Summary of the History of Santa Cruz Canton

This island has been largely ignored by the world, except Captain Petersen, who had to be on the island against their will with his crew after his boat capsized. Or the expedition led by the California Academy of Sciences in the early years XX.Por century this place was no more than a place of exile for convicts, criminals and rebels sent by the Emperor of San Cristobal, Manuel J. Cobos.Este was the case of Camilo Cassanova who lived on the island for four years before being rescued by a military boat ecuatoriano.Santa Cruz was colonized in the late 1920 by a group of Norwegian, his dream of fish canning was not consummated and some of them settled in the upper part and changed their fishing activity to agriculture to vivir.Durante WWII, Americans built an airbase on Baltra Island, small island located north of Santa Cruz and is a strategic surveillance Panamá.Esta channel island was returned to Ecuador after the war ended in 1945, Baltra and remains a military base run by the Ecuadorian navy and air force.

Baltra Island is also the place where the main airport of the Galapagos Archipelago is.

Brief History of Galapagos

Santa Cruz is the second largest of the Galapagos, with an area of ​​approximately one square kilometer. At its highest point, el Monte Crocker, reaches 864 meters. Although the good lands and cultivable area Galapagos relatively large, was colonized later. However, Occasionally there who tried to settle in the highlands, before actually formed a population permanente.La Norwegian Archaeological Expedition Thor Heyerdahl, found remains of pre-Columbian ceramics 1953 in Bahia Ballena, in the northwest of the island. In Cerro Colorado, on the northeast side, Expedition found similar remains Walt Disney, a year later. In Santa Cruz, as elsewhere in Galapagos, it appears that the Indians did not mainland attempts to settle permanently. Graves were never found, ceremonial artifacts and buildings. (Lundh, 1995). 

At the time of General Villamil, there were two or three huts at the foot of conspicuous hill that rises on the beach of Bahia Ballena. Henri Louns, Conde de Gueydon, commanding the French ship Le Genie, was anchored there for four days, in 1846. (Slevin, 1959). What is one path leading inland, to a spring. The only source in the area, is Santa Rosa, on the hill now known cone Cerro Vicuña. Do not write anything about the existence of crops and few people lived on the island by the beach. Engaged in catching freshwater, likely to obtain oil, although it is certain that they have kept some turtles live to trade with visiting ships. It is also possible that these people have collected orchilla. All were serving the general Villamil and Mena. (Lundh, 1995).

Santa Cruz is the second largest of the Galapagos, with an area of ​​approximately one square kilometer. At its highest point, el Monte Crocker, reaches 864 meters. Although the good lands and cultivable area Galapagos relatively large, was colonized later. However, Occasionally there who tried to settle in the highlands, before a population was formed really permanente.El Swedish botanist Professor Nils Johan Andersson and his colleagues of the frigate Eugenie found a small group of men and woman living in Bahia Ballena 1852. (Andersson, 1854). It is not known whether these people were left here by the authorities or fled Floreana. In San Cristóbal were said to be criminals and that the woman was their leader.

The zoologist Norwegian Alf Wollebaek (1934) reports that an American and an Englishman lived about fifteen years in Santa Cruz. It is assumed that lived at the top of the island, but has not left us information on whether or settled in Santa Rosa in southern highlands, which subsequently became the main agricultural area. It does not say anything that allows guess when they lived on the island. They were no longer in 1925, when he visited the Galapagos Wollebaek.

The first Norwegian settlers of Santa Cruz, who arrived in 1926, learned of two small tracts of abandoned cultivation in the highlands of Bahia Ballena, About a group of mountains known as the Sierra Farms. The closest to Bahia Ballena, in the bottom of the wet region, was known as Salasaca, while the other, innermost, at the spring, was called Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa was mainly in a variety of food plants was, as orange, Limoneros, guineos, bananas, yucca, sugarcane, otoy y camotes.

The first Norwegian settlers, especially those who arrived in the early 1930, sometimes came to stock in that place, for the two or three farms that then existed in the southern part of the highlands failed to fully meet the needs of the growing population. The overland trip to the Sierra de las Farms was hard. As the trail was not in constant use, vegetation so close again and every trip meant hard work with machete.

Al near to Santa Rosa, there was also a barrier formed by tangled thickets of curved spines, that tore the clothes and lacerated skin. This plant (Caesalpinia bonduc), known as "fruit" among Ecuadorian settlers, not exist in other parts of the island. The other place where we have found is inland from Puerto Villamil, en Isabela. Both locations surprise, because it is a plant that normally grows on beaches, its being distributed by ocean currents nuts. Hitherto, not been found this plant on the shores of the Galapagos, which, addition to what is said above, indicates that the species must have been introduced, perhaps accidentally, by hunters in freshwater.

TAKEN FROM: J. P. Lundh: BRIEF HISTORY OF GALAPAGOS
ISBN 82-92294-5 C: JACOB P. LUNDH, 2001, 2002.

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