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Riohacha and the Peninsula of La Guajira are part of the extensive route drawn by the literary imagination of García Márquez.
Many episodes in Gabriel García Márquez’s biography have their origin in this vast Caribbean zone. The origins of his maternal family go back to this important area in the formation of the Garciamarquian universe.
Whoever wishes to find the imprints of the real geography will find it in the pages of Cien años de soledad [One Hundred Years of Solitude], La increíble y triste historia de la cándida Eréndida y de su abuela desalmada [Inocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother], and Vivir para contarla [Living to Tell the Tale].
(…) And García Márquez does not forget the villages of sun and salt anchored in the Caribbean Sea in La Guajira. The following appear in his fictionalized world: Riohacha, Fonseca, San Juan del Cesar, Villanueva, Brumita, Manaure and Nazaret. Neither did he fail to mention Cabo de la Vela and to describe the Guajira Desert and the sea in Riohacha.
“The first time I went to the Peninsula of La Guajira, soon before my 60th birthday, I was surprised by the fact that the telegraph house had nothing to do with the one in my memory. And the idyllic Riohacha that I carried in my heart since my boyhood, with its saltpeter streets that descended into a sea of mud, were nothing more than fantasies inherited from my grandparents.” Gabriel García Márquez, Vivir para contarla, 2002 [Living to Tell the Tale].
Consult the complete texts on Riohacha in Las rutas de García Márquez guide, available at the following bookshops: Librería Nacional in Cartagena and Barranquilla and Librería Ábaco in Cartagena.