|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2008)|
|Nickname(s): The Garden City of Colombia|
|Motto: Tierra Grata Pleasing Earth|
|Established as Town for Natives||February 5, 1592|
|Established as Town for Whites||May 7, 1776|
|• Mayor||Carlos Daza|
|• City||239 km2 (92 sq mi)|
|• Urban||14 km2 (5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,765 m (5,790.68 ft)|
|• Density||0.54/km2 (1.4/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||57 + 1|
|Website||Official website (Spanish)|
Fusagasugá (Spanish pronunciation: [fusaɣasuˈɣa]) or Fusa is a town and municipality in the department of Cundinamarca, in central Colombia. It is located some forty miles from the capital, Bogotá. With 129.301 inhabitants, Fusagasugá is one of the largest municipalities in the department. It was founded in 1562 by Spanish priests.
The interpretation of the name in Spanish varies from "Mujer que se hace invisible" (Woman who becomes invisible) to "Mujer que se esconde tras la montaña" (Woman who hides herself behind the mountain). However, many people shorten its name to "Fusa".
The Sutagao people inhabited the region until the new town was founded by Oídor Bernardino Albornoz between 5–13 February 1562. Not much is known about the previous indigenous residents. During the visit of Oídor Ibarra, there were 759 indigenous people residing in Fusagasugá. When Oídor Aróstequi arrived in February 1760, the indigenous population had dwindled to 85, and there were 644 new settlers divided among 109 families. On February 19, 1760, a small hospital was established near the church and Father Vicente of Fresneda was given charge of it.
During a visit, two officials, Moreno and Escandón, considering the decline in the indigenous population and the corresponding growth in the local settler population, issued a decree on January 8, 1776 that the native villages in the Fusagasugá area, Pandi and Tibacuy, no longer existed, and consolidated them into the present-day city of Pasca. In the wake of this decision, all streets and plazas in the cities were renamed.
In 1771, on the direction of the mayor of Fusagasugá, the viceroy Messia de la Zerda ordered the construction of a new avenue, Santafé, which would go from Fusagasugá, passing through the nearby town of Sibaté. On August 8, 1774, Father Francisco Escobar announced that Fusagasugá was on the road that passed over the mountains and led to the neighboring towns of Apicalá and Melgar; such that travelers could not reach Bermajal, located on the same mountain as Fusagasugá, without passing through Fusagasugá. This established the suburb's local importance.
In a directive issued August 7, 1846, the president of the Colombian republic nationally recognized the road from Fusagasugá to the southern provinces, which prompted the construction of a road over the Sumapaz river in Boquerón[disambiguation needed]. In 1852, Fusagasugá became part of the province of Tequendama.
On February 9, 1877, a battle took place in the hacienda El Novillero between government forces led by General Mogollón and the rebels led by Colonel Juan Ardila and Lucas Moreno. The first hospital was constructed in 1893 by the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with money donated by Don Manuel María Aya Caicedo and Lady Sagrado Cleofé Diaz, who also founded an adjoining nursing home. Following a directive issued on December 20, 1895, Fusagasugá was made capital of Sumapaz Province, which was created by National Directive 489 on November 7, 1895 and made into Law 162 in 1896.
On February 22, 1893, Doctor José Manuel Goenaga, minister of obras of President Miguel Antonio Caro, contracted the construction of a highway between Sibaté, Fusagasugá, and Boquerón. The project's engineer was Enrique Pabón Liévano, a native of Fusagasugá. The project was commenced in 1905 under the administration of President Rafael Reyes but suspended on February 10, 1906 because of an attack by the Barro Colorado. It resumed in March 1913. The highway reached Fusagasugá in 1930 and Arbeláez in 1934.
In 1907, an iron and wood bridge was finished over the river Sumapaz in Boquerón which was given the name "Puente Eliseo Medina" to honor the administration of the time. In 1930, the bridge was used by automobiles for the first time, and was replaced by the current bridge in 1953.
By article 12 of ordnance 21 in 1944, the construction of a highway between Fusagasugá and Boquerón by the river Llano commenced.
The first cemetery, which was on the site of "Pekin" opened in 1822. It was replaced by a second one in 1852 which was located in front of the hospital. A third cemetery was opened by the Cura Sabogal on October 31, 1910.
In 1929, in the Quinta Coburgo, the candidacy of Enrique Olaya Herrera was announced. In 1970, the Institute Técnico Universitario (Technical Institute University) was opened. It had been created by ordenance 45 issued on December 19, 1969 and established there by directive 537 on May 8, 1970 by Governor Joaquín Piñeros Corpas.
The city's main church has been rebuilt numerous times, and for a variety of reasons. The first church was built in June 1658 by Father Andrés Méndez de Valdivieso. The second church was built by Father Poveda in 1707, and lasted until 1865. The third church was built soon after by Father Antionio Martínez. It was made of bricks, but collapsed on September 19, 1908. The fourth church was begun in its place on June 6, 1909, and was consecrated August 15, 1926, soon after its completion. It was consecrated by the local Archbishop, Ismael Perdomo. However, there were other churches throughout the city's existence, including the Nuestra Señora de Belén (English: Our Lady of Belén), consecrated on August 16, 1786.
The majority of the regional economy is made up of agriculture and construction services. Aside from these sectors, there has been rapid growth in the service industry because of the strengthening in the sectors of education, health, recreation, and tourism. Local government policies to support agrotechnology have fostered short-term, local development.
Due to its warm climate, Fusagasugá attracts many tourists with many hotels, resorts, pool parks, and cabins. The Pan-American highway goes through Fusagasugá's territory. In order to travel to other Colombian cities in the south-west, such as Ibagué, Neiva, or Cali, it is necessary to pass through Fusagasugá when traveling from the north.
From the highway, you can see greenhouses, plant and flower stores, handcrafted rustic furniture stores, and local restaurants.
Fusagasugá is home to the soccer team Expreso Rojo, which plays in the Colombian second division. Cycling is renown sport in the Fusagasugá. Remarkable growth in roller-skating has happened within the past few decades, mainly among children.
- Official Fusagasugá website Cundinamarca Departamento (Spanish)
- Alcaldía de Fusagasugá Official Fusagasuga -City Hall- Mayor's website] (Spanish)
- Unofficial Fusagasugá website commercial website (Spanish)
- Historical information on Fusagasugá (Spanish)
- Fusagasugá Wordpress (Spanish)