The monument, inaugurated on January 1, 1880 pays homage to one of the most recognized Americans in history for its free and independent spirit, the patriot Vicente Rocafuerte; the first Ecuadorian president born in the country, governor and mayor of Guayaquil.
History tells us, that in 1870, the 'Pro Monument' committee hired the French sculptor Aime Millet to craft the statue, but the work was delayed for several years. In 1879, the site for the monument was designated, and on November 8 of the same year, the statue arrived to the city. The next year (1880) during the first day of the year, a grand ceremony was held to celebrate the first monument that Guayaquil had, which today is the city’s pride.
Located over a water fountain, the monument crafted in bronze, depicts Rocafuerte in a reflecting mood, dressed in a roman cape with his arms folded. In his hands he holds one of the many manuscripts that made him famous. The pedestal shows images allusive to the life of the character; among those is the image of Rocafuerte surrounded by adults, children and an angel. At the bottom of the bas-reliefs is the image of a Greek temple with Corinthian columns.
Among the images carved in the bas-reliefs, there are those that show the period of the yellow fever that assailed the city in 1842 and claimed thousands of lives, in which Rocafuerte, as Governor of Guayas, defied his own life to lead a fight against the sickness and avoid a worst scenario.