Ecuador claims the Galapagos Islands in 1832
Although the islands belonged to Quito during the colonial years, after the independence they couldn’t be considered anybody’s land. For this reason the General Jose Villamil, born in Louisiana and residing in Guayaquil, suggested officially incorporating the archipelago into the new Republic. The Colonel Ignacio Hernandez, delegate of the governor, performed the ceremony February 12, 1832 on the island of Floreana, which took this name in honor of the first president of Ecuador, Juan Jose Flores.
1832-1837 - The First Colony
General Jose Villamil organized a colonizing company with the illusion of converting the archipelago into a place of peace (the first town was called "The asylum of peace"), of progress and of the regeneration of criminals and rebel soldiers, by means of work. Villamil moved to the island on October 12, 1832 to try make his dreams come true. In the beginning, everything seemed to prosper but the presence of criminals destroyed the environment and ended up destroying the colony. In 1836, Villamil released domesticated animals (cows, horses, and donkeys) on the main islands. To take advantage of the grass and they reproduced very quickly, together with the wild animals that were left over from the previous colonization (dogs, cats, pigs, and goats) they turned into a danger for the ecology of the islands.