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Guayaquil ( ), officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuadormarker, as well as that nation's main port. The city is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton.

Guayaquil is located on the western bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Oceanmarker at the Gulf of Guayaquil. Because of its location, the city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.


Guayaquil's waterfront around 1920.
Guayaquil was founded on July 25, 1538 with the name Muy Noble y Muy 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.

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 battalion quartered in Guayaquil, overwhelmed the resistance of the Royalist guards and arrested the Spanish authorities. Guayaquil declared independence from Spain, becoming Provincia Libre de Guayaquil, and José Joaquín de Olmedo was named Jefe Civil (Civil Chief) of Guayaquil. This would prove to be a key victory for the Ecuadorian War of Independence.

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.

The city has been invaded by the Peruvian Military on two occasions: in 1829 and 1860, the latter of which is referred to as the Battle of Guayaquil.

Guayaquil at present

Present-day Guayaquil continues its tradition of trade, although the city is expanding its tourism base, by beautifying the city and an improvement in the citizens' self-esteem . This process has taken years, comprising the last two municipal administrations. Despite having few historic buildings, renovations and expansions of levees, squares, parks, and some districts have turned Guayaquil into a national and international tourist destination. It is now a headquarters for fairs and international events.


Guayaquileños main source of income are: formal and informal trade, business, agriculture and aquaculture; trade in the vast majority of the population consists of SMB, adding an important informal economy occupation that gives thousands of guayaquileños employment. Despite this, Guayaquil is the city with the highest rate of underemployment (about 40% of the economically active population) and unemployment (about 11% of the economically active population) of Ecuador.

Guayaquil maintains an infrastructure for import and export of products with international standards. Among its major trading points are the Seaport, the largest in Ecuador and one of the biggest influx of shipping on the shores of the Pacific and José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airportmarker. Additionally, it has an infrastructure of roads to other cities and provinces, which are considered the best in the country.

Ongoing projects seek urban regeneration as a principal objective to the growth of the city's commercial districts, as the increase of capital produces income. These projects in the city driven by the recent mayors have achieved this goal after investing large sums of money. The current municipal administration aims to convert Guayaquil into a place for first-class international tourism and business multinationals.


Guayaquil features a tropical savanna climate. The climate is hot and generally humid throughout the year with little variation in average temperatures. During El Niño years rainfall is very heavy between January and April and flooding usually occurs. Typically however, rainfall is minimal due to the influence of the Humboldt Current.


Guayaquil's current mayor is Jaime Nebot , 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 reconstructed the city in all levels including sidewalks, parks, sewer system, it took the power and telephone lines underground, it saw a lot of reconstruction of the city's chaotic transit system with the construction of multiple infrastructures (streets, speedways, overhead 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 , the renovation of the promenade (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 centre. The idea of the creation of this park came from Ecuador's central bank in 1982, as part of their "Rescate Arquitectónico" ("Architectural Rescue") programme. .

Guayaquil City Sectors

Guayaquil City Territorial Organisation

Number of the sector in reference with the City Map
# Sectors # Sectors # Sectors
1 9 de Octubre Este 25 Febres Cordero 49 Prosperina
2 9 de Octubre Oeste 26 Floresta 50 Puerto Azul Norte
3 Abel Gilbert 27 La Florida 51 Puerto Azul Sur
4 Acuarela 28 García Moreno 52 Puerto Lisa
5 Los Álamos 29 Garzota 53 Quinto Guayas Este
6 Alborada Este 30 Guangala 54 Quinto Guayas Oeste
7 Alborada Oeste 31 Guasmo Este 55 Río Guayas
8 Los Almendros 32 Guasmo Oeste 56 Roca
9 Las Américas 33 Huancavilca 57 Rocafuerte
10 Atarazana 34 Isla Trinitaria 58 La Saiba
11 Ayacucho 35 Kennedy 59 Samanes
12 Bastión Popular 36 Letamendi 60 San Eduardo
13 Batallón del Suburbio 37 Luz del Guayas 61 Los Sauces
14 Bellavista 38 Mapasingue 62 Simón Bolívar
15 Bolívar 39 Miraflores 63 Sopeña
16 Los Ceibos 40 Monte Bello 64 Sucre
17 Centenario 41 Olmedo 65 Tarqui
18 Cerro del Carmen 42 Las Orquidias Este 66 Unión
19 Cóndor 43 Las Orquidias Oeste 67 Urdenor
20 Cuba 44 Paraíso 68 Urdaneta
21 Del Astillero 45 Pascuales 69 Urdesa
22 Estero Salado 46 Pedro Carbo 70 Los Vergeles
23 Los Esteros 47 Las Peñas 71 Ximena
24 La FAE 48 La Pradera


According to the most recent census (2001), its population was 1.985.379.

