Guaranda

Guaranda

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San Pedro de Guaranda is a city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in central Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

. It is the capital of Bolívar, a province located in the Andes mountains. The city has is connected by road with other hubs including, Riobamba
Riobamba
Riobamba is the capital of the Chimborazo Province in central Ecuador, which is located at the Chambo River Valley of the Andes. It is south of Ecuador's capital Quito and located at 2754 m on the Avenue of the Volcanoes...

, Babahoyo
Babahoyo
Babahoyo, founded September 30, 1948, by legislative decree, is the capital of the Los Ríos province of Ecuador. Its population is cited around 158,000. It is bordered by two rivers, the San Pablo and the Caracol, which join to form the Babahoyo River...

 and Ambato
San Juan de Ambato
Ambato is a city in located in the central Andean valley of Ecuador. Lying on the banks of the Ambato River, the city also sits beneath several tall mountains. It is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, at an elevation of 2,577 meters above sea level. The population is 180,000 , making it...

.

Guaranda is a market town located in a "Valle" - a deep valley in the high Andes, serving a vast hinterland of agricultural settlements ("comunidades") peopled by Quechua Indians. Its climate is subtropical, with a long (May - October) dry season ("estio"). Its population is mainly mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

, but includes many people of different ethnicities . Supposely, the city was first colonized by Jewish Conversos fleeing from Lima's Inquisition. This nucleus has been intermarrying for now almost five centuries, forming a compact population linked by family connections. Since the 1990s, the indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 majority has seized political power and most of the local elected officers are of Quechua origin.

The city has 25,000 inhabitants (2005) and is growing. It suffers severe problems of electricity and water supply. Water is drawn from high surface sources, mostly from the Chimborazo
Chimborazo (volcano)
Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano located in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 AD....

 glacier, and is of good drinking quality. The city is known for its week-long Carnaval and for its "Pajaro Azul" alcoholic drink.

History


The city was founded by Spanish explorers in 1571, but wasn't officially recognize until November 11, 1811. The city celebrates its independence day on November 10, commemorating the day the city definitively declared its independence from the Spanish.

Guaranda weathered earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s in 1674 and 1775, sustaining significant damage, but rebuilding both times. After the 1775 earthquake, it took almost four years to rebuild the city.

The city was declared an official Ecuadorian cultural center on October 23, 1997, reflecting the historic architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 of the urban center.

Geography


Like Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Guaranda is built upon seven hill
Hill
A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills often have a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills...

s. It lies at an altitude of about 2668 meters. From the city, Chimborazo
Chimborazo
Chimborazo can refer to:* Chimborazo , Ecuador* Chimborazo Hospital, American Civil War hospital* Chimborazo Province, Ecuador* Battle of Chimborazo, c. 1531, during civil war in Incan Empire...

 is in view most days.

The downtown area is situated around Parque Libertador Simon Bolivar, named for the heroic liberator, Simon Bolivar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

. In the park, a statue of Bolivar designed by famous Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin
Oswaldo Guayasamín
Oswaldo Guayasamín was a Quechua native and Ecuadorian master painter and sculptor.-Early life:...

can be found.

External links