The first settlers in Pérez Zeledón
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~ by Luis Gutiérrez Galera
After the difficult and long-awaited conquest of the Cerro de la Muerte (Death Hill), the new colonizers in El General Valley started the hard process of settling in those fertile new lands they called home.
The courage and perseverance of those men and women who made it through that overwhelming hill to continue their lives in El General (as the county used to be called) would endure forever. This was the beginning of the epic adventure of taking over and populating the most developed county in the Brunca region.
By 1920, some families had gradually founded a few key hamlets, such as El General, Palmares, Rivas, and Ureña (currently San Isidro). Five years later, Dota became a county, and El General was one of its districts. However, the settlers of El General, particularly hard-working and strong-willed, made a great effort to turn their district into an independent county.
Several reasons like the long distance from Dota, dangerous roads, challenging weather conditions, and lack of shelters would be enough to fight for this goal. Plus, their effort had made El General a prosperous territory for its 3,500 inhabitants, who already managed 3,139 heads of cattle and large areas for farming and agriculture.
In October 1931, El General has finally declared a county, and now it is called Pérez Zeledón.
Its first citizens faced multiple and challenging ups and downs, which would later be overcome thanks to their eagerness to establish a prosperous and safe place for their descendants. This historic conquest would be overshadowed in the 1940s when the Pan-American Highway was built.
Today, Pérez Zeledón is the 19th county of the province of the San José, and it has 11 districts; Ureña, which was the name of San Isidro district before, is its capital.
Besides, San Isidro is the only urban district; the other 10 still delight people with stunning rural landscapes, which are embellished by its people.
INFO: Luis Gutiérrez Galera - [email protected]