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For other uses, see Macondo (disambiguation).

Macondo is a fictional town described in Gabriel García Márquez's novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. It is the home town of the Buendía family.


Macondo is often supposed to draw from García Márquez's childhood town, Aracataca. Aracataca is located near the north (Caribbean) coast of Colombia, 80 km south of Santa Marta.

In June 2006, there was a referendum to change the name of the town to Aracataca Macondo. The town was destroyed because of an Earthquake that was 7.0. 550 people were killed and 100 were injured.


In the first chapter of his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale, García Márquez states that he took the name Macondo from a sign at a banana plantation near Aracataca. He also mentions the fact that Macondo is the local name of the tree Cavanillesia platanifolia, which grows in that area.[citation needed]

The name Macondo may have come from Africa. In the Kituba language, a Bantu language spoken in the western parts of the two Congos, the word for bananas is mankondo (the plural of dinkondo). This word, or a cognate in a related language, could have been brought to Colombia by slaves.[1] It seems that García Márquez was unaware of this possibility; however he mentioned the (unrelated) Makonde people of East Africa in the last chapter of One Hundred Years of Solitude, calling them Makondos.

Fictional history[edit]

The town first appears in García Márquez's short story "Leaf Storm". It is the central location for the subsequent novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. He has since used Macondo as a setting for several other stories.

In Evil Hour, published the year before One Hundred Years of Solitude, García Márquez mentions Macondo as the town where Father Ángel was succeeded by the one hundred year old Antonio Isabel del Santísimo Sacramento del Altar Castañeda y Montero, a clear reference to the novel to come.

In the narrative of One Hundred Years of Solitude, the town grows from a tiny settlement with almost no contact with the outside world, to eventually become a large and thriving place, before a banana plantation is set up. The establishment of the banana plantation leads to Macondo's downfall, followed by a gigantic windstorm that wipes it from the map. As the town grows and falls, different generations of the Buendía family play important roles, contributing to its development.

The fall of Macondo comes first as a result of a four-year rainfall, which destroyed most of the town's supplies and image. During the years following the rainfall, the town begins to empty, as does the Buendía home.

In popular culture[edit]

The town of Macondo is the namesake of the Macondo Prospect, an oil and gas prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began in April 2010. In addition to this usage:


  1. ^ Granda, Germán de (1971). "Un afortunado fitónimo Bantú: Macondo", Thesaurus, Boletín del Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Bogotá 26(3), 485-494 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Iorio, Paul (July 8, 1999). "A Guide to Movie's Many Location Sites". LA Times. See: page 2, location #8, El Macondo Apartments 
  3. ^ Signore, John Del (July 12, 2008). "Openings Roundup: Macondo, Socarrat Paella Bar, The Frying Pan". Gothamist. 
  4. ^ "Biography of restaurateur Hector Sanz and Chef Maximo Tejada". Macondo NYC.  40°43′22″N 73°59′21″W / 40.722856°N 73.989212°W / 40.722856; -73.989212 (Macondo (restaurant))
  5. ^ "Macondo - Refuge in Austria". March 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Thus arose an unusual, oddly assorted village to which Chilean refugees gave the name 'Macondo.' 
  6. ^ "3 and a half months on Earth" (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2013.