Humans have lived at this green spot on the banks of the RĂo Caplina for over 12,000 years. In the current era, it was part of the Wari (Huari), Tiwanaku and Inca empires. The Aymari-speaking settlers called it Tekana, which means â€śI rule here.â€ť
Tacna is a relatively modern city. From the time two Spanish monks arrived in 1572 to convert the natives to Christianity until the cityâ€™s official founding June 25, 1855, it was just a small indigenous reducciĂłn (reservation). The settlement was baptized San Pedro de Tacna.
The Congreso de la RepĂşblica del PerĂş (May 21, 1821) gave the city its nickname â€śLa Ciudad HerĂłica,â€ť for its distinguished presence in the Wars for Independence. Later, it became the capital of the RepĂşblica Sud-Peruana (1836-1839) and governmental seat for the ConfederaciĂłn PerĂş-Boliviana (of the same period).
The city earned its title as The Heroic City again during the War of the Pacific against Chile. One of the warâ€™s important battles occurred near Tacna on May 26, 1880, where the Monumento de Alto de la Alianza now stands. After Peruâ€™s defeat in the war, Chile occupied Tacna, as well as Arica, Iquique and other cities. The peace treaty, the Tratado de AncĂłn, allowed for the citizens of these former Peruvian cities to decide their final fate within 10 years, but the referendum did not happen until 1929. TacneĂ±os voted unanimously to return to Peru. This act is celebrated with great fanfare every August 28.
During the 1940s, Tacna began experiencing much growth. The free trade zone, ZOFRATACNA, was established in 1990. Tacnaâ€™s economy is still largely based on mining, fishing and agriculture, and produces over 50 percent of the countryâ€™s olives. Because of the favorable rate of exchange and much cheaper prices, Tacna in recent decades has grown to become a favorite destination for Chileans.
Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...