El Oro Province
El Oro (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈoɾo] (listen); oro = gold) is the southernmost of Ecuador's coastal provinces. It was named for its historically important gold production. Today it is one of the world's major exporters of bananas. The capital is Machala.
Provincia de El Oro
|Province of El Oro|
Cantons of El Oro Province
|Established||April 23, 1884|
|Cantons||List of Cantons|
|• Total||5,766.68 km2 (2,226.53 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,590 m (11,780 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||100/km2 (270/sq mi)|
|• Population 2001||539,888|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (ECT)|
high · 6th
The area was settled by the Inca, who inhabited the area at the time Spanish settlement began in 1549. The Spanish found gold there and mined it, carrying the gold to Spain. The province was named for its historically important gold production.
The gold was mined by the Spanish mainly in the late 16th and 17th centuries in the village of Zaruma in the Zaruma Canton. In the 18th century, the earthquake of January 1749 destroyed the mining area. A local rebellion stopped the mining until the Spanish agreed to allow the native people to benefit from the mining. Spain imported gold from the area until the area gained its independence from Spain in 1820.
Philip II of Spain granted the village the title of "Villa de Sant Antonio del Zerro de Oro de Zaruma" (Villa Real de San Antonio del Cerro de Oro de Zaruma on October 17, 1593, as he was appreciative of the gold.
After 1820, Ecuador emerged as an independent nation, as neighboring areas to Zaruma also declared their independence. In 1882, the province of El Oro was formed by the villages of Zaruma, Machala and Santa Rosa, with Zaruma as its capital, and the area’s gold mining as the reason for the name of the province. Two years later, the capital of the province was moved to Machala. Gold mining continued under various mining companies, which now paid taxes to the government for the gold they mined.
As gold mining fell in value, El Oro province became the major area of banana production in Ecuador.
Peru invaded and occupied most of El Oro province during the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War of 1941.
Around 715,751 people live in the orense territory, according to the demographic projection of the INEC for 2020, being the sixth most populated province in the country. The Province of El Oro is made up of 14 cantons, from which their respective urban and rural parishes are derived. According to the latest territorial ordinance, the province of El Oro will belong to a region also included by the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe, although it is not officially formed, called the South Region.
- Population 1990: 412,572
- Population 2000: 525,763
- Population 2010: 600,659
|Canton||Pop. (2019)||Area (km²)||Seat/Capital|
|El Guabo||62,460||603||El Guabo|
|Las Lajas||4,980||297||La Victoria|
|Santa Rosa||81,210||889||Santa Rosa|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to El Oro Province.|
- (in Spanish) Gobierno Provincial Autonomo de El Oro - web site of the El Oro Government
- (in Spanish) Orenses Machala Comunidad Virtual de La Provincia de El Oro - news about El Oro