The Real Price Of La Capilla
The agriexporting present and a highly possible archaeological past are its two main assets, for the moment.
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All photographs by Ángelo Azabache, distributed by FACTORTIERRA.NET
SULLANA, Peru -
In the place where the towns of West sullana and Jíbito are up to join,
but more aligned near Chira River, it is located La Capilla, the site
where a same-named big estate was controlled from, in which farms the
Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martínez d Compańón y Bujanda gota gifted
property to founding Santísima Trinidad de La Punta Village, on July
8th, 1783, the coretown of Sullana Metropolitan Area the second
largest of Piura Region.
Then, La Capilla
belonged to Del Castillo Family and seemed to enlarge across the
space that cities of Sullana and Bellavista occupy today, although the
official history says the estate which terrain the town was founded,
was called La Punta (The Point, in English) what might explain its
initial name, however its founder tried to name it El Príncipe (The
Prince, in english) unsuccessfully.
expanded sh toward the west on a farm called Ventarrones (Blizzars, in
English), La Capilla (pronounce "La Capeeya") was consolidating on more
than 200-hectare or 494-acre lot, that mid-20th century was under the
administration of English-native Bel-Houghton Family.
In 1968, the
Piura-native soldier Juan Velasco Alvarado led a coup, and launched the
Agrarian Reform the year later. As a big part of Chira Valley, La
Capilla then growed pyma-type cotton, addressed mainly for exsportation
via Paita seaport, which arrived on a railroad, what today only remains
the Sullana-Paita Road and José de Lama Avenue already in the
production fell down across the whole valley after 1982-1983 El Nińo
event, and the farmers tried to look for means to survive from the
land, until beginning 1990s the so-called banana boom ignited,
indeed the tropical fruit also mostly addressed for exportation.
22, is a Sullana-resident dude, non-concluded Laws studies, some
experience in hosting radio shows and live events, plus being an
efficient waiter at a famous local restaurant. Advised by
FACTORTIERRA.NET, he just launched his YouTube channel, which he is
dedicating to La Capilla, town he has a strong familiar connection. "I
love the countryside," he states by using his modulated announcer voice.
In the process
of launching his channel, Azabache seems to have found an explanation
why La Capilla, The Chapel in English, is called so. "The people told
me is due to inside the estate-house, there is a chapel." But it
is not the only information he could get.
The 200 hectares
of La Capilla, predominantly dedicated to export banana, generate more
than US$ 3 million annual. In fact, each hectare generates US$
1300 monthly to every farmer, and the whole sector is advantaged about
by 80 partners, according to the data he could gather. "The farmers
told me they can export monthly until 20 banana containers during the
winter months [from July to December] and more than 25 ones during the
summer months [from January to June]."
The intriguing Cerro de la Huaca (The Huaca Hill), a possible archaeological structure in La Capilla.
Go to the photo album
If that is not
enough, a sighting made the last December 16th could trigger the
value of La Capilla still much beyond. During a long time, the
locals spoke about the Cerro de la Huaca (La Huaca Hill) as one of the
best known landmarks.
A huaca was a
sacred site for the Pre-Hispanic Peruvian villagers, where they
used to build religious/funerarian-type structures. Is the Cerro de la
Huaca in La Capilla too? Until now, the official history traces the
pass of Conqueror Francisco Pizarro through that place in September
1532, possibly one month later of founding San Miguel de Tangarará
many villagers worked on so hard to lok it for, and they arrived to the
site where it was supposedly located, but what they found was a kind of
hill that was flattering as the time passed by, for expanding
agricultural fields. Actually, what was slopes upon a time ago, today
are fill of sweet potato plantations.
are actually disperse bits of pottery on a promontory known as La
Capilla's Oriel. "They seem to be cayanas," farmer Alfredo Pedrera, 40,
pointed, who learned about this site since he was a child. "But we were
never sure about what it meant."
According to La Capilla locals, this lagoon was used for ritual medicine ceremonies.
Go to the photo album
Plus, they seem
to have found pieces of pottery, also known as huacos, what were
emerging mostly as much as the farmers were working their lands. Those
pieces are disperse in the houses of the villagers, so Pedrera has the
project to collect them all and having in one only place to be studied
At the moment,
much graphic evidence as well as the videos recorded and released by
Azabache were sent to Lima-based Archaeologist Daniel Dávila Manrique,
a FACTORTIERRA.NET contributor, who has started to analyze them. His
first opinion is that La Capilla is a highly probable
archaeological zone, what could be confirmmed only through a field
registration, as he made in 2009-2011 at Malingas (tambogrande) and
Chalacalá Baja (Sullana).
"based on the
evidences sent to me, the pieces of pottery could have a more domestic
purpose, as daily use tools," he has proposed.
Dávila thinks it
could be necessary to compare La Capilla to Chalacalá Baja, that is
better conserved, and that belongs to Piura Style, possibly developed
1100 years ago. But nothing can be affirmed regarding to this point yet.
"About Cerro de
la Huaca, it is evident there is a structure that once upon a
time could have built on the slope going down to Chira River, or
maybe on a natural prominence, what we only could confirm if we make a
field research because inclusive today the existent vegetation
does not allow me to get the certainty of the structure type, but it
has all the characteristics of being archaeological," he added.
is La Capilla could be a Pre-Columbian citadel where there were
differentiated spaces according to the communitarian actibities:
religious, residential, funerarian, and military. The same distribution
existed in other deposits as Tangarará, the same Chalacalá Baja,
Tamarindo (Paita), or the former Garabato Estate (Marcavelica, Sullana).
of this sitte's importance is the existence of a creek or river with
permanent or temporary flow, that justifies a human settlement," Dávila
has pointed. And curiously, there is a dry creek going across La
Capilla until leading into the Chira River, as locals could confirmm to
This carve on the rock... is just 30 miles from the sea if gets an archaeological confirmmation!
But what called
the attention of Dávila pretty much was a photograph which a trace over
rock is seen [above those lines], maybe representing a stylized human
face that according to Azabache, is twice longer than an average human
Dávila wants to
confirm first if there are similar traces in the whole La Capilla, and
if those has some connection to others he knows very well - Malingas
(Tambogrande) and Samanga (Ayabaca). Currently, those last two have a
strong relationship to other registered and released by
FACTORTIERRA.NET in Loma Alta and Tunal (Sapillica), and Palo Blanco
the people are presenting me from La Capilla, the only way to check out the
information and having more certainty is by inspecting the places,
reviewing and comparing to other already studied, for what it is
necessary the community organizes with the authorities and promotes
this kind of activities," Davila advised.
said once the studies conclude, the sites can be offered in value for
eco-friendly activities as rural tourism, that can generate much
income to the communities where it develops, if then they make in a
And if somebody
thought La Capilla reduces to banana fields and possible archaeological
sites, could get wrong because we have to joing a lagoon located at the
town's lowland and that could be part of a wetland used sometimes
for shamanism rituals.
"The people say
the lagoon colorizess according to the time of the day or the season of
the year," Ángelo Azabache tells. "We have to come back for recording
"If you live at
a zone where there is a possible archaeological evidence, contact your
local authorities or FACTORTIERRA.NET too, that already has experience
about handling protocols of those spaces," Archaeologist Daniel Dávila
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