ministerio de turismo ecuador

History

Around 1640 the Jesuits settled in this paradise on earth in the Valley of Cotopaxi at the foot of the Cotopaxi Volcano. There were several volcanic eruptions that filled the valley with huge volcanic rocks giving this place the name of El Pedregal (Valley of the Rocks).

The Jesuit Community lived in these 60.000 hectares. During their stay they built a house and a church made mostly of rock. The Jesuits were the first to import cattle of the breed used in bullfights, the cattle multiplied and spread all over the valleys of the Ecuadorean Highlands (Sierra).

The main reason for bringing this breed of bulls was that they were fierce and would not be stolen and also that squatters would not settle in their land. The house has the same name as the land where it stands, “Santa Ana del Pedregal”. The house was built by natives who worked for the Jesuits and took care of their property.

This place is considered by Catholics to be a Sanctuary because it was always a place of worship.

After the Jesuits were expelled by King Charles III of Spain, this land became the property of the leaders  of the Ecuadorean Independence and was later sold to very wealthy families in Ecuador.