To talk about a territory, or to fully recognize it, it is necessary to observe it from a “meeting of associations”, similar to those mentioned in the “Republic” by Plato, in reference to the definition of a state or a sub concept of the same state.
Starting from this premise, maybe it is almost a comparison, our observation focuses on Cachira, our beloved land. I think that we feel this way because we were born here ( even though this is my modest point of view, with all the respect for the people from my town): all the exceptions, the things near and far, the loves and the heartaches. Even though a state in its origin, composition and development can be similar and diverse, sometime even “enemy”, it is unquestionable the fundamental role played by the man who lives in it. It is this man who has the task to shape its history and he is the one who carries the mission to cause and start all the transformations. Following in part what Plato said, for our “meeting of associations” about Cachira we will start from its location, its geography; we will move to its topography (flora, fauna, climate, landscaping, rivers, etc), neighboring territories and finally to the man from Cachira and with him his historical and social stage.
Cachira is a place, a territory which belongs to itself; I mean it is enclosed inside its own territory, with its own characteristic political divisions. A territory maybe taken by the man as a specific place, with its own identity. This territory at times has been dismembered by the same man, to satisfy specific interests. Nevertheless, it is important to notice that Cachira is a town located in the North region of Santander, in Colombia, South America. Geographically it is a territory which belongs to the Andes mountain range, with its impressive topography of contrasts and astonishments.
Within the neighboring territories, in addition to the towns which border it, the town of Cachira present itself as a vertex among the Colombian regions of North Santander, Santander and Cesar. It presents itself as a vertex within the Colombian regions of the North Coast, the Gran Santander (Santader-North Santander) and Cundiboyacense (Cundinamarca-Boyaca’). Somehow Cachira even has international neighbors with the Republic of Venezuela and Panama.
And what should I say about the man from Cachira? The immediate response should be that he is an ancient Indio American man. Another valid answer would be that he is a secular man of mixed ancestry. And finally we could answer that the contemporary man from Cachira is a cosmopolitan. However, since I am being a little bit subjective, I deduce that in reality we are a little bit of everything mentioned above.
Our historical indo American roots, although exist, are not known. Even though we are aware of their existence, we are referring here to “remnants”, very few are the documented references and we do not have any scientific study. We do not have any topography which refers with objective precision to our ancient historical past, to the genesis of the man from Cachira. Except some scarce documents from some experts in the subject, which they wrote or compiled more for self respect than for any other reason, and that unfortunately have remained inedited or are lost among the folders of the oblivion.
The pre-Colombian man in our territory does not exist. He got lost in same place in time and in history (it is like an historical limbo which runs through some centuries or millenniums). In reality we do not know of any indigenous settlement or of the existence of any of its communities or families; however, if they exist I offer my apologies and my admiration with all my heart. We can get a better glimpse of the man from Cachira after the “conquest”, the “mestizo” man, who opened his new eyes starting from the XV century, who for his physical traits presents himself “more historical”, more present, more ours, more” like ourselves”. I put “mestizo” in brackets because in the physiognomy of “our man”, even though mostly a peasant is a white man and I can say with certainty that his origin is European, essentially Spanish. Another component which urges me to do such a statement is the last names of our people.
I do not know of any people from Cachira with indigenous last name, I think that fortunately they disappeared among the mist of the past. In addition to the Spanish descent, we find other roots in Cachira; among them German, Stapper, Italian, Morinelli, French Montagut(0, Rolon(g)Lizarazo,; if I am wrong about this I respectfully urge you to correct me, especially with the surnames I consider French. I know of other European nationalities of which roots exist. Ottoman last names and surnames from the Middle East have passed through our soil. We have recently received new last names from Spain and I mention to this effect the surname La Torre. In these last years, due to the inevitable human migrations, some afro Colombian families have reached our territory.
What I have here is only a short list of some surnames from Cachira that come to my memory, even though I want to clarify that there are many more and I do not intend to disrespect any family; what I am writing here is a short piece asked by invitation from our fellow Colombian Jesus David Hernandez for the web page which he so generously offers to all of us.
Some of the many surnames are the following: Acevedo, Cáceres, Blanco, Camargo, Durán, Rivera, Rincón, Reyes, Páez, Flórez, Rodríguez, Camarón, Guerrero, Ortega, Sepúlveda, Landazábal, Vega, Lizaraso, Castro, Pabón, González, García, Rojas, Torres, Silva, Hernández, Moreno, Rangel, Manrique, Tarazona, Corredor, Mora, Araque, Villamizar, Beltrán, Velandia, Cañón, Anaya, Gama, Torrado, Dueñas, Briceño, Nuñez, Beleño, Jaime, Muñoz, Jaimes, Cuadros, Sánchez, Fajardo, Urquijo, etc.
__Translated by:__ David Hernandez