The Oto-Manguean languages are spoken mainly in Mexico and it is thought that the Chorotega moved south from Mexico together with the speakers of Subtiaba and Chiapanec well before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas.
Some sources list "Cholutega" as an alternative name of the people and their language and this has caused some, for example Terrence Kaufman (2001) to speculate that they were the original inhabitants of the city of Cholula, who were displaced with the arrival of Nahua people in central Mexico. The etymology for the nomenclature "Chorotega" in this case would come from the Nahuatl language where "Cholōltēcah" means "inhabitants of Cholula". The Region south of Honduras derives it´s name from this nahuatl word, present day Choluteca, and Choluteca City. Choluteca was originally inhabited by Chorotega groups.