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This article is about the city of Guayaquil. For the canton named after this city, see Guayaquil (canton).

Image:Flag of Guayaquil.svg
Flag Seal
Nickname: "La Perla del Paficico"
Country Ecuador
Province Guayas
Canton Guayaquil (canton)
Mayor Jaime Nebot Saadi (PSC)
 - City 1,214.4 km²  (468.9 sq mi)
 - Land 785.6 km²  (303.3 sq mi)
 - Water 428.8 km² (165.6 sq mi)
 - City (2004) 2,189,865
 - Density 1,803/km² (4,668/sq mi)
 - Metro 2,908,338
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Santiago de Guayaquil, or just Guayaquil (IPA: [guaʏakʊʟ]; Spanish: Guayaquil, IPA: [uaʏakiʟ]) , is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, as well as that nation's main sea port. Guayaquil is on the west margin of the Guayas River, which flows into the Gulf of Guayaquil in the Pacific Ocean. Guayaquil is at 2.21°S 79.90°W, about 250 km south-southwest of the capital of Ecuador, Quito. According to the most recent census (2001), its population was 2,189,865. However, the estimated metropolitan population was 2,908,338.

Guayaquil is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton. (In Ecuador, a cantón (canton) is a second-order subnational entity below a first-order province.)

The city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.

The city's airport, Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (IATA abbr.: GYE), has undergone renovations in the past year.


[edit] History

Guayaquil's waterfront around 1920

Guayaquil was founded on July 25 (see note below), 1538 with the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil by Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana. Even before it was founded by the Spanish, it already existed as a native village.

Note - July 25 is the legal holiday in Guayaquil. Historians have not yet reached a consensus about the date of Guayaquil's foundation or founder. The city might have been founded more than once. Another possible founder might be Diego de Almagro.

In 1600 Guayaquil had a population of about 2,000 people; by 1700 the city had a population of over 10,000.

In 1687, Guayaquil was attacked and looted by English and French pirates under the command of George d'Hout (English) and Picard and Groniet (Frenchmen). Of the more than 260 pirates, 35 died and 46 were wounded; 75 defenders of the city died and more than 100 were wounded. The pirates took local women as concubines. Quito paid the ransom demanded by the pirates with the condition they release the hostages and not burn Guayaquil.

In 1709, the English captains Woodes Rogers, Etienne Courtney, and William Dampier along with 110 other pirates, looted Guayaquil and demanded ransom; however, they suddenly departed without collecting the ransom after an epidemic of yellow fever broke out.

In October 9, 1820, almost without bloodshed, a group of civilians supported by soldiers from the "Granaderos de Reserva", a Peruvian battalion quartered in Guayaquil, overwhelmed the resistance of the Royalist guards and arrested the Spanish authorities. Guayaquil declared independence from Spain. José Joaquín de Olmedo was named "Jefe Civil" of Guayaquil.

On July 26, 1822, José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar held a famous conference in Guayaquil to plan for the independence of Spanish South America.

The city suffered from a major fire in 1896 which destroyed large portions of the city.

Guayaquil's current mayor (alcalde) is Jaime Nebot [ˈ ne.ˈβot], a well-known member of the political party Partido Social Cristiano.

Jaime Nebot began a campaign of construction projects for the city in the late 1990s to attract tourism, that included the "urban regeneration", which recontructed the city in all levels including sidewalks, parks, sewer system, it took the power and telephone lines underground, it saw a lot of recontruction of the city's chaotic transit system with the construction of multiple infrastructures (streets, speedways, overhaed passages, tunnels,etc.). In August 2006, the city's first bus rapid transit system, Metrovia, opened to provide a quicker, high-capacity service. One of the main projects was called Malecón 2000 [ma.le.ˈkon ðoz ˈmil], the renovation of the breakwater (malecón) along the Guayas River with the addition of a boardwalk in 2000. Another project was the creation of the Nuevo Parque Histórico, a park in a housing development area that is called Entre Ríos because it lies between the Daule and Babahoyo rivers (which confluence to form the Guayas river), in a mangrove wetland area. The park cost the city about 7 million dollars. It is a refuge for fauna and a zone of historical-architecture preservation, and has a traditions-and-history exhibition center. The idea of the creation of this park came from Ecuador's central bank in 1982, as part of their "Rescate Arquitectónico" ("Architectural Rescue") program.

