Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - Trapiche de Chalguayacu (Treadmill of Chalguayacu)

In the case of the Chalguayacu treadmill, the remains of the treadmill are less evident. An ancient boiler is still kept. Furthermore, the terrains where the treadmill was are cultivated and belong to a private owner. On the other hand the elders tell us that they have great interest in letting the young people know how the treadmill worked and the hardships endured in ancient times. This is why they keep on building memory sites even without material evidence.

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At the treadmill, the foreman was called “pailas” (Boilers). Those who did not want to work there sought employment elsewhere, usually the building of the railways. After the Agrarian Reform also the owner was tried by the community and plots of land were distributed. With the land distribution, work at the treadmill also ended.  (Interview Chalguayacu, 26 November 2013).

Easy access, by car and a short walk to the site (within the community).  
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Other data of interest


Historical name

Trapiche de Chalguayacu (Treadmill of Chalguayacu)

Founding Date

Probably towards the end of the 18th century


Comunidad de Chalguayacu  


Agro-industrial complex



Access level


Current Use

Short cycle crops and fruit trees

Original use

Treadmill to produce sugar loaves and coarse rum

Property kind


Expressions of intangible heritage associated

Memory on what the place meant. A place in which the system of “concertaje” was imposed on the population.