idea which her father, in a sort of Shakespearean manner, would disapprove of. As a matter of fact, her father would offer Nandayure as a wife to a Spanish conqueror called Don Fernando.
This forbidden, tragic love would end up with Nicoya’s and Don Fernando’s death, after a fierce battle, and the death of Nandayure. So, this is the odd yet unfortunate genesis of the names of these 2 Guanacaste cantons.