Alekk M. Saanders
Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Besides Malaga city, Vélez-Málaga and Málaga del Fresno in Guadalajara, there are around 20 'Málagas' all over the planet. Most of the 'foreign' Malagas can be found in South, North and Central America, some spelled the Spanish way with the accent on the first 'a', and others with the English version and no accent.
There are three 'Málagas' in Colombia. The capital of García Rovira Province in the Department of Santander is the biggest 'Málaga' abroad. The town has 25,000 inhabitants. It is located at the very foot of the Andes, with natural landscapes that are widely considered breathtaking. Additionally, it has a long story related to the times of Spanish colonisation and to a 'Malagueño', at whose behest the town was founded.
The legend says that in 1539, the conquistador Don Hernan Pérez de Quesada arrived in Colombia in search of the 'house of the sun'. During the trip he managed to discover the so-called Tequia valley, settled by the Chitarero Indians.
It is believed that when high-ranking military man native to Malaga, Gonzalo Suárez Rendón, learned of the existence of the valley, he ordered one of his most trusted men, Jerónimo de Aguayo, to go there and found a village that would bear the name of Malaga as a tribute to his homeland.
Jeronimo de Aguayo went to the Tequia valley with fifty infantrymen and twenty horsemen and founded the town of Málaga in Colombia on 10 March 1542, thereby fulfilling the mandate.
It is interesting that this Colombian Málaga is mentioned in history in the context of Simón Bolívar. The famous Venezuelan military and political leader passed through the town several times. The first time the visit took place on 24 October 1813, and he stayed until the end of November, recruiting soldiers.
Nowadays, agriculture is the most important activity in the different villages and rural areas of the municipality. The tourism, commercial, industrial and financial sectors of the region are also important for the economy. Manufacturing has very little presence, as the only activity is linked to the production of bricks and lime.
In the north of the municipality Málaga has an airport, unique in the region, where there are two daily flights with a passenger flow of twenty people.
Bahía Málaga is located in the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean in Colombia, with just 3,500 inhabitants. It is part of the Chocó-Darién Ecoregion, which stretches from Panama to the north of Ecuador.
Its 180 square kilometres of reefs, cliffs, coasts and mangroves are a representation of all the ecosystems present in this region. In 2010, the Uramba Bahía Málaga National Natural Park was created due to its enormous variety of fauna and flora, and the high degree of endemic species.
The bay is surrounded by a dense rainforest that is home to numerous animal species, including 60 species of frog, 25 species of lizard and 52 species of snake. The surrounding ocean boasts several species of coral and octocorallia, eight species of shark, 22 species of ray and 348 species of bony fish.
Bahía Málaga is said to be the area with the highest birth rate of whale calves in the world. As well as migratory birds and sea turtles, humpback whales also visit this coast for breeding, resting, nursing and calving purposes. The bay, with an average depth of 30 metres, has been described by visitors as a true hidden paradise.
The number of towns that bear the name of Malaga in the United States is striking. From the state of Ohio to Kentucky, passing through California, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington. All of them have fewer than a thousand inhabitants. The most northern Malaga in the Americas is situated in the State of Washington.
Malaga is an unincorporated community in Chelan County, located close to Wenatchee. This year it turns 120. The town was founded in 1903, on the Columbia River.
This largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America forms picturesque valleys. Some of them are surrounded by vineyards. The Malaga hills create a microclimate that allows grapes to thrive. One of the local wineries is Malaga Springs, which was founded a couple of decades ago. Malaga in Washington has turned into a destination for wine lovers, like our Malaga.
Like the Costa del Sol, Malaga in Washington is known for its golf facilities. Although there is only one golf course in Malaga there are a few more within 30 kilometres of Malaga, both public and private. The oldest course in the Malaga area is the Wenatchee Golf & Country Club opened a century ago.
The name Malaga, or Málaga in its Spanish version with the accent, is not only used in Colombia and the USA. It was also used to name towns in San José in Guatemala, one in the Dominican Republic, another in Santiago de Cuba and a town in the Mexican state of Durango.
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