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Guaranda

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Guaranda is a city in central Ecuador. It is the capital of Bolívar, a province located in the Andes mountains. The city has is connected by road with other hubs including, Riobamba, Babahoyo and Ambato.Guaranda is a market town located in a "Valle" - a deep valley in the high Andes, serving a vast hinterland of agricultural settlements ("comunidades") peopled by Quechua Indians. Its climate is subtropical, with a long (May - October) dry season ("estio"). Its population is mainly mestizo, but includes many people of different ethnicities. Supposely, the city was first colonized by Jewish Conversos fleeing from Lima's Inquisition. This nucleus has been intermarrying for now almost five centuries, forming a compact population linked by family connections. Since the 1990s, the indigenous majority has seized political power and most of the local elected officers are of Quechua origin.The city has 55,374 inhabitants (2011 census) and is growing. It suffers severe problems of electricity and water supply. Water is drawn from high surface sources, mostly from the Chimborazo glacier, and is of good drinking quality. The city is known for its week-long Carnaval and for its "Pajaro Azul" alcoholic drink.EtymologyGuaranda is directly named after an old native Indian chief Guaranga.
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