Santa Rosa, Ecuador: Population: around 85,000. The city didn't really start to grow substantially until the 20th century. The economy is based on shrimp farming, bananas, livestock, agriculture, some mining, and commerce.
Way back when, before the area was called Santa Rosa, there were two or three different groups of people living here, people who had previously been ruled by the Incas. There have been remains of their settlements found in the area of Santa Rosa. The "city" dates back to the mid-1500s but the conquering Spaniards didn't follow the regulations for founding a new city, so there are no founding documents. Some historians say the city was officially founded in 1600, and then a second time in 1617. From July 1941 until February 1942 there was a war, though not declared, between Peru and Ecuador.
Santa Rosa has a tropical monsoon (or sub-equatorial) climate. The daytime average high of 30° C (87° F), and the night average low of 23° C (74° F). Santa Rosa receives an average of 330 mm (13 inches) of rain per year. The elevation of the city is 10 meters (33 feet).
So, my impressions: Santa Rosa is a typical agricultural and coastal town, meaning there's nothing particularly interesting here and the place is virtually covered in a sandy dust. I think the store owners have basically given up on keeping the sidewalks in front of their businesses clean, judging by the dirty sidewalks. This town has no interesting parks, no ecological areas, nothing even related to such things. the few parks it has are small and just neighborhood parks, dusty, dirty, and grey. There are two plazas, both of which are nice but nothing more. The one old church has no plaza of its own, though there is a small park across the street from it. The climate is definitely nice, though.
This is my goal: to find a new place to live. So to reach that goal I am traveling most of South America, visiting the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, passing through Argentina, visiting Paraguay, passing through a bit of Brazil, and finally visiting Uruguay. I have a list of towns, about 70 towns, that meet these qualifications: Cities with average day temperatures of 22-28° C (72-83° F) and night temps of 14° C (57° F) and higher; and a population between 28,000-300,000. I analyzed climate and population data of around 700 towns in the countries mentioned above and then pulled out the ones that meet the previously mentioned criteria, which leaves about 70. My preference leans towards towns of less than 100,000 people. Of the 70 towns, about 20 have populations of 100,000 - 300,000. And, now that I have visited more than 25 towns/cities, I've decided I will probably want an inland town. I love the beach and walking in the warm water, but, getting sunburned is just too easy, even on a cloudy day. At least, here in Ecuador. I've also decided that any town with more than 100,000 population will be too big. I've decided that any small town/city (less than around 80,000 population) that meets the temp specifications and has a supermarket and ATM is one worth considering to live in.
At this point in my journey I have one town on my top-20 list - Catamayo and Puyo. So far, in my travels in Ecuador, I have visited 30 towns/cities.
Next up: Huaquillas.