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Ecuador, Loja city

The city of Loja was initially founded in the valley of Catamayo, an area now occupied by the La Toma airport. Loja was moved from this valley to its current location due to a high incidence of malaria and a devastating earthquake.

The city was rebuilt in the majestic green mountains of the southern Andes several years after its destruction and was officially founded on December 8th, 1548 by Spanish Captain Alonso de Mercadillo. At nearly 500 years, Loja is one of the oldest cities in Ecuador.

Its age is evident in its rich colonial architecture, narrow streets, and in the remaining 18th century homes. In addition to being one of the first Ecuadorian cities, Loja is also one of the nation's most pioneering. In 1897, Loja became the first city in Ecuador to use electric energy, catapulting the country into the Age of Electricity.

Loja is a prime example of smart economic development. This is exemplified in the conscious construction of buildings designed to harmonize with older ones. Loja's effort to preserve its architecture and colonial roots represents a forward thinking approach to development .

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