Visit: Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Santa Catalina 301, Arequipa Peru
The Viceroy Francisco Toledo, during his visit to Arequipa, was informed by the Cabildo, about his desire years ago, to found a monastery of nuns. This motivated him to grant the necessary licenses for the foundation of the "Monastery of Private Nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina de Siena".
Years later, Doña María de Guzmán, widow of Diego Hernández de Mendoza, beautiful, rich and young woman who had no children, decided to seclude herself in the monastery under construction, giving her all her possessions. On September 10, 1579, the Report and Capitulation of the Monastery's foundation signed between the City Council, Justice and Regiment and the Bishopric of Cusco was made, and the Town Council handed over the four lots owned by the city for its operation; naming Doña María de Guzmán "first town-dweller and prioress of said Monastery".