In the first years of the Colony, when Peru and Latin America were governed by the Spanish crown, after the European invasion, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1569-1581) ordered the relocation of the Indian peoples in spaces that were known as «reductions». This was done seeking to confine the aborigines in small settlements in order to avoid their demographic dispersion, to facilitate their conversion to Christianity, to control production and ensure the collection of taxes by the colonial administration. After the El Niño phenomenon of 1578, in this zone of the El Brujo Archaeological Complex, the reduction of María Magdalena de Cao was founded, where Dominican priests established a curacy and built a small convent with a small church.
The urban layout of the town was organized in the shape of a checkerboard, following the Spanish custom: a central plaza, where the small convent was, and to which streets with dwellings, institutional buildings or houses of functionaries converged. According to historical documents, the natives dedicated themselves to fishing and agriculture.