Ecuadorians celebrate independence from Spain on August 10. On this day in 1809, Criollo rebels took over the Ecuadorian capital Quito.
In Spanish, it is “El Dia del Primer Grito de Independencia de Quito” (The day of the first declaration of independence of Quito).
El Dia del Primer Grito de Independencia de Quito
The Spanish, led by Francisco Pizarro, took over what is now Ecuador from the Inca in 1533 after an Inca civil war. There is a lesson there. United we stand, divided we fall.
The Spaniards set up a cruel caste system in which peninsulars (Spaniards born in Spain) and criollos (Spaniards born in the Americas) ruled over everyone else with impunity. The Spaniards brought human slavery based on skin color. This medieval Spanish political, religious, economic and social system still devils us. It is a system of exclusion, exploitation and enslavement. There must be a better way.
The context for the independence of Spanish America was Napoleon’s conquest of Spain in 1808. In rebellion against French control, Spaniards across the Americas set up their own governments. At first they were loyal to Spain, but soon the criollos chose independence.
Rebels in Quito declared independence from Spain on August 10, 1809. Lacking broad support, they were defeated in about three weeks. Though full independence was years away, this was the first step and is celebrated today as Ecuador’s national day.
Guayaquil, Ecuador’s main port and largest city, gained its independence on October 9, 1820. Many New York Ecuadorians are from Guayaquil.
Quito became independent from Spain after the legendary Battle of Pichincha on the volcano above Quito on May 24, 1822. This freed Quito and the lands it controlled.
On May 30, 1830, the Republic of Ecuador became independent from Gran Colombia.
Development of the modern Republic of Ecuador continued all the way through the Brasilia Presidential Act of 1999.
Freedom is an endless challenge that requires tremendous personal responsibility.
Ecuadorian Independence Day in New York City
The Ecuadorian Parade and Ecuadorian Festival are New York City’s main Ecuadorian independence celebrations. They take place in the weeks right before and after Ecuadorian Independence Day.