Guayaquil (gwī-ə-ˈkēl)

My family and I recently came back from a brilliant trip to Ecuador. We spent most of our time in the Galapagos Archipelago but we were able to spend some time in  Guayaquil. Although Quito is the political capital of Ecuador, Guayaquil is the main trade and financial center of the country. Guayaquil is a bustling city of 4 million people who speak Spanish, Quechua and many other indigenous languages.

During a city tour of Guayaquil, our guide told us the fascinating tale of the origin of this beautiful city’s name. It is said that Guayaquil comes from Guayas, a brave Indian chief, and Quil, his beloved wife. Refusing to surrender to the Spanish conquistadors, Guayas killed his wife and then drowned himself – they would rather die than be ruled by the Spanish.  Francisco de Orellana, a Spanish conquistador is credited with putting down the native rebellions and founding the city of Guayaquil on July 25, 1538. We were lucky to be there during the city’s Founding Day celebrations and witnessed many special events throughout the city commemorating the special occasion.

I love the story of Guayas and Quil but it is interesting to note that Guayaquil could also come from the aboriginal roots Gua (large), Ya (House), and Quil (Our) meaning “our big house.” Whatever the origin of the name, Guayaquil is an interesting city with a complex history.

If you watched the 2018 Scripps Spelling Bee, you may remember that Guayaquil was used in the Finals. I hope you enjoyed this post and pictures!

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