Río San Juan
Rio San Juan is a department of Nicaragua. It was established in 1957 as territory of Chontales and Zelaya. Its area is 7,473 km ² and has a population of 95,500 inhabitants (census 2005). Its capital is San Carlos. The department also includes the archipelago of Solentiname and San Juan River, which takes its name. The river proved to be a great connection for the Province of Nicaragua with the rest of the Spanish territory. Through it, Granada and other colonies traded with cities such as Havana, Cartagena and Portobelo. This was known by the pirates who roamed the Caribbean, and soon made inroads through San Juan.
Entered the river pirates and buccaneers like Henry Morgan, John Davis, John Morris, Harrison, François l’Ollonais, among others. Although they were sometimes rejected, most of the time they took the fort of San Carlos, and then attack the city of Granada and León, where they took treasures, public goods and prisoners. To defend the passage of the river, the Spanish began to build fortifications along its banks. At one time there were up to 12 forts along the San Juan. The largest of them, and first to be built (1675) was la Fortaleza de la inmaculada concepción (the Castle of the Immaculate Conception).
This fortress survived fierce battles against pirates, Miskito (it was a kingdom established in the Caribbean Indigenous and supported by England), American filibusters and especially British troops.
During the years of war between Spain and England, a substantial British force and attempted to take the river Miskito. In the El Castillo, the head of the garrison had been killed before the attack, and it was his daughter, the heroine Rafaela Herrera, who led the defense against a superior force of invaders, who could not take the fortress.