Santa Rosa Department, Guatemala

Santa Rosa is a department of Guatemala and is located in the south of the country on the Pacific Coast (Region IV). The department has an area of ​​2955 km ² and around 330,000 inhabitants. The capital is Cuilapa.

Santa Rosa is bordered on the northeast by Jalapa, on the east by Jutiapa, on the south by the Pacific Ocean, on the west by Escuintla and to the northwest by the department of Guatemala.

Provincial nature

The northern part of Santa Rosa share of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, which reached heights of about 2,000 m there. To the south the land slopes gently to the lowlands and the coast on the Pacific. In this direction it is crossed by numerous rivers, of which the Río Los Esclavos is the most significant. The Highlands is dominated by the volcanoes Tecuamburro ( 1,945 m), Cruz Quemada ( 1,690 m), Jumaytepeque ( 1,815 m) and Cerro Redondo ( 1,220 m). Typical of the highlands are also situated near the volcanoes crater lakes ( " lagoons " ), one of which located in the north-east, 14 km ² Laguna de Ayarza is also known as a tourist attraction. The fertile volcanic soils of the southern lowlands bring forth a luxuriant tropical vegetation, but has to give way to the majority of agriculture. Volcanic in origin, the black sand beaches, behind which are partially drained wetlands. Approximately half a kilometer behind the coast is the Canal de Chiquimulilla, landscaped in the 1930s, about 120 km long navigable waterway from Sipacate in Escuintla to the border with El Salvador. Parts of the canal and marsh area with its mangrove forests that provide refuge among other water birds and turtles were put under protection.

The climate is temperate in the north to Santa Rosa's hot ( at the headwaters of the Rio Los Esclavos ), in the south there is tropical heat, which during the rainy season comes high humidity (May to October). The temperatures are generally 15 to 29 ° C, the average annual rainfall is 1,800 mm.

In Santa Rosa, at San Juan de Arana ( Cuilapa ), is the geographic center of the Americas.


The population only speaks Spanish. Of the few remaining Xinca and Pipiles very few older people have knowledge of their ancient ancestral language. The approximately 330,000 inhabitants of the department are living in 14 municipios ( large municipalities or counties ):

The Department as state administrative district is headed by a delegated by the central government governor. The Municipalities are autonomous local authorities with elected mayors and elected assemblies and are divided into Aldeas and Pueblos ( rural communities ) and in Caseríos, Parajes, Estates, Rancherias ( hamlets and farms ).


Key Economic Sectors Santa Rosas are agriculture and tourism. After the end of the coffee boom provided the landowner their production mostly to sugar cane. Bananas, corn, beans and other fruits and vegetables have only a secondary importance. Very important for Santa Rosa are the Pacific beaches and tourist places such as Monterrico and Las Lisas. Monterrico is part of the municipality of Taxisco and is easily accessible from Guatemala City from over Puerto San José ( Escuintla ). Santa Rosa is crossed by two major routes to El Salvador.


Before the Spanish Conquest, the territory of today's departments of Xinca dominated. Middle of the 15th century migrated from the north of Guatemala Pocom that were assimilated by the Xinca soon. Something similar happened to come from the East Pipiles. Pedro de Alvarado succeeded only after heavy fighting to subdue the warlike Xinca. They were the first "Indian " can literally enslaved. Be reminded of the name of the river Río Los Esclavos and some place names. During the colonial period, a large part of today's Santa Rosa was one of Escuintla.

1825 divided the Constituent National Assembly of Guatemala the territory into seven departments. One of them was Guatemala Escuintla. To this was also the district Cuilapa, which was renamed in 1848 in Santa Rosa and collected on May 8, 1852 the same department. As of 1871, the export of coffee Santa Rosa brought a modest prosperity.