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Tosagua Canton (Manabi, Ecuador)

Cantón Tosagua

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: manabi | tosagua | stars: 3 (red and blue) |
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image by Pascal Gross, 23 June 2000


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Tosagua canton (39,030 inhabitants in 2010; 37,740 ha) is nicknamed "The Heart of Manabí". The canton was established on 30 January 1984, separating from Rocafuerte.

Tosagua was originally known as Tosahuas; in 1530 Pedro de Alvarado married the widow of his brother in arms, cacique Tosahuas, and named the village for him. The subsequent colonization of the area led to the near extinction of the Caras; according to a census made in 1602, there were only 102 natives still living in the area.
The Jesuit father Onofre Esteban reorganized in 1614 the surviving natives in eight villages and established the parish of Tosahua, depending on the bishopric of Quito. This was confirmed on 8 December 1628 by the Real Audiencia of Quito. Jesuit missionaries rebuilt the village in 1638.
The name of the village was changed from Tosahua to Tosagua around 1700.

The ecclesiastic parish was suppressed in 1789 because of the limited Christian population; in 1795, however, several Spanish emigrants settled the place, attracted by the cocoa boom, which would last until the early 20th century.
The parish of Tosagua was established in 1822, depending on Montecristi canton, to be transferred on 11 July 1827 to Portoviejo and on 30 September 1852 to Rocafuerte.
Canton website
Ivan Sache, 15 September 2018


The flag of Tosagua, designed in 1984 by Consuelo Mendoza de Garzón, is composed of a white quarter charged with three stars, the red one representing the urban parish of Tosagua and the two blue ones representing the rural parishes of Ángel Pedro Giler and San José de Bachillero, a yellow quarter, and the remaining half horizontally divided into three equal stripes, green, white, and green.

The white quarter represents the nobleness of the generous spirit of the inhabitants.
The white stripe represents cotton, which is one of the emblematic products of the canton.
The yellow quarter represents the resources provided by the natural environment, jointly with the fecund work of the inhabitants.
Green represents the surrounding greenness and the fields of Tosagua.
Canton website
Ivan Sache, 15 September 2018

Coat of Arms

image from <> (defunct), located by Pascal Gross, 23 June 2000