FLYING OVER QUAYAQUIL
Guayaquil Travel Blog› entry 4 of 22 › view all entries
April 20th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
(OUR TRIP CONTINUES)
We had to fly here to top off the fuel and pick up passengers. It was a 30min stop in the process we picked up, Willam, one of the naturalist of the Galapagos Islands that will be our guides. This was an hour flight from Quito. i slept the whole way through, from Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands is about a 2hr flight.
BRIEF FACTS OF QUAYAQUIL
Santiago de Guayaquil, or just Guayaquil (pronounced [waʝaˈkil]), is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, as well as that nation's main port.
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 1,985,379. However, the estimated metropolitan population was 2,489,865.
Guayaquil is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton.
The city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.
The city's new airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (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 center.
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 battalion quartered in Guayaquil, overwhelmed the resistance of the Royalist guards and arrested the Spanish authorities. Guayaquil declared independence from Spain 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 Guayaquil of today continues its tradition of trade, and now is in the process of a fundamentally economic bet on tourism. This is reflected by changes in the ornamentation of the city and an improvement in the self-esteem of the citizens. 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 to Guayaquil into a national and international tourist destination. It is now a headquarters for fairs and international events.
The main source of income guayaquileños are formal and informal trade, business, agriculture and aquaculture; trade in the vast majority of the population consists of SMB s micro s, adding an important informal economy occupation that gives thousands of guayaquileños.  Despite this Guayaquil is city with the highest rate of unemployment (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 bridges are: the Seaport, the main in Ecuador and one of the biggest influx of shipping on the shores of the Pacific and José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. 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 helmets, the increase of capital produces imcome. 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 in a place for first-class international tourism and business multinationals.
Guayaquil's current mayor (alcalde) is Jaime Nebot [ˈxai.me 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 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, Metrovía, 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.
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