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is the [[capital city]] of [[Ecuador]], and at an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters above sea level), it is the highest capital city in the world housing the administrative, legislative and judicial functions.<ref>{{Cite journal |title=Plaza Grande |accessdate=August 1, 2008 |publisher=Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito |url=http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=228&category_id=&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=113 |language=Spanish }}</ref> It is located in north-central Ecuador in the [[Guayllabamba (river)|Guayllabamba]] [[river basin]], on the eastern slopes of [[Pichincha Volcano|Pichincha]],<ref>{{Cite journal |title=Volcán Guagua Pichincha |publisher=Instituto Geofísico |accessdate=August 1, 2008 |url=http://www.igepn.edu.ec/VOLCANES/PICHINCHA/general.html |language=Spanish }}</ref> an active [[stratovolcano]] in the [[Andes]] mountains. With a population of 2,239,191 according to the last census (2010), Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after [[Guayaquil]]. It is also the capital of the [[Pichincha Province|Pichincha province]] and the seat of the [[Quito Canton|Metropolitan District of Quito]]. The canton recorded a population of 1,842,201 residents in the 2001 national census. In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the [[Union of South American Nations]].<ref>{{Cite journal |title=Security Watch: South American unity |url=http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=19022 |publisher=International Relations and Security Network |accessdate=August 1, 2008 }}</ref>
 
 
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