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Chincha Islands

Chincha Islands, the best-known group of some thirty major islands and scores of islets and rock outcrops located off the coast of Peru. Under the administration of Ramón Castilla in the 1850s, the guano-rich islands assumed increased importance in the economic history of Peru. Guano, the excrement from the guanay (Peruvian cormorant) and other seabirds, was in increased demand as a fertilizer for agriculture around the world. This led to increased foreign investment and immigration, much of it forced Chinese labor, and to the systematic exploitation of the islands. Production was erratic in the twentieth century, but the islands remained commercially important producers of guano.

See alsoGuano Industry .


Robert Cushman Murphy, Bird Islands of Peru (1925).

Emilio Romero, Perú: Una nueva geografía, 2 vols. (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Campbell, Michael T. Guano and Manpower: the Case of Mona Island, Navassa Island and the Chincha Islands. Barbados: Paper Presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the Association of Caribbean Historians, 1996.

Hollett, D. More Precious than Gold: The Story of the Peruvian Guano Trade. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007.

                                          John C. Super

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Chincha Islands

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