And it looks like “God had rained stones”. Those were the words used by the Bishop Tomas de Berlanga the year he landed on Galapagos, 10 of March, 1535. He was on his way to Peru from Panama and his vessel was carried by strong currents.
These words couldn’t be so descriptive. The Galapagos Islands are very dry down the coast, lava rocks and dry vegetation, cactus or volcanic ash everywhere. Characteristics that made the islands not too attractive to think about living there, therefore more than 300 years passed by until the islands called the attention of human beings as a place to stay for a while or to finally establish.
During those 300 years, human events that took place on the islands can only be compared to stories or scripts for Hollywood Movies. Pirates, treasures, murders and finally science.
Charles Darwin changed the optic under which Galapagos was considered, only a mere place to stop and try to find water. It was year 1835.
1832 February 12, was the day and year when the brand new country of Ecuador decided to claim the islands being Floreana the first islands to have a settlement, followed by San Cristobal, Santiago, Isabela and Santa Cruz, being the last.
The history of the Ecuadorian Galapagos is full of tragic events made this arid place the least attractive to live, but the world went through dramatic moments and wars which pushed people to look for new horizons seeking the Americas, and those who just wanted to have a real new beginning thought of Galapagos as a place to live.
Santa Cruz is the last one inhabited yet nowadays the largest population, around 18.000 inhabitants. People make a living of tourism, fishing, cattle raising and some agriculture. Here you find houses, roads, solar power energy, internet, local beer.