History & Culture John Meiggs Keith in Cahuita Beach

History & Culture John Meiggs Keith in Cahuita Beach

John Meiggs Keith: he was hired by the government for the railway.

Minor Cooper Keith: he built the railway and he was given the contract for the railway. A large amount of people came from the Africans regions of Dahomey and Haití. The meaning of Ackee: a vegetable for importence. The Bluff, Law Nº 35 1915 the village of Cahuita was created. The conquistadors arrived: Vasco Núñez de Balboa/ Gil Gonzalez Dávila/ Hernán Sánchez de Badajoz and Juan de Cavallon. And along with these people from Africa, Senegal and Gamba arrived, in the 16th Century. The 2nd arrival of black people to Costa Rica and in the largest amount was when the slaves escaped from Colombia.  In 1860 a law was created for the settlement of blacks, Chinese and gypsies, when they opened the borders or immigration to work on the land.  Tomas Guardia started the construction of the railways with nationals and then with the Chinese, who rebelled, so Keith then brought in the black workers. The first arrived from Belice and the second from Surinam and from the British Guyanas.  The first Jamacans arrived in December of 1871, before them there were others, and the large majority of blacks cames from Jaand in the first contingent there were three women. In 1881 black cubans arrived. Antonio Maseo was a sugar cane land owner in Cuba and of black blood, he came from Cuba, until he got to  Mansión de Nicoya de Guanacaste, the workers called his house Mansión. Maseo was then called back to Cuba to fight he was then killed and left the black people in the Mansión, this group of people mixed with chorotegas, forming a group of “negroides” which are now in Guanacaste. The only people that can say they orginate from Africa are the Haitains.   In the 1880’s there was a bannna company that worked in the Atlantic area when Limon formed part of the province of Cartago until 1909. When Keith began the bananna business with the Unit Fruit Company he went to the Carribean to bring more black workers to work on the banana plantation for two fundamental reasons; one reason is that black people are more resistent to weather conditions and the second reason is that they spoke and understood English, these people told their families in Antillas or in the Carribean, to come to the “dorado”, where they could make a fortune, they began to arrive in the years 1890, many of them were cheated out of their plots of land, taken away by Keith or politicians of those times, from Limón to Tortuguero it was and still is swamp land, from Limón to Valle de la estrella it was imprenitable virgin forest, the only place was from Limón to the south of the river La estrella towards the border with Panamá, which was habitable but you were unable to sow bananas as it was so far away from the center. Those that came began to bring seeds of all types to cultivate and feed their families, they exchanged between neighbours. The coconut trees where brought by the Jamaicans and they began to sow them For decades they were self sustainable eating the food that they grew thesmeves and beinbg self sufficient. To get from Limón to the south lasted 2 days or 1 ½ days (this was the quick trip), during these years they passed by the mouths of the rivers (there were no bridges) in a cayuco (small boats) they paid with exchanging seeds or products they had made. During these times these trips where high risk because rivers overflowed. In 1914 Alfredo Gonzáles Flores President of the Republic arrived by train to Limón and then by boat from  Limón to the Rió Sixaola. On the way back the bad weather caught up with the “Cristina” boat, they ran the boat aground at the mouth of the Tuba River, and then rescue the expresident. They sent a topographer to look for land where people could settle. This is when they found “The Bluff” today this is the real name of the center of the village called Cahuita.

The meaning of the word PATOIS (PATUA): creole French language, spoken in the French colonies.

The blacks spoke creole English (CREOLE ENGLISH) it does not have anything to do with the meaning of Patois.

Black dialect: balde pronoucned English for example; What Happen? and Whä appen?

The name of Cahuita means = Cahue – Sangrilla (Tree)

William Smith was the owner of the land where the village of Cahuita is located and there were black people mixed with the indigenous.

The first inhabitants have now passed away, black families: Masters / Mc Leord/ Smith, have alredy passed away. .

The first white inhabitants have already passed away: Antonio Román/ Amelia Escorcia de Aseh (Aarón)/ Luz Bolívar/ Tabash Bassin/ Elvira Lagunas/

Source: N. Reuben Mc Leord Salmón.