Cotopaxi is deemed to be one of the world’s highest stratovolcanoes, standing at 19,347 feet (5,897 m). The mountain is unique, serving as one of the few equatorial glaciers in the entire world. There is little proof regarding the actual meaning of the name, although many believe it stands for “shining pile” or “mountains.” Located in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, South America, the first known eruption occurred in 1534. Since 1783, the volcano has erupted a total of 87 times with the most recent activity taking place from August 2015 until January of 2016. Due to the high number of eruptions, many valleys have formed because of lahars. Cotopaxi makes up one of the several volcanoes apart of the Pacific ring of fire. In the past, the Andean people believed gods took refuge inside the volcano. Locals also worshipped the mountain, convinced it was the “rain sender,” controlling the land’s fertility.