Historical Populations Guayaquil City

Compared with Guayas Province, Canton of Guayaquil, and Guayaquil City
Census Guayas Province Canton of Guayaquil Guayaquil City
1950 582.144 331.942 258.966
1962 979.223 567.895 510.804
1974 1.512.333 907.013 823.219
1982 2.038.454 1.328.005 1.199.344
1990 2.515.146 1.570.396 1.508.444
2001 4.509.034 2.148.779 1.985.379
Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos

Percentage Population Growth of Guayaquil City

Compared with Guayas Province, Canton of Guayaquil, and Guayaquil City.
Census Guayas Province Canton of Guayaquil Guayaquil City
1950-1962 4,34% 4,49% 5,67%
1962-1974 3,77% 4,06% 4,14%
1974-1982 3,52% 4,50% 4,44%
1982-1990 2,63% 2,10% 2,87%
1990-2001 2,49% 2,38% 2,50%
Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos


Typical Guayaquil cuisine includes encebollado (one of many typical seafood soups), ceviche, arroz con menestra y carne (rice and beans with grilled or fried beef)[30474], patacones (twice-fried plantain slices) and pan de yuca (bread made from cassava).

Notable people


Ecuador is known for its artists and its place in art history. Many of them were born in Guayaquil, such as:
Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (MAAC), near the breakwater (photo taken in 2000).


Other notable people from Guayaquil include:

Religious buildings

Cathedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil

Guayaquil has a cathedral and many other Roman Catholic churches. There is a Temple and many chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many other faiths and religions are represented throughout the city.


Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil (Municipal Library of Guayaquil) serves as the public library of Guayaquil.


Barcelona's Stadium Estadio Monumental, the second largest stadium in South America.
There are two major soccer clubs; the Barcelona Sporting Club and the Club Sport Emelec. Both clubs have their own stadiums; the Estadio Monumental Banco del Pichinchamarker is the home of the "Barcelonistas" while the Estadio George Capwellmarker is the home of the "Emeleccistas". These two teams have a long history of rivalry in Guayaquil and when these two teams play against each other the game is called "El Clásico del Astillero". (Emelec is short for "Empresa Electrica del Ecuador" - the team was sponsored by the electric power company when founded.)

The city is also the home of Nicolas Lapentti, an active tennis player that is top 100 at the Current ATP Race.

The "Abierto de Tenis Ciudad de Guayaquil" is a tennis tournament organised in Guayaquil every year by Andrés Gómez and Luis Morejon in November of every year.

Another major event in the city is the Guayaquil Marathon, organised by DM3, which is held every year on the first weekend of October since 2005. These race is certified by the (AIMS) Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.


Some of Guayaquil's main universities are:

Notable places

Las Peñas Neighborhood.
Imax at Malecon 2000
Malecon 2000
The Malecón 2000 is a restoration project of the historic Simon Bolivar Pier. It will be a symbolic centre of the city, a mix of green areas and shopping. The tall ship Guayas has its home base here.

The Palacio Municipal is located in front of the Malecón and holds the political offices of city and provincial officials. Built in a neoclassical style, it is considered one of the most important architectural works in the country.

Las Peñas is a neighbourhood in the northeast corner of the city centre; is the artistic centre of the city. Many of the area's 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area.

The 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 Loja and Juan Montalvo streets. Its many vendors sell indigenous crafts, jewellery, and paintings.

Parque Centenario is located on 9 de Octubre street, between Lorenzo de Garaycoa and Quito. This is the largest park in the town centre, occupying four city blocks. It offers shady refuge from the equatorial sun, with large trees arching over the walkways and lawns. A large Statue of Liberty dominates the central area of the park.

Parque Seminario (also known as Parque de Las Iguanas or Iguana Park) located on 10 de Agosto Avenue and Chile Avenue, is home to many iguanas, some of which approach 5 feet in length. Tourists and locals alike often feed the iguanas mango slices from park vendors. There is also a pond filled with colourful Japanese Tilapia. An equestrian statue of Simón Bolívar is located in the centre of the park.

Urdesa is a traditional neighborhood, for restaurants, stores.

Bahia is a popular marketplace for toys, clothing, electronic goods, DVDs, and CDs.

The city's new airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airportmarker (IATA airport code: GYE), though using the same runways, had its passenger terminal completely rebuilt in 2006 and was renamed. The old passenger terminal is now a convention centre.

Sister cities

Guayaquil has city partnerships with the following cities and/or regions:

See also


  1. 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.
  2. Guayaquil y como el mercado siempre aparece: El retorno de los ‘informales’, Diario Expreso
  3. Proyecto de Regeneración Urbana de Guayaquil, artículo «¿Por qué Guayaquil requería regeneración urbana?» de la M. I. Municipalidad de Guayaquil
  4. Evolución de la población de la provincia, Cantón Guayaquil, y de la Ciudad de Guayaquil - Guayas, Censo 2001, Según el Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos
  5. Evolución de la población de la provincia, Cantón Guayaquil, y de la Ciudad de Guayaquil - Guayas, Censo 2001, Según el Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos
  6. " Inicio." Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil. Retrieved on April 7, 2009.

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