July 25 – Foundation of Guayaquil Day in Ecuador

Posted on July 25, 2015

 Guayaquil isn't the capital of Ecuador (that's Quito), but it is the nation's largest city and the most important port.

Guayaquil was founded on on this date in 1538. At least, that's what the official story is. In a way, it was founded earlier than that, because native peoples lived on the site in a small village. The 1538 founding date was the date that a Spanish Conquistador recorded naming the city.

You know how sometimes a long city name becomes shortened, because shorter names are just easier? Well, just as El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles / El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Porciuncula was shortened to Los Angeles, this Spanish city was first named Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil. That basically means “Most Noble and Most Loyal City of St. James of Guayaquil.”

Thank goodness, for the sake of our maps, this was shortened drastically to just Guayaquil! (In some places, I have seen this city still listed as Santiago de Guayaquil.)

This town is known for its many artists born in the 1900s, its several universities, its parks, and its popular shopping areas. The fact that Guayaquil is the nation's largest city and a port, but is not the nation's capital, reminds me of the fact that the largest city in the United States is New York City, which is also a port and is also not the U.S. capital.

Take a peek at Guayaquil:

This statue is sometimes called the Statue of Liberty, but in addition to the female holding a lantern and (I presume) representing liberty and independence, four founding fathers of the city are depicted. Another name for the statue is Heroes of Independence or Column of Heroes.

The arts district is called Las Peñas. Many of the buildings here are 400-year-old houses that have been converted into galleries and studios.

In Guayaquil, you can feed seeds to the pigeons and mango slices to the iguanas!

The Mercado Artesanal is a building that holds about 240 different shops!

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