The Wall of Tears is a historical site 5 km west of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1944 to 1959 and the penal colony was always marked by abuse, and considered prisoners as slaves. One of the tasks entrusted to the prisoners, so they would have to do something, it was the construction of a wall with volcanic stones, Prisoners had to carry heavy stones from several kilometers. On this tour and during the construction of the wall, many fell due to insolation and lack of food. In addition, some died because the wall collapsed in a while. Many of these prisoners were buried in makeshift graves along the way. The result of this construction is what today is known as the Wall of Tears.
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Isabela worked as a US military base but after the end of World War II, the forces withdrew. Thus, the Ecuadorian government decided to use the, by then, remote island to take the most dangerous prisoners in the country and found what they called a penal colony. Thus the facilities abandoned by soldiers of the United States for that "prison" were used. But the horror of the story begin 1946 when it was decided, as a punishment, that criminals pay their sentence with hard labor. The Wall of Tears never finished being constructed , it really did not have much purpose other than to hold prisoners in an activity, and it is an overwhelming formation of approximately 100 meters long, 3 meters wide and 5-6 m high, which is now a site to visit the island Isabela. Certainly the history of the penal colony of Isabela and the Wall of Tears is not the happiest history of the islands. The Wall of Tears, named for the suffering and pain of their builders, still stands , contrasting each day with the beautiful landscape that grows around it.
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Muro de las Lagrimas, Isabela. Image credit Kathi Spencer