[edit] Art & Culture

Image:Guayaqil MuseoAntropologicoydeArteContemporaneo.JPG
Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (MAAC), near the breakwater (photo taken in 2000)

Ecuador is known for its artists and its place in art history. The country is home to some of the most important master artists of the last century which include:

Image:Guayaquil LasPinturas.JPG
Secondary office of the Ecuadorian central bank (Banco Central del Ecuador or BCE) in Guayaquil (December 8, 2004)

In addition to the Master Artists above, other famous people from Guayaquil include animator Mike Judge; poets José Joaquín de Olmedo and Adalberto Ortiz , scholar Benjamín Urrutia, former world's oldest person Maria Capovilla, violinist Jorge Saade, operatic soprano Beatriz Parra Durango, singer Gerardo Mejia, and tennis player Pancho Segura.

Most buildings in downtown Guayaquil have a very attractive feature - the soportales. These are colonnades or arcades that provide protection to pedestrians from the Equatorial sun and torrential rains.

Guayaquil appears as the setting for much of the novel Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut.

The two most popular football teams of the city are Barcelona Sporting Club and Club Sport Emelec.

[edit] Safety

Guayaquil is regarded as the most dangerous city in Ecuador. Chances of being robbed while strolling the streets in the city centre during daytime are small. However when the sun sets, crime is common. Most housings feature physical barricades to windows, and to general entry of the premise. Some houseowners keep guard dogs as well as armed guards, because of frequent crime throughout the city. Extreme caution should be taken when walking outside after hours.

[edit] Religious Structures

Guayaquil has a Cathedral and many other Roman Catholic churches. It also has a Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many other religious structures of that denomination. There are many faiths and religions represented throughout the city.

[edit] Universities

Some of Guayaquil's main universities are:

[edit] Sights

El Malecón 2000 - It is one of the most important civic-touristic-commercial center of South America. It's the most complete and modern center of urban recreation of the country. With multiple green areas of entertainment and commercial service, it's receiving a significant number of visitors everyday.

El Palacio Municipal - sits in front of the Malecón and holds the political offices of city and provincial officials. A building of the neoclassical style, it is considered one of the most important architectural works in the country. Employees will enthusiastically answer questions about the building and are a good source of information regarding the city.

Las Peñas Neighborhood - in the northeast corner of the city's center, is home to many recognized artists. Many of the area's 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries. A walk through this historic district gives one a glimpse into Guayaquil's past.

Mercado Artesanal - is the largest artisan market in the city. The market is housed in a 240-shop building that takes up the entire block of Baquerizo Avenue, between the streets Loja and Juan Montalvo. Its many vendors sell indigenous crafts, jewelry, paintings, and more!

Parque Centenario - located on the street 9 de Octubre, between Lorenzo de Garaycoa and Quito, this is the largest park downtown, occupying four city blocks. It is a favored place to take refuge from the equatorial sun. Enjoy the shade offered by the large trees planted liberally over the expanses of walkways and lawns. A large statue of Liberty dominates the central area of the park.

Parque Seminario - is not your typical city park. Seminario, located on 10 de Agosto Avenue and Chile, is home to dozens of Iguanas, some of which approach 5 feet in length. There seems to be hundreds of the monstrous, yet docile, reptiles lurking all over. Every afternoon, workers bring fruit and vegetable scraps to lure the Iguanas from the trees so that onlookers may watch them descend for a snack! A pond filled with colorful Japanese Talapia fish and the equestrian statue of Simón Bolívar located in the center of the park, are two more reasons to visit the park.

[edit] Sister cities

Guayaquil's sister cities are:

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 2°11′S 79°53′War:غواياكيل an:Guayaquil be:Ґуаякіль bs:Guayaquil ca:Guayaquil cs:Guayaquil de:Guayaquil el:Γουαγιακίλ es:Guayaquil eo:Guayaquil fr:Guayaquil hr:Guayaquil io:Guayaquil id:Guayaquil it:Guayaquil lt:Gvajakilis hu:Guayaquil na:Guayaquil nl:Guayaquil ja:グアヤキル no:Guayaquil nn:Guayaquil pl:Guayaquil pt:Guayaquil qu:Guayaquil ru:Гуаякиль sr:Гвајакил fi:Guayaquil sv:Guayaquil


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