Who is the Founder of Bucaramanga?

It is said that the Founder of Bucaramanga Was Captain Andres Paez de Sotomayor in conjunction with the presbyter Miguel de Trujillo on December 22, 1622.

The foundation took place during a Eucharist celebrated in the place that later would occupy the chapel of the Dolores, following the indications of the Spanish oidor Juan de Villabona Zubiaurre (Industriales, 1962).

Monument to the founders of Bucaramanga. Monument to the founders of Bucaramanga. Retrieved from World Travel Server.

Although some sources argue that Bucaramanga never had an official foundation, many sources agree that Andres Paez de Sotomayor and Miguel de Trujillo founded the Bucaramanga hamlet as an indigenous reservation attached to Pamplona.

Specifically, it was established in the Real de Minas sector. Subsequently, it was a parish and a village. Finally, with the Constitution of 1886, it was declared a municipality and capital of the department of Santander.

Some biographical information about the founder of Bucaramanga

Andres Paez de Sotomayor was born in Pamplona, ​​northern Santander, Colombia in 1574 and died in the same village in 1633 at the age of 59.

He was the son of Spaniards Diego Paez de Sotomayor and Doña Beatriz de Vargas, who would also die in Pamplona (Sitebuilding, 2001).

Captain Sotomayor was also known for being entrusted to the Quenejos Indians after the resignation of Martín Guillén in 1592.

He is said to have held the position of lieutenant mayor of Minas during the year 1517 in the Rio del Oro and to have been in 1622 judge settler of Bucaramanga.

History of the Bucaramanga Foundation

Bucaramanga was not a settlement founded on itself, as were Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, Santa Marta or its nearby neighbors, Girón and Pamplona.

What is known as its foundation was the transfer of several indigenous settlements to the place that today occupies the park Custodio García Rovira and its surroundings. This transfer was carried out in order to facilitate indoctrination and catechization of the natives (Gómez, 2012).

At that time, Juan de Villabona and Zubiaurre acted as judge in the audiences of the kingdom and had the obligation to hear and give sentence to the causes and lawsuits. For this reason he is called oidor (Jordán & Izard, 1991).

Juan de Villabona and Zubiaurre, as oidor, arrived at the region that later would be Bucaramanga, assigned by the Real Hearing.

The objective was to inquire about the complaints, complaints and serious denunciations brought to Santa Fe by the indigenous Miguel de Bucarica and Luis de Guaca, coming from Gaspar de Guaca.

These denunciations pointed out to the encomenderos of Bucarica - Juan de Arteaga and Juan de Velasco - of ill-treatment and irregular behaviors.

Villabona was obliged to indicate which indigenous groups were to form the new town and ordered that a farm be built where they could be catechized by the Crown.

To this hamlet is assigned a priest doctrine called Miguel de Trujillo, who is also built a house within the village. This priest has an obligation to determine various aspects of the organization of the people.

Similarly, oidor Villabona provides that Antonio Guzman (Mayor of Mines of Las Vetas, Montuosa and Rio de Oro) is responsible for supporting Miguel de Trujillo in the work of building the village.

However, twenty days later, the Royal Audiencia confers this work to Captain Andrés Paez de Sotomayor, who has only thirty days to carry out the mission to displace the Guanes Indians from the sector of Real de Minas, territory assigned to the Construction of the hamlet.

Thus, on December 22, 1622, between Captain Andres Paez de Sotomayor and Father Miguel de Trujillo, along with several lancers, the Indians are repulsed Guanes Who inhabited the area.

There and during that date, the indigenous gold washers previously chosen by the oidor are gathered and the first Eucharist is celebrated, with which the Bucaramanga hamlet (University, 2012) is considered to have been founded.

Act of Foundation of Bucaramanga

It is considered that the 22 of December of 1622 took place the foundation of Bucaramanga, because that day the father Miguel de Trujillo takes up an act.

This act indicates that on December 22, 1622, he, a doctrinaire priest of the Río de Oro and the surrounding territories, certifies, together with the resident judge, Captain Andres Paez de Sotomayor, the fulfillment of the mission assigned by the Oidor Juan de Villabona and Zubiaurre.

The minutes also indicate that Juan de Villabona and Zubiaurre is the oldest oidores of the Royal Audiencia assigned by the Council of the Spanish Crown.

It was he who commissioned the priest and the captain in the mission to give a mass in this population and to build a house and a sacristy with good woods, sticks, beams and stalled in an area of ​​110 by 25 feet with finishes typical of a bohio and Suitable for the Indians to go to mass.

On the other hand, the act declares that all the displaced indigenous people are given good lands to work, including those in charge of captain Andres Paez. They could grow any kind of seed near the Cuyamata Gully. The minutes are finally signed by Andrés Paez de Sotomayor and Miguel de Trujillo.

After Captain Sotomayor

After a century of the impetuous work of Captain Sotomayor and Father Miguel de Trujillo, a new oidor of the Royal Audience arrives at the village of Bucaramanga and turns it into an independent parish.

This is done by sending in 1776 the remaining Indians to the territory of Guane. Those who are not indigenous are assigned to conform what would be the parish of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá and San Laureano de Real de Minas.

In 1824, with the arrival of independence, the parish becomes the town of Bucaramanga and, with the constitution of 1886, Bucaramanga is finally declared as a municipality and the capital of the department of Santander (Santander, 1990).


  1. Gómez, Ó. H. (December 22, 2012). Óscar Humberto Gómez Gómez. Obtained from Officially, 390 years meets Bucaramanga.: oscarhumbertogomez.com.
  2. Industriales, A. N. (1962). Historical Data. In A. N. Industriales, Bucaramanga, Development and Perspectives (page 1). Bucaramanga: Editorial Bedout.
  3. Jordán, P. G., & Izard, M. (1991). Conquest and resistance in the history of America. Barcelona: University of Barcelona.
  4. Santander, G. d. (1990). Of some glories of the race and people of Santander. Bucaramanga: Government of Santander.
  5. Sitebuilding, T. N. (2001). Genealogy only. Obtained from Andrés Páez de Sotomayor: sologenealogia.com.
  6. University, C. (2012). The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press.

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