LA ENTRADA - The entrance to Ojojona, the exit to time.
Walking into Ojojona is like walking into an Old West town of the 1880s. Downtown streets are mostly cobblestone, but many outlying roads are still dirt. In town there are cars and some traffic, but in the "suburbs" you will find far more horses, burros and oxen than automobiles. I say "walk" into Ojojona because the best way to experience this charming little Spanish Colonial gem is on foot. This may be your first time seeing houses and churches, some hundreds of years old, with Spanish-tile roofs, antique lentil windows and doorways, stuccoed adobe walls and don't be surprised if you encounter burros and oxen in the middle of town. It's just Ojojona!
The inhabitants of this little pueblo are mostly of Lenca-Maya extraction, friendly, kindly to strangers and not expecting anything in return. But if you have blue eyes, be prepared to be stared at occasionally. You are a rarity here.
© 2018 by Lew Marcrum - OJOJONA.COM.
Metal detecting and a love of history go hand-in-hand, so I find Honduras is a rare opportunity, should I care to take advantage of it. Most Central Americans have no clue about their country's history and couldn't care less. Few can afford a metal detector even if it were possible to buy one here, tourists rarely bring a detector along and then only to the beaches, so most anything lost or buried since the dawn of man is still in the ground.
I've been researching, so far as information is available on the internet, the Battle of La Trinidad between the forces of Guatemalan Justo Milla, and Francisco Morazan with his army of Nicaraguans, Salvadoreans and Honduran volunteers on November 11, 1827. The two armies met a few miles north of Sabanagrande, south of Ojojona, resulting in Morazan crushing the opposing force and ensuring Honduran independence. Very little information is available online about this important battle, and even then it depends on whose version you want to believe.
A couple years ago I went looking for the site for the first time. There is a monument, erected within the last decade or so, supposedly near the battle site, but no one locally can accurately pinpoint it. On the advice of some locals I went hacking through the dense undergrowth, MXT metal detector in hand, hoping to find any indication of the battle. I found a few pieces of rusted iron, probably relatively modern, but nothing I can definitively tag to 1827.
A few more questions, and a few more wild-goose-chases later I decided to try to figure it out on my own. Looking down from the monument one can see a broad expanse of relatively level land, perfect for a battle site. In my best "military-strategist" mode I determined that would be where I would want to fight since it affords plenty of room for movement of cavalry and artillery, as well as infantry.
Recently I visited the Military Museum in Tegucigalpa, spoke at length with a very amiable and knowledgeable older gentleman, and learned precisely why I AM NOT a general. He told me, since Morazan was on the field first, he placed his troops and what little artillery he may have had on the high ground approximately at the monument site and awaited Milla's attack from below. Milla charged uphill again and again for nearly six hours until Morazan finally sent his reserve around to flank Milla's army, and the battle was over.
I now must assume the battle was about a quarter mile downhill from where I was searching. I hope to go again soon to give it another try. This is becoming a labor of love. I'd be happy with JUST ONE musket ball from La Trinidad. I know if I keep at it diligently I will find it. I keep hearing stories of people finding an occasional ball or horseshoe on the surface, so hopefully my MXT will do even better.