Quito History, Quito and pre incas and inca history, Quito Folk calendar, NGO's working in human and environment development in Quito, Quito legends & oral history

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Quito Folklore, Quito History & Community in Quito


Quito is surrounded by a long historical tradition, praised in art, poem, and song, and it doesn't need a trained eye to see that the city is dearly loved by most of its inhabitants.

One of the best times to see Quito Pride on full display is during the Fiestas de Quito, right before the anniversary of the city's founding on 6 of December.

Fiestas de Quito are celebrated raucously with city-sponsored neighborhood parties, bullfights, parades, and of course the famous chivas. These are decorated open-sided buses with a small brass band on top that cruises slowly through the streets at night, packed with people. As the chiva completes its tour through the historical center, passengers drink "Canelaso" (hot cocktail with cinnamon), sing, dance and shout out toasts to their city.

In this section, you'll find historical information about Quito and ways to make yourself a part of the community by getting involved as a volunteer with environmental or social organizations.

Quito has always been a center of economic, political, cultural activity and melting of diverse civilizations in the ancient and actual Ecuador. Today, Quito continues being the preferred place by people from around the world and is home to people from diverse nationalities.

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Quito History states that nomadic communities discovered the area of Quito where there was a great lake. Their strategic location in the favorable middle of the world and its conditions for agriculture, turned Quito into an important center of commerce or "Tianguez". Thus it was the nucleus between different cultures and in addition, an important astronomical center, used in positioning the present churches and old temples.

Unfortunately, the original population, the Shyris, were conquered by the Incas who raised a beautiful empire, but similarly were dominated by the Spanish colonization. The Inca Rumiñahui preferred to leave the city in flames before giving it to the oppressors. Due to these acts there was a huge bloodshed, violence and millions of natives were murdered and hundreds of indigenous women were violated.

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"Mestizaje" (the mixing of the Spanish with the indigenous women) took place which completely ended the original ethnic population that inhabited Quito.

The mixture between Indians, Spaniards and blacks in Quito and the rest of the country, gave as a result the "mestizos" who make up almost 80% of the present population of Quito, and in a smaller percentage "mulatos", "cholos" and blacks. There are no longer pure native communities in Quito, but the memory of the Shyris, Incas and of the Yumbos, a population northwest of Quito, will be in our minds and always comprise an identity for the inhabitant of Quito.

At the beginnings of the 20th century, Quito was a small peaceful town. With the arrival of the railroad in 1908, the mules were changed for machines and accelerated modernization. Decades later, the internal migration from the provinces came in search of work, leaving in behind the large agricultural estates for a new life in the capital.

The great urban growth of Quito, fueled even more by the oil boom, the city developed into three very well marked sectors: the Historical Center, with lots of commerce and presently by tourism; the south, popular area with a poorer population and the north, the modern, fastest growing part of Quito. The architecture changed from the typical homes and parks for great buildings.

Mestizos, black, mulatos, whites and cholos are the present inhabitants of Quito, people who learned many years ago to forget the differences of their skins and to work all together for the development of their families and the city. Like the Big apple of the world, New York and Quito are the center of joining worldwide cultures and offer a great opportunity for growth.

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