EFE chose Ecuador for the launch of the Americas portion of the news agency's 75th anniversary observances, opening a photo exhibit here in the "Middle of the World."

Agencia EFE President Jose Antonio Vera was on hand for the inauguration of "EFE, 75 Years in Photos" at the Itchimbia Cultural Center, which is perched on a mountain overlooking Quito.

Recounting the history of EFE, the world's No. 1 Spanish-language news agency and the fourth-largest overall, Vera pointed out that the images on display in Quito represent only a small part of the agency's photo archive.

He also emphasized EFE's close ties with Latin America, where the agency opened bureaus in the 1960s.

"We are natives of Spain, it is true, but we are absolutely well-established in all of the Americas, we have a completely Latin American vocation," he said.

One aspect of that Latin American vocation, Vera added, is "a vision of the world different from that of the other (news) agencies," reflected in EFE's coverage of prominent Latin Americans on the global stage.

The photos on view in Ecuador's capital symbolize the degree to which EFE journalists "have been witnesses to events of all kinds that have marked our lives since (the agency's) creation in 1939," Christian Celdran, charge d'affaires at the Spanish Embassy, said.

While the director of Quito's Metropolitan Cultural Center, Victoria Novillo, said the exhibit gives visitors the chance "to dust off the archives of memory."

The Quito city administration welcomed the exhibit because officials "think it just and valid to pay tribute to the photojournalistic work of Agencia EFE over its 75 years," she said, formally opening the exposition.

Besides iconic Latin Americans such as Cantinflas, Che Guevara and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the exhibit features images of important events, including the 1940 meeting of Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco, the Sept. 11 attack in New York, Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake and the election last year of Pope Francis.

Ecuador is also well represented, with moments from the September 2010 police mutiny that saw President Rafael Correa held hostage inside a hospital, scenes of Amazonia and the Tungurahua volcano and souvenirs of the international exploits of Ecuadorian athletes.

The exhibit is set to travel to other Latin American nations over the course of this year.

"EFE, 75 Years in Photos" has benefited from the support of the Spanish Embassy and the Quito municipal government and the sponsorship of Repsol, Banco Pichincha, Copa Airlines, Diario El Telegrafo, Casa Damian restaurant and Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial. EFE