Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Tampico, Mexico was initiated on April 13, 1823, though there had been a series of human settlements in the area for centuries. The region had several early Huastec settlements, among them the important site at Las Flores, which flourished between 1000 and 1250 CE. Among the earliest European colonists, the Spanish Franciscan priest Andrés de Olmos established a mission in the area during 1532. At his request, Spanish officials founded a settlement named San Luis de Tampico in 1554. Its population was relocated in 1684 to the south of the Pánuco River because of frequent pirate attacks, among them a particularly destructive incursion by Laurens de Graaf. During August 1829, Spanish troops from Cuba invaded Tampico. In September a force under General Santa Ana forced the Spanish troops to surrender and Mexican control of Tampico was re-established. The name "Tampico" is of Huastec origin: tam-piko, meaning "place of otters" (literally "water dogs"). The city is surrounded by rivers and lagoons that were the habitat of a large population of otters.

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