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Guayaquil(gwīäkēl`), city (1990 pop. 1,508,444), capital of Guayas prov., W Ecuador, on the Guayas River near its mouth on the Gulf of Guayaquil, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The chief port and largest city of Ecuador and one of the best ports along Latin America's Pacific coast, Guayaquil has industries manufacturing textiles, leather goods, cement, alcohol, soap, and iron products. Through its modern harbor are shipped cacao, coffee, and bananas, the principal exports of Ecuador. Between 1970 and 1990 the city's population nearly doubled. Guayaquil was founded by the Spanish conquistador Sebastián de BenalcázarBenalcázar or Belalcázar, Sebastián de
, c.1479–1551, Spanish conquistador. After accompanying Columbus on his third voyage (1498), Benalcázar served in Darién and Nicaragua
..... Click the link for more information. in 1535. It was often subjected to attacks by buccaneers in the 17th cent. and in the 18th and 19th cent. was destroyed repeatedly by fires. The occupation of the city in 1821 by patriot forces under Antonio José de SucreSucre, Antonio José de
, 1795–1830, South American revolutionist, b. Cumaná, Venezuela. He joined (1811) the forces fighting for independence from Spain and rose to be the chief lieutenant of Simón Bolívar.
..... Click the link for more information. was the first major step in Ecuador's final liberation from Spain. The fateful meeting between Simón BolívarBolívar, Simón
, 1783–1830, South American revolutionary who led independence wars in the present nations of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
..... Click the link for more information. and José de San MartínSan Martín, José de
, 1778–1850, South American revolutionist, b. Yapeyú, in present-day Argentina. After service with the Spanish army in Europe, he returned (1812) to join the revolution against Spain in his native country.
..... Click the link for more information. that was to influence the course of independence in South America took place in Guayaquil in 1822. Because of its hot and humid climate the city was frequently scourged by yellow fever until the sanitation work of the U.S. surgeon-general William C. GorgasGorgas, William Crawford,
1854–1920, American disease and sanitation expert, surgeon general of the United States, b. Mobile, Ala., grad. Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1879. He served with the U.S. army medical corps after 1880.
..... Click the link for more information. . Guayaquil has several colonial landmarks, including the church of Santo Domingo (16th cent.). It is the seat of three universities and a polytechnic institute.
former name, Santiago de Guayaquil, a city in Ecuador; port on the bank of the Guayas River, which is navigable. 50 km from where it empties into the Gulf of Guayaquil on the Pacific Ocean. Administrative center of Guayas Province. Population, 738,600 (1969). Railroad station (on the line to Quito and the port of Salinas).
Guayaquil has an international airport. In the city there are foundries and machine shops; it has sawmilling, light-industry, and food-industry enterprises (milling of flour, brewing of beer, etc.). More than 90 percent of the country’s imports and some 50 percent of its exports pass through Guayaquil. There is a university in the city.
Founded in 1531 by the Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Benalcazar, Guayaquil was twice demolished in Indian rebellions against Spanish rule and permanently rebuilt in 1541. In 1687 and 1709 it was attacked by English pirates, and in 1587 and 1842 it suffered severely from epidemics of plague and yellow fever. On Oct. 9, 1820. Guayaquil proclaimed its independence, and in July 1822 as part of Quito Province it joined Gran Colombia. Early in the 20th century the city became the center of the country’s workers’ movement. The biggest strikes and mass protests by the toiling people occurred in 1922, 1942–44, 1949–50, and 1966.