Street Scene, Guayaquil, Ecuador


This photograph of a street scene in Guayaquil, Ecuador, is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. In Lands of the Andes and the Desert (1924), part of his Carpenter's World Travels series, Carpenter wrote: “The city of Guayaquil! How shall I describe it? It is one of the strangest places in the world. The chief gateway to the republic of Ecuador, it lies seventy miles up the wide Guayas River, and is almost on the Equator. It is frowned upon by snowy peaks of Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, the latter the highest active volcano in the world, and it is bathed in the moist, miasmatic air of the tropics. Seen from the river, it reminds one of Venice along the Canal; upon the wharves the scenes make one think of Naples; while its business sections include a maze of bazaars like those of Cairo, Calcutta, or Bombay, as well as broad streets lined with the plated-glass windows of modern stores.”

Last updated: May 29, 2013