Sun, 2011-07-10 02:43
08. July 2011
A uninviting place to found a city – more than 2.800 meters above sea level, with 30 degrees of temperature differences per day, directly on the equator, surrounded by active volcanoes and haunted by earth quakes.
The Spanish build a mission nonetheless; and for more than three hundred years the city was a stronghold of the church. It had four universities, focussed on theology, and dozens of gold-plated churches and monasteries. Quito is a bustling city; it has grown rapidly over the last 50 years, fuelled by the mountain Indians searching a better life in the city. The small houses of the poor have filled the whole valley ground and now climb up the steep mountain sides.
The airport, 30 years ago built on the outskirts, has been embraced by the sea of houses and is now in the middle of the city. Modern office buildings with a dozen or more floors and glass facades sit next to patches of dirt or makeshift car repair shops. Even in the old town, full of baroque churches and Spanish colonial style and today Unesco world heritage site, some modern blocks have sneaked in. The city is full of police and security personnel, and while this gives you a feeling of being protected it tells you a lot about the country’s economic and social problems.


0° 13' 39.4392" S, 78° 30' 41.0076" W