National Geographic : 1907 Feb
VOL. XVIII, No. 2 WASHINGTON FEBRUARY, 1907 D IIATIOALl BEAUTIFUL ECUADOR* BY HON. JOSEPH LEE, U. S. MINISTER TO ECUADOR THE Republic of Ecuador lies at the northwestern corner of the South American continent, be tween Colombia and Peru. As its name implies, it is situated upon the Equator. Ecuador possesses an area of 429,000 square miles, including the Galapagos Archipelago. It is nearly twice the size of France and as large as Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska com bined. The population is 1,500,000. Although the country is comprised be tween one degree north and four degrees south latitude, almost every variation of climate is obtainable, from the torrid lands of the coast to the chilly plains, at an elevation of 12,000 feet, at the foot of the snow-clad peaks of the Andes. Both the eastern and western ranges of the Andes traverse the Republic. Be tween these ranges lie extensive high val leys yielding the products of the Temper ate Zone. To the west of the Cordillera stretch the low tropical lands on the Pa cific, and to the east the country grad ually descends to the low Amazon Valley and the frontiers of Brazil. Guayaquil, the principal seaport of the Republic, is situated on the River Guayas, the most important stream in South America emptying into the Pacific, about sixty miles above its mouth. has a population of 50,000. It is emporium of Ecuador. All imports exports pass through Guayaquil. It the and The houses are built of wood, owing to the lack of other material. They are con structed in the southern style, with bal conies protruding over the sidewalks and resting upon wooden pillars, thus form ing piazzas which afford protection against sun and rain. As fires under the circumstances are particularly dangerous, Guayaquil has perhaps a more extensive fire department than any city of its size, and ample reservoirs of water on a hill behind the town. It is improbable that Guayaquil will ever again be visited by such disastrous conflagrations as in the past. GUAYAQUIL The hospitals of Guayaquil are as com plete as any in South America. The great new General Hospital, with its modern appliances, compares most favor ably with Ancon Hospital at Panama. Although the cathedral, the churches, the great municipal buildings, and the aters are built of wood, they are impos ing and are decorated in perfect taste. The Union Club of Guayaquil is, with *An address to the National Geographic Society November 30, 1906.