Simon Bolivar and Ecuador
Simón Bolívar is renowned as the Liberator of South America. He led a relatively small army to victory and thus gained independence for Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia. As such, he is a celebrated hero in the country of Ecuador.
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios was born in 1783 in Venezuela, in the city of Caracas. His father was don Juan Vicente Bolívar y Ponte and his mother doña Maria de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco. Bolívar had another brother and two sisters that were older than him.
At the age of sixteen Simón Bolívar moved to Spain with his uncle, having lived with him from the age of nine after the death of his parents. In Spain he was educated by a variety of tutors who were able to give him the best education available. It was here in Spain where Bolívar met his wife, María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa. Sadly, after having been married for just a year his wife succumbed to yellow fever and died.
After a few years in Europe Bolívar moved back to his home country and became involved with the resistance movements in South America. In 1813 he was given the name ‘El Libertador’ after he took a group of men – over which he had command – to invade Venezuela. After three years of war he took refuge in Jamaica where he tried to get help from Alexandre Pétion, a leader from Haiti. This proved successful and soon he was back in Venezuela in the midst of all the activity. After freeing Venezuela from Spanish rule in June 1821, Bolívar decided to expand his liberation efforts throughout South America. In May 1822, with the assistance of Gen. Antonio Jose de Sucre, Simón Bolívar was able to free Ecuador from Spain’s grasp.
Due to Bolívar’s great efforts to liberate Ecuador, he has been honored in many ways throughout the country. In fact, an entire province in Ecuador is named after the heroic leader. Institutions in Ecuador named in honor of Bolívar include the Simon Bolivar Spanish School and Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar. Indeed Simón Bolívar had a very positive effect on the history of Ecuador.
Sadly, Simón Bolívar died from tuberculosis: an infectious disease that attacks a person’s lungs. Twelve years later, Bolívar’s remains were moved to Caracas after having been laid to rest in Santa Marta. A monument dedicated to him was placed on top of his final resting place.