Santa Bárbara was founded in 1761 by several families who moved to the region from Gracias, reputedly escaping usurious priests. A large portion of the settlers were of Jewish background. Santa Bárbara remained relatively small until April 1815, when the nearby town of Tencoa, one of the first Spanish settlements in Honduras, was flooded by the Río Ulúa. Tencoa’s surviving inhabitants moved to Santa Bárbara, and the combined population made it the biggest town in the area.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition