Learn more about Guayaquil
- This article is about the city of Guayaquil. For the canton named after this city, see Guayaquil (canton).
|Nickname: "La Perla del Paficico"|
|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)|
|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.
The city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.
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 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.
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.
 Art & Culture
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:
- Caesar Andrade Faini (b. 1913, Quito)
- Félix Arauz (b. 1935, Guayaquil)
- Xavier Blum Pinto (b. 1957, Guayaquil)
- Hugo Cifuentes (b. 1923- d. 2000, Otavalo)
- Theo Constanté (b.1934, Guayaquil)
- Pedro Dávila (?? - present)
- Camilo Egas (b. 1889, Quito- d. 1962, New York)
- Gonzalo Endara Crow (b. 1936 - d. 1996, Bucay)
- Araceli Gilbert (b. 1913, Guayaquil - d. 1993, Quito)
- Oswaldo Guayasamín (b. 1919 - d. 1999, Quito),
- Judith Gutierrez (b. 1927, Babahoyo; d. 2003, Guadalajara, Mexico)
- Eduardo Kingman (b. 1913; d. 1998, Quito)
- Estuardo Maldonado (b. 1930, Pintag)
- Luis Miranda
- Luis Molinari (b. 1929, Guayaquil)
- Manuel Rendon Seminario (b. Paris, 1894 - d.Portugal, 1982)
- Marcos Restrepo (b. 1961, Catarama)
- Enrique Tábara (b. 1930, Guayaquil)
- Jorge Velarde (b. 1960, Guayaquil)
- Rony Vera (b. 1965, Guayaquil)
- Juan Villafuerte (b. 1945, Guayaquil; d. 1977, Barcelona, Spain)
- Aníbal Villacís (b. 1927, Ambato)
- Oswaldo Viteri (b. 1931, Ambato)
- Jaime Villa (b. 1934, Guayaquil)
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 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.
 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.
Some of Guayaquil's main universities are:
- Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
- Universidad de Guayaquil
- Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil
- Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte
- Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo
- Universidad Casa Grande
- Universidad Santa Maria
- Brookdale Community College
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.
 Sister cities
Guayaquil's sister cities are:
 See also
 External links
- Old Photos of Guayaquil
- Photos of Guayaquil I
- Photos of Guayaquil II
- Guayaquil Webcam showing the "Puente de la Unidad Nacional"
- Guayaquil at Google Maps
- Guayaquil at Ecuador Travel Guides
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