The Independence of Guayaquil, Tours to Guayaquil Ecuador

By: Eric Castro

Spanish possessions in South America went from the northwestern coast all the way to the south of the continent. For over two centuries, Lima was the main Spanish administrative center, as capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which extended over all Spanish possessions. In the 18th Century the territory was divided into three main administrative centers: the Viceroyalty of New Granada, established in 1717 (Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador); the Viceroyalty of Peru, in 1542 (Peru and Chile); and the Viceroyalty of La Plata, in 1776 (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia). This division remained until the end of the colonial period.

The struggles for independence in what is now Ecuador started early, in 1809, but it was not until 1822 when the Spanish were defeated and Ecuador became part of the Gran Colombia, formed by Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

Shortly after midnight on October 9, 1820 a group of patriots of Guayaquil , allied with the corps of "Granaderos" took over the military post, its arms and ammunition. The Spanish authorities, mainly the Commander and the Governor were detained and by dawn the citizens of Guayaquil were celebrating the triumph of the revolution. The Act of Independence of Guayaquil was signed that same day.

Both liberators, who led the struggles for independence in the Andean Viceroyalties: Simon Bolivar in New Granada and Jose de San Martin in La Plata arrived to Guayaquil in July 1822, where they had a historical encounter and determined that Guayaquil would be annexed to the Gran Colombia. The beautiful monument of La Rotonda at Guayaquil's Simon Bolivar Waterfront shows both liberators shaking hands.

In October, the celebration of the Independence of Guayaquil is the perfect excuse for many artistic and cultural activities in the newly restored city of Guayaquil, also called "The Pearl of the Pacific".

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