Continuing my work on updating the Tintin Map, I’m looking into San Theodoros. This fictional country appeared in Tintin and the Picaros (TatP) and The Broken Ear. It is described as a Latin American country and Castafiore stops there after visiting Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela. However, the temple Tintin visits in TatP clearly looks Mayan, compare the photo of the Chichen Itza temple with the one on page 25 of Tintin and the Picaros. This ancient culture was dominant in present day Mexico but did extend into Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and western Honduras.
In The Broken Ear, the countryside, dress and general look of San Theodoros has a predominately Mexican feel. The use of spanish prefixes in both the county’s name, the capital (Los Dopicos) and the capital its neighbours Nuevo-Rican (San Facion) suggest Mexico or another Central American such as Costa Rica.
Tintin sails to Los Dopicos from Le Harve. There is no mention of the Panama canal so San Theodoros’ capital must be on the east coast of central or south America.
As with all of Herge’s fictional places, he did not tie himself down to specifics but instead took what he need from different places. Locations are further confused by differences between the originals and their translations and between different editions as Herge habitually made many changes when updating albums. Herge lacked consistency in his own work as well. Los Dopicos is a port city in The Broken Ear but by Tintin and the Picaros it seems to be inland.
Putting the different clues together – Mayan pyramids, styles of dress and buildings, coastal location and the strong Spanish influence on names, I think the east coast of the Mexico including the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize and Honduras is the best fitting region.