The Colonization and History of Minca

Although the origins of the town are confused, those who investigated its history found the following historical based on writings, documents and notarial deeds of Santa Marta and Magdalena.(1)

Minca appears in the 18th century ...

As one of the great plantations of sugar cane and coffee. At the beginning of the 19th century (between 1800 and 1818) the Oligós Díaz Granados family began to develop the coffee plantations of Minca, recognized as one of the first coffee plantations in Colombia.
The first known owners of the Hacienda Minca were Pablo Oligós and his wife Ana Teresa Díaz Granados; The latter sold it in 1818 to Manuel de Ujueta y Bisais, and ten years later Juan M. de Vengoechea and José María del Castillo bought it.

In 1838 the hacienda became property of Martin and Manuel Avendaño and in the same year they were sold to Joaquín de Mier by 9,000 cabbage. pesos.
According to a letter of 1828, Minca was a coffee hacienda of colonial tradition, and its coffee competed with the best of other countries. In this respect, in 1855 Élisée Reclus (1830-1905) states that Minca was

"... one of the oldest coffee plantations in the New World, and its products are highly esteemed in all the coasts of the Caribbean Sea"

This hacienda of ten caballerias of land was located five leagues from Santa Marta, and consisted of a mill, houses, cane fields, sowings, service animals and a coffee plantation..

According to Élisée Reclus, Minca had his golden age in terms of production until he could count on slave labor

"...When the slaves were released, the masters took care not to change anything in their system of agriculture ... instead of transporting themselves to their properties, to supervise themselves the work, they unloaded in their foreman the care to search Pawns, to fix with them the prices, and saw consequently to diminish little by little its rents"

Some German travelers saw the abandonment of the Hacienda Minca in the 1860s, in the absence of skilled labor that could serve the coffee plantations.

The shortage of labor ...

Juan de Mier (Minca)

From the second decade of the last century led M. de Mier to propose in 1825 an ambitious plan for immigration and colonization of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with Pedro Gual, Lázaro María de Herrera, Juan Langlade , Marcelino Núñez, Juan Pavajeau, Carlos Soublette and the Montilla brothers, among others. In fact, the project consisted in colonizing about 200,000 fanegadas of national wastelands, to install an agricultural colony initially integrated by foreign families, basically dedicated to the cultivation of coffee.

AIn the middle of the 19th century, Joaquin de Mier decided to bring from Genoa (Italy) close to the city of Genoa, in the middle of the 19th century, in which he refused to grant the colonizers the requested vacancies and the seriousness of the shortage of agricultural workers. Fifty farmers, with whom he hoped to transform Minca into a prosperous coffee plantation.

After staying three months in the coffee estate, the Genoese left the place and started tobacco growing in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, between the towns of Cienaga and Fundación..
Also Carl Simmonds took to Santa Marta near 150 workers of German origin, but his project did not prosper since more than half of the Germans died of yellow fever.

The last rural property of the family ...

Manuel Mier (minca9

Was bought by Manuel Julián de Mier in 1869, when he acquired the land of Lo Estrén José Ramón Díaz Granados. Lo Estrén was adjacent to the haciendas of San Pedro Alejandrino and Curinca, the parish of Mamatoco and the old road to Gaira, and was sold by de Mier to his son-in-law José Alzamora in 1883. With the grounds of Lo Estrén, the family of Mier-Alzamora -Leyva managed to have under their ownership much of the rural corridor Mamatoco-Minca, gateway to the main coffee zone of Santa Marta.

From the end of the 19th century, the coffee plantations of La Victoria, Cincinnati, Vistanieve, María Teresa, El Recuerdo, San Isidro and Minca were developed along the Minca road.

(1) compilation of "EMPRESARIOS DE SANTA MARTA, The case of Joaquín y Manuel Julián de Mier, 1800-1896" author Joaquin Viloria de la Hoz

About the Church del Perpetuo Socorro

Church of Perpetua Socorro Minca

The pastor of Minca, Father Oswaldo Herrera, recalls that the House of Prayer was conceived by Bishop Javier Naranjo Villegas, 25 years ago.

Since then it has remained as the backbone on which sustains the spiritual life of the minqueños.

Minca lived moments of strength and prosperity

which was reduced by the incursion of guerrilla groups in the early 70's and later by paramilitaries who through terror and fear silenced the population and controlled the area. Fortunately today, this situation has completely disappeared, bringing tourists and welfare back to the Minqueros.

Logo memorial center of the sierra Visit the Memorial center of the Sierraat Minca

Houses of the time made ADOBE

Tapia Home at minca
House BALAGUERA at 50 m in the alley turning by the Café Minca
The primitive technique of constructing walls by compacting the clay soil by means of the use of a ram in a sliding wooden formwork to contain it, was called en ADOBE (tapia and tapial in Spain)in Latin America. Used also among ancient Rome.

Since ancient times indigenous cultures have taken the materials of nature for the construction of their dwellings. But the earth has been the most widely used material. Upon arrival of the Spaniards to America, they found in different regions constructions elaborated in earth and bahareque.

Tapia home minca
Find it in front of police station
It was during colonial times that it was revived in Colombia for the construction of the walls of houses and temples, the ancestral custom of the natives to use land. Thus becoming the most popular technique for the construction of the homes of the majority of Spaniards..

tapia homea minca
Also in front of police station
Although at that time bahareque was also used as a building material. Prestigious buildings were erected on a stepped wall. In the thickness of the walls is exceeded, it came to have a meter thick. In later times, they became thinner, about forty or fifty centimeters.

Tapia home minca
In the central square, now almost destroyed to house a store and dancing (picture before)

More information about Minca

Honey and cocoa in Minca

Today, handmade chocolate is found from its cocoa seed to the mixing process producing delicious handmade chocolate without additives in Minca

Find the fauna of Minca

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has a wide variety of wild animals, consisting of species of birds, mammals, fish and insects. Some 628 species of birds, 120 of mammals and 142 of amphibians and reptiles have been detected.

Coffee and its origin in Minca

From 1741 coffee was planted in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, however the largest expansion of the coffee culture of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta occurred between 1895 and 1915.

Your birds and how to observe them

Minca is the ideal stop for birdwatchers. The observation of birds in its surroundings is one of the best ways to know and explore these beautiful cloud forests.