El Oro Province
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El Oro Province
El Oro

Provincia de El Oro
Province of El Oro
Flag of El Oro
Official seal of El Oro
El Oro in Ecuador (+Galapagos).svg
Cantons of El Oro Province
Cantons of El Oro Province
EstablishedApril 23, 1884
CantonsList of Cantons
 o Total5,766.68 km2 (2,226.53 sq mi)
Highest elevation3,590 m (11,780 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
(2010 census)
 o Total600,659
 o Density100/km2 (270/sq mi)
 o Urban
 o Population 2001
Time zoneUTC-5 (ECT)
Area code(s)07
Vehicle registrationO
HDI (2017)0.755[2]
high · 6th
Iglesia Parque Apartadero

El Oro (Spanish pronunciation: [el 'o?o] ; 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.


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.


To the north and east the province has borders with the provinces Guayas, Azuay and Loja. To the west and south it is limited by the Pacific Ocean and the Peruvian Tumbes Region.

The province is divided in 14 cantons and features a wide range of attractions, such as the Jambelí Islands, the petrified forest of the Puyango River, and the island of Santa Clara, to name a few.


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

Ethnic groups as of the Ecuadorian census of 2010:[3]


El Oro economy is mainly based on export of banana and shrimp. Other agricultural products of importance are cacao and coffee.


Unicameral government.


The province is divided into 14 cantons. The following table lists each with its population at the 2001 census, its area in square kilometres (km²), and the name of the canton seat or capital.[4]

Canton Pop. (2019) Area (km²) Seat/Capital
Arenillas 32,920 803 Arenillas
Atahualpa 6,410 278 Paccha
Balsas 9,010 69 Balsas
Chilla 2,410 328 Chilla
El Guabo 62,460 603 El Guabo
Huaquillas 59,420 72 Huaquillas
Las Lajas 4,980 297 La Victoria
Machala 286,120 338 Machala
Marcabelí 6,210 147 Marcabelí
Pasaje 86,580 452 Pasaje
Piñas 29,930 615 Piñas
Portovelo 13,910 282 Portovelo
Santa Rosa 81,210 889 Santa Rosa
Zaruma 25,650 645 Zaruma

See also


  1. ^ "Provincia de El Oro". 2012-01-22. Archived from the original on 2014-07-25. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Villalba, Juan. "Human Development Index in Ecuador". Scribd (in Spanish). Retrieved .
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Cantons of Ecuador. Statoids.com. Retrieved 4 November 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 3°16?00?S 79°58?00?W / 3.26667°S 79.9667°W / -3.26667; -79.9667

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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