There are no residents currently living within the Sanctuary. Nevertheless, there are peasant farmer communities living in the zone of influence, who have created more than 120 civil society nature reserves as a significant sign of the interest in biodiversity conservation in the region. The Island is very important to the Quillasinga indigenous community of El Encano, who consider it a sacred place, and also to the Catholics of the region, who visit the Island’s chapel annually for the Lourdes Virgin festivity, with around 9,000 visitors on that day.