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. Macondo was the name of a banana plantation near Aracataca, and means "banana" in the Bantu language. Macondo is also the name of the tree "Cavanillesia platanifolia", which grows in the Aracataca area and is so known there.

In June 2006, the people of Aracataca organized a referendum to change the name of the town to Aracataca Macondo. Although the "yes" vote won, the referendum failed because of lack of voters and Aracataca kept its traditional name.

It is also said that Macondo was inspired by William Faulkner's fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County, although other accounts indicate that García Márquez had not read any Faulkner piece by the time he wrote "One Hundred Years of Solitude".Fact|date=June 2007


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.

Early in the 1974 film "Chinatown", Jake Gittes spies on Hollis Mulwray at the fictional "El Macondo Apartments". Production director Richard Sylbert says this was indeed a reference to the city of García Márquez [] .

Fictional history

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 lead 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 came mostly 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.

Other uses

Given the town's association with magical realism, many Latin Americans would portray the everyday illogical or absurd news and situations they or their respective countries face as more aptly belonging to Macondo. As a result, some Latin Americans occasionally refer to their home towns or countries as "Macondos".

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