Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - Trapiche de Caldera (Sugar Treadmill of Caldera)

Only vestiges of the treadmill remain, that is, there is no complete structure or identifiable features. There are some walls, and one can see the different aspects of the construction such as the carved stones and the bricks, however, it has a historic importance because of the productive activity of the treadmill in all its process. It was the reason of the forced settlement of the inhabitants of the community of Caldera, since they were brought as slaves to work these lands. The treadmill was very near the house of the hacienda. There is still a wall of the structure of the mill and one may see the space in which the treadmill was. There is lack of interest and knowledge about what happened once within these walls (silence).

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Infrastructure and spatial organization following the Jesuit model, something which is still visible even with a quick view of the remains of the building, whose nucleus was the treadmill and the stills in ancient times, around which there was the church, the main house of the hacienda, and separated by a wall, the slave's quarters. 

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Rosales family, the former tenants, became de owners of the Caldera hacienda, including the adjoining cattle farms of Alor and Monte Olivo, and very soon included the San Rafael. After the integration of this hacienda by the Rosales family, we could say that the recent history of the area begins, with a number of incidents and events determining the conflicts and present diversity.


Very easy access, by car to the community and to the treadmill site.
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Other data of interest


Historical name

Trapiche de Caldera (Sugar Treadmill of Caldera)

Founding Date

Turn of the 18th century


Comunidad de (Community of) Caldera


Agro-industrial complex



Access level


Current Use

No use (ruins)

Original use

Treadmill to grind the sugar cane to produce sugar, sugar loaves and coarse rum with labour of people from African descent who worked in the Jesuit hacienda.  

Property kind