Guayaquil - 2009 F
Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest and fast-paced city, principal seaport, industrial, commercial centre, situated at the mouth of the Guayas River.
Named after the legendary Indian prince and princess Guayas and Quil.
It is about 65 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean on the Guayas River only 4 meters above sea level and is surrounded by marshes and salt flats.
Ocean-going ships reach Guayaquil's deep-water port by way of the Gulf of Guayaquil and the Estero Salado ship channel, which is 58 kilometres long.
The city was founded by the Spaniard, Francisco de Orellana in 1537, one of the first explorer of the Amazon.
Guayaquil always have been an important port and was looted by pirates several times.
Today's major industries include trading in fruit, especially bananas, oil refining, manufacturing plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, food products, vehicles, and electrical equipment.
The city also has breweries, a cement factory, flour mills, ironworks, sawmills, small shipyards, and textile mills.
Guayaquil experienced very rapid growth since the 1950s, especially due to the growth of the banana industry.
Due to rapid growth and 'urban shift' the city is very crowded.
Over crowding and poverty is imminent in the squatters settlements called "suburbios", on the land-filled marshes, that flood often and stretches the city's ability to provide better housing, water, and garbage collection.
The city's close proximity to the equator makes the climate humid and very hot just about all year around.
The rainy season is from January to April, and the dry season May to December, may be overcast but agreeably cool.
Guayaquil not a very well known tourist destiny, mainly used as a jumping point to get to the Galapagos Islands or the famous Alausi train.
The city's attractions include the Municipal Museum (With it's famous shrunken heads), the Archaeological Museum of the Banco Central, the Archaeological Museum of the Banco del Pacifico, the Casa de Cultura (With it's collection of gold), the Iglesias de San Francisco and de Santo Domingo churches, the "Las Penas" colonial district, the Malecon Simon Bolivar (The Strand), the Parque del Centenario, and the La Bahia market near the waterfront.
A monument marks the meeting in 1822 of the liberators Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin in the Parque del Centenario.
Due to the large population (More than 2 million) the city suffers from air and water pollution, chaotic, congested traffic, and an unstable water supply.
Quito, the capital and Guayaquil always had an fierce political rivalry.
It is said that if Quito is the head of Ecuador, Guayaquil is its heart.
For more information about Guayaquil see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
During 2009 Hui Chin and I spent few days in Guayaquil again.
We did have a good time.
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