Spanish missionaries founded a small rural community on this site in the 16th century. Either by chance, or through help from 'above,' Chiclayo has prospered ever since. One of the first sharp moves in Peruvian real estate, the missionaries chose a spot that sits at the hub of vital trade routes between the coast, the highlands and the deep jungle. Chiclayo's role as the commercial heart of the district has allowed it to overtake other once vital organs of the region, such as the nearby city of Lambayeque. This bustling metropolis shows few signs of slowing down.