The Interview of Guayaquil
At the beginning of the Boulevard 9 de Octubre, one of the most emblematic monuments of the city is located, which became a tourist icon internationally for evoking the only interview that the Liberators Simon Bolivar and San Martin had during their lives.
The meeting took place on July 26, 1822, after the troops of Guayaquil along with the troops sent by General San Martin from the south and the ones sent by Simon Bolivar from the north, achieved the independence of Ecuador on May 24, 1822 with the liberation of Quito. During the interview, Jose de San Martin proposed Simon Bolivar the constitution of a Great South American Nation based in Guayaquil, with the entrance of Chile and Argentina to that great union of Free Provinces.
Three days after the interview held in Guayaquil, on July 29, 1822, General Bolivar wrote a letter to General Francisco de Paula Santander, Vice President of the Great Colombia, that said: “San Martin has offered Colombia his eternal friendship; to intervene in favor of the determination of territorial limits; not to be involved with the issues of Guayaquil; a complete and absolute Federation, even if it is only with Colombia, with a Congress based in Guayaquil…”.
In the letter of July 29, 1822, signed by Jose G. Perez, Secretary of Bolivar, addressed to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, he expresses “the honor to communicate that on July 26 came to the city the Protector of Peru, and I am in charge to transmit the important issues that were discussed between the Liberator and the Protector during his visit…”.
The paragraph 4 of the letter says: “The Protector expressed that Guayaquil would be a convenient base for the Federation, which he considers as the foundation of our existence. He thinks the Government of Chile would have no difficulty in adhering the Federation….”.
Guayaquil was the key to the South American independence. In the middle of the liberation campaign in Colombia, Bolivar expected an army from the south to open the way to freedom; while, San Martin, who was in Lima, aspired for an army from the north to conquer the absolute independence. The happy news came from the Glorious Dawn of October 9, 1820.
Following the interview of Guayaquil, 3000 men that were recruited in the coastal region of the country, departed to Peru, wearing uniforms made by several women of Guayaquil, and helped by the contribution of the inhabitants of the city for their transportation. These men were glorified in the battlefields of Junin and Ayacucho. It’s fair to say that South America had three liberators: Bolivar, San Martin and Guayaquil!
HEMICICLO DE LA ROTONDA (THE ROTUNDA HEMICYCLE)
The Rotunda Hemicycle was inaugurated on 1938. The sculpture was built to celebrate the famous “Interview of Guayaquil”, carried out in July 26, 1822, between the Liberators Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin.
Because of its geopolitical importance, its sheltered port condition and major shipyard of the south sea, Guayaquil was the scene of the unique meeting between these two great men.
The Monument background dates back to August 16, 1913, when the National Congress decided its construction, a project that would be later filed by the Deputy’s Chamber. Giving this situation, three months later, in November 29 of that year, the City Council of Guayaquil decided to resume the work, which took 25 years to be completed on May of 1938.
The Spanish sculptor Juan Rovira was the project’s designer. The Phoenix National Construction Society crafted the pillars of the Rotunda Hemicycle that surround the monument. The engineer, Francisco Manrique Pacanis, set the pillars and the statue’s author is Spanish Jose Antonio Homs.
The World Health Organization declared the monument as a “Healthy Public Space.”
The Monument shows Bolivar and San Martin, standing and greeting each other, dressed with military suits in the middle of a hemicycle formed by ten pillars and ten columns that have the flags of the South American countries they liberated.