Loja Province

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Loja Province
Province
Flag of Loja Province
Flag
Official seal of Loja Province
Seal
Location in Ecuador
Location in Ecuador
Location of Loja Province
Coordinates: 3°49′59″S 80°04′01″W / 3.833°S 80.067°W / -3.833; -80.067Coordinates: 3°49′59″S 80°04′01″W / 3.833°S 80.067°W / -3.833; -80.067
Country Ecuador
Capital Loja
Area
 • Total 11,062.73 km2 (4,271.34 sq mi)
Elevation 2,225 m (7,300 ft)
Population (2010 census)
 • Total 448,966
 • Density 41/km2 (110/sq mi)
Languages
 • Spanish ?%
 • Quechua ?%
Vehicle registration L
Pronunciation (lō'hä)
Capital Loja, Ecuador
Website www.gpl.gob.ec
Macará Mountains

Loja Province is one of 24 provinces in Ecuador and shares its southern border on the west by El Oro Province, on the north by El Azuay, and on the east by Zamora-Chinchipe. Founded on its present site in 1548 by Captain Alonso de Mercadillo (Spanish) the site had been previously moved and rebuilt from La Toma due to earthquakes. It also is named as Cuxibamba Valley which means from the Quichua as the "Smily valley".

Overview[edit]

Located in a high Andean valley at an elevation of 7,300 feet (2,225 m) and with a population of 448,966 inhabitants at the 2010 census, Loja is recognized as being a friendly and pleasant city. This was demonstrated when Loja, both the provincial capital and one of the oldest cities in Ecuador, won a community involvement award in 2001 in recognition of the communities ongoing effort to support and to protect the environment.

Surrounded by two rivers the Zamora and Malacatos, Loja has a variety of microclimates. This results in numerous ecological zones due to its unique position. Based between the humid Amazon basin and coastal sechura desert in Peru the environment consists of páramo, cloud forest and jungle landscapes. 86% of the province is covered by hills or mountains.

Its historical buildings and Colonial Architecture make the city of Loja a popular tourist attraction. Famous for the Vírgen del Cisne religious festivals it organizes in September every year, Loja is also famous for its musicians. The city has a number of important music academies including the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica, house of the most influent musicians in Ecuador. The city is commonly referred to as the 'musical capital of Ecuador.' A person from Loja should be a singer;if not a singer he or she has to be a poet, otherwise would be an artist. In addition to the academies, there are also two universities; Universidad Tecnica Particular De Loja, Universidad Nacional de Loja with an important law school as well.

Just south of Loja (42 km) is Vilcabamba which is known as the Valley of Longevity.[1] Inhabitants of the community enjoy a long life span due to its ideal climate and local hot springs. Researchers and scientists have regularly visited the town, studying geographical conditions, climate, soil and water. Articles have even appeared in well known periodicals such as Readers Digest and National Geographic Magazine providing their own theories to the longevity of the Vilcabamba inhabitants. Loja is credited with being the first city in Ecuador to have had electricity. Electric power was supplied to the city by the introduction of a Hydroelectric dam completed in 1896.

Economy[edit]

A lot of investment has been made recently in the cochinilla farms that provide commodities for the both the textile and cosmetic industries. La Toma historically has provided for many sugar plantations, and where commodities such as sugar, coffee are not often grown to be exported internationally like cochinilla, but instead brought and sold nationally.

Loja has also seen its fair share of mining predominately gold which has consequently caused damage to the environment.

Government and politics[edit]

The Loja Provinces much like other divisions in Ecuador is divided into three main institutions.

  1. Municipio, who is elected by population every four years and is headed by the Mayor who currently is Jorge Bailón.
  2. Prefectura, which is the government at a local level and is headed by the Prefecto. This institution is responsible for all the 22 cantons and is elected by population every four years.
  3. Gobernacion, delegates the work from the president which is concentrated at the national level. The candidate is elected by the president himself.

Ecology[edit]

Amazon Parrot

Famous for plants and bird species, butterflies which can often be seen in protected national parks, the most important being Podocarpus. The park is 1,463 square kilometres and has an elevation ranging from 1000 m to 3690 m. The park itself is home for a number of animals like bears and pumas as well as exotic birdlife. Over 40% of the park's 3,000–4,000 plant species[2] are endemic, unique to this area. There is also in excess of 600 species of birds.

Cantons[edit]

The province is divided into 16 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.[3]

Canton Pop. (2001) Area (km²) Seat/Capital
Calvas 27,604 839 Cariamanga
Catamayo 27,000 646 Catamayo
Celica 13,358 518 Celica
Chaguarpamba 7,898 311 Chaguarpamba
Espíndola 15,750 514 Amaluza (Espíndola)
Gonzanamá 14,987 693 Gonzanamá
Loja 175,077 1,881 Loja
Macará 18,350 575 Macará
Olmedo 5,707 112 Olmedo
Paltas 24,703 1,145 Catacocha
Pindal 7,351 200 Pindal
Puyango 15,505 634 Alamor
Quilanga 4,582 235 Quilanga
Saraguro 28,029 1,075 Saraguro
Sozoranga 7,994 410 Sozoranga
Zapotillo 10,940 1,209 Zapotillo

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vilcabamba.org
  2. ^ Podocarpus National Park/Planeta.com
  3. ^ Cantons of Ecuador. Statoids.com. Retrieved 4 November 2009.

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • http://www.lojanos.com/ Lojanos.com – Informative Spanish website with different topic such as local and national news, turistic information, cultural and social events of Loja City and the province of Loja