Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: el oro | arenillas |
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image by Ivan Sache, 4 March 2006
The cantón of Arenillas in located in the Province of El Oro,
in the South-West of Ecuador. The capital city of the cantón is
the city of Arenillas. The cantón of Arenillas has today an area
of 788 sq. km. In the past, it was bigger, with 1,318 sq. km. In
1981, the formation of the cantón of Huaquillas reduced its area
to 1,051 sq. km. The further formation of the cantón of Las
Lajas yielded the current area.
Arenillas was already settled in the Prehistoric times. It is said that the Cañaris were the first settlers of the Province of El Oro. The tradition says that the name of the city is related to the association of its early inhabitants with the sand ("arena") of the river ("rio Arenillas"). The river has its source in the Dumari-Tahuín cordillera, where gold has been dug for ages. The gold diggers extracted gold from the fine sand ("arenilla") of the banks of the river. It is also possible that the place was named by Spanish colons coming from a Spanish village called Arenillas. An estate ("hacienda") called Arenillas was owned by Dr. Manuel Fidelio Espinoza in 1858.
In 1866, the site of Arenillas was colonized by families coming from Zaruma and Loja, attracted by the rich arable lands. The population increased and the inhabitants asked in March 1869 to the authorities of the Cantón of Jambeli to recognize a new Parish. On 8 April 1869, President Gabriel García Moreno ordered the creation of the Rural Parish of Arenillas in the Cantón of Jambeli, today Santa Rosa. The Parish of Chacras seceded from Arenillas in 1884. After 86 years of Parish status, a group of inhabitants of Arenillas set up the Comité pro Cantonización, requiring the village to be upgraded to a Cantón. On 11 November 1955, President José María Velasco Ibarra ordered the creation of the Cantón of Arenillas.
The shield and flag of Arenillas were adopted by Municipal Decree of 15 March 1957 and confirmed by the Political Chief of the Canton. The flag is shown as horizontally divided green-red-green. There is no information given on the flag specification. I have drawn it in proportion 1:2 by default, with equal stripes and median green and red shades. The red stripe might represent the river Arenillas, which was said to be coloured by sand rich in lead during the era of gold extraction.
Source: <www.ame.gov.ec>, located by Valentin Poposki, 2 March 2006.
Ivan Sache, 4 March 2006
image from <www.ame.gov.ec>, located by Valentin Poposki, 2 March 2006