Historical Background

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The name of San Cristobal Island, first called by this name in 1973, has its origin in the patron saint of sailors. Its historical name is Chatham, given by Captain James Colnett in honor of William Pitt, the first Count of Chatham. 

As part of the islands´ tangible and inestimable heritage, we should mention such historical events as the start of the colonization in 1866 when an Ecuadorian named Manuel J. Cobos docked at the Naufragio or Shipwreck Bay with his two ships, Julián and Josefina Cobos. He brought 10 workers with him to set up an ingenious sugar refinery which he called “Hacienda El Progreso,” a company which for 25 years from 1879 to 1904 was the economic driving force of the island. The ruins of the refinery can still be found at the entrance to the village of the same name. Also, the creation of a fishing society “La Predial” which from 1952 to 1960 sought to develop fishing on an industrial scale, another important historical event in San Cristobal Island.

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