Today's the 185th anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha, in which patriotic forces led by Antonio Jose de Sucre defeated the royalists and effectively won independence for the Presidencia de Quito. Eight years later, it and the provinces of Guayaquil and Cuenca would secede fom the Republic of Colombia to form modern Ecuador.
It's interesting that a unit of British volunteers (The Albion - see the link?) fought on the Patriots' side, although their motives may have had little to do with idealism and more to do with a proliferation of Napoleonic War veterans hungry for employment, adventure, loot and land, or all four.
I was lucky enough to spend some time in this wonderful country this time last year. Although it continues to have its political and economic troubles, it's an optimistic, vibrant place, with an eminently sensible attitude towards race and immigration (the majority of the population are mestizos, that is, of mixed European and Indian ancestry) that one of our guides summed up as "we're all incomers here".
Anyway, to my friends and correspondents over there, I hope you have a great holiday, and many prosperous, happy times ahead.