History & Culture
Nestled nearly two miles beneath Mount Pichincha in the Andes near the equator, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is surrounded by forested mountains, several volcanos (Pichincha, Cayambe, Antisana), and notable peaks (Puntas, Atacazo, and Corazon).
While the Spanish settled Quito in 1534, the city is much older. Quito took its name from “Quitus,” one of the several tribes that inhabited the city in the pre-Colombian era. The city even once served as the capital of the northern half of the Incan Empire.
Today, Quito is made up of two parts, the Old City and the New City. The Old City remains the same as it did during the colonial era, while the New City gleams with modern buildings and bustling crowds. In 1978, the historic center of Quito was listed as one of UNESCO’s first World Cultural Heritage Sites. Quito is filled with hundreds shops, cafes, and restaurants. The city is home to many museums (art to history to medicine) and libraries, including one that was founded in 1586.
Quito is governed by the Mayor, Concejales and the Prefecto, as well as a 15-member city council. Quito’s primary industries are in exports of flowers, coffee, sugar, cacao, and bananas. However, the national oil company of Ecuador, EP Petroecuador, is also headquartered in Quito.
- Population: 2.7 million
- Language: Spanish
- Mayor: Mauricio Rodas Espinel
- Carnival (in 2018 - February 12th)
- Good Friday – Easter Sunday – Easter Monday
- Fiestas de Guápulo (September 7th)
- Birth day of Simón Bolívar (July 24th)
- Independence Day (August 10th)
- All Soul’s Day (November 2nd)
- Foundation of Quito Day (December 6th)
- Christmas Day (December 25th)