History of the Santa Clara Neighborhood
With the help of Don Jorge Conchambi and Don Rafael Mullo, two long-time residents of the Santa Clara Neighborhood,
Hotel Majestic has rescued much of the Neighborhood's rich history.
According to Mr. Conchambi and Mr.
Mullo, the first inhabitants of the area we now call El Barrio de Santa Clara or the Santa Clara Neighborhood, were descendents of indigineous people that populated Ecuador long before the
arrival of the Spanish Consquistadors.
Until modern times, the manufacture of ceramics and agriculture were the principal activities of the Santa Clara
villagers. Santa Clara was particularly well known for the production of large ceramic containers used for storing water and chicha (a fermented drink), as well as the production of bricks, pots and vases.
Though the earth the villagers cultivated provided them with material for their ceramics and
produced plentiful food, it supplied hardship too. Streams on the slopes of the volcano Pichincha had to be cleared regularly as they served as the community's water source, and consequently,
were vital to its survival. Interestingly, whenever the villagers went into the mountains to clear the streams or for other reasons, they always carried alcohol, hot peppers, and onions with them. The alcohol was used to overcome the cold, the hot
peppers to help with circulation, and the onions to treat stomach pains.
Legends and supersticion have an important place in the history of Santa Clara. Many of these legends are
associated with the community cementary. Among the various haunts who frequented the cementary were El Cura Sin Cabeza (the headless priest), El duende (a leprachaun-like being which was particularly fond of
terrifying children), and La Viuda (the spirit of a beautiful widow that levitated and shook when people gazed upon her). An encounter with any of these spirits infected the
witnesses with a strange disease called "el mal de viento", which could only be cured with holly water, a priests blessing, or the substantial comsumption of alcohol.
As you can see, El Barrio Santa Clara abounds with history and culture. Join us at Hotel Majestic and be a part of it.