I Lost Volcano Soconusco!

My grandfather thought he saw the volcano  “Soconusco” erupting in 1914 when the San Juan steamed by that Central American coast:

Judging from my map that we should pass the volcano of So-co-nus-co some 30 miles inland during the night, I decided to see it if the haze permitted. Several times I came out and scanned the horizon, and at last was rewarded by sight of its red glare. Then called several others. … From midnight to early dawn we sailed in sight of it, when mist obscured it, though for a time gleams shot through like sunbeams through rifted clouds. Then the coming sun claimed attention as it gilded the mountain tops and shot up a halo like the pictured head of a medieval saint. …

It is somewhat depressing to be obliged to add as an appendix that there is a difference of opinion among the officers as to whether we saw the volcano last night, some claiming what we saw was only a fire on the mountains. But the weight of evidence seems to be in our favor so we are “hugging the delusion,” if such it was.

When I first looked up “Volcano Soconusco” I confirmed that the boundary between Guatemala and Mexico runs over it, and sailors called it “The lighthouse of the sea” because of its frequent eruptions, or at least lava flows.

I wanted a photograph to go with Grandpa’s journal, and that’s when Soconusco disappeared.  Pictures of Guatemalan volcanos:  No Soconusco.  Mexican volcanos:  No Soconusco.

Grandpa’s ship was still passing Guatemala, so I looked up “Soconusco” in Guatemala.  Not there.  Meanwhile I discovered that Mexico has States but Guatemala has Departments and neither has one named Soconusco.

Wikipedia: “Soconusco is a region in the southwest corner of the state of Chiapas in Mexico.”

Back to the site I first found,  several paragraphs down:  “Tacana is known as the Soconusco Volcano in some regions of Mexico.”

Found!  The “Volcano of Soconusco” is the volcano Tacana, partly in the Guatemalan municipality of Tacana, Department of San Marcos, and partly in the Soconusco region in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Photograph of Volcano Tacana, or Soconusco, on the border of Mexico and Guatemala.
Volcano Tacana–also called Soconusco.

One thought on “I Lost Volcano Soconusco!

Been there? Done that? Read the book? What do you think?