ECUADOR

Date of establishment: May 24, 1822

Brief history:

  • Pre-Colonial Period: Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, what is now Ecuador was inhabited by various Native American cultures, including the Quechua and the Shuar.
  • Spanish colonization (16th century): Ecuador was conquered by the Spanish under Francisco Pizarro. It became part of the Spanish Empire and remained under Spanish rule for over 300 years.
  • 19th century: During the independence struggles of the early 19th century, Ecuador became part of various political entities, including Gran Colombia under the leadership of Simón Bolívar. Ecuador gained independence from Spain in 1830.
  • 19th and 20th centuries: Long periods of political unrest, civil war and a succession of different rulers and regimes followed. Ecuador also sought modernization and industrialization during the 20th century.
  • 1941: Ecuador waged a military conflict with Peru over borders. The result was the loss of some territory on the side of Ecuador.
  • 1970-80: Ecuador experienced a period of political instability and military coups.
  • 1999: Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its official currency in response to an economic crisis

 

International abbreviation: EC

 

Currency: US Dollar (USD)

Since 2000, the official currency of Ecuador has been the US dollar (USD). The same denominations of notes and coins as are used in the US are available in Ecuador.

 

Internet domain: .ec

 

Dialing code: +593

 

Time zone: -6 GMT

 

Geography:

Ecuador is known for its high mountain ridges that form part of the Andes Mountains. Many active volcanoes are located there, including Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Sangay. Cotopaxi is one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world.

To the east is part of the Amazon, with extensive rainforests and river systems. On the west coast lies the coastal plain, which is often referred to as the Costa.

Ecuador also includes the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean known for its unique fauna and flora. The Galapagos Islands are famous as the place where Charles Darwin conducted the research that led to his theory of evolution.

The central part of Ecuador is known as the Sierra, which is the highlands of the Andes Mountains.

 

Highest peak: Chimborazo 6 310 m (20 702 feet) above sea level.

This volcano is located in the central part of the country in the Cordillera Occidental mountain range, which is part of the Andes.

 

Climate:

Ecuador has a diverse climate that depends on the specific geographical location. This means you can experience a the hot tropical climate in the rainforest and the cooler conditions in the high Andes. The Amazon region in the east of the country has a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. Rainfall is frequent and usually very intense.

The west coast of Ecuador has a hot and humid climate. The rainy season usually runs from December to May.

The central part, the Andean highlands, has a much cooler climate than the coastal areas. The rainy season in the mountainous region usually lasts from October to May.

In the mountains above the forest line, the so-called paramo, temperatures are much cooler and more constant. This area is characterized by high mountain meadows and marshes.

Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands have a subtropical to warm oceanic climate.

 

Fauna and Flora:

The Andean condor is a large bird of prey and a symbol of the Andes, including Ecuador. It is one of the largest flying birds in the world.

Ecuador is home to jaguars, the largest felines in the Americas. The ocelot, a small cat, is found in the tropical rainforests and savannahs.

The macaw is a colorful parrot species that is a frequent inhabitant of the rainforests. Ecuador is known for its rich collections of orchids. It is home to more than 4 000 different species of these flowers. The rubber tree, from which rubber is obtained, grows in the Amazon rainforest.

The coca plant is native to South America, including Ecuador, and is known for its stimulant and traditional uses by local people.

The cecropia is a tree common in the rainforest and provides food and shelter for many species of animals.

Bromeliads are plants often found in the humid forests of Ecuador and they have characteristic multi-colored flowers.

 

Agriculture:

Ecuador is one of the largest banana producers in the world. This crop is a significant component of its exports. Bananas are mainly grown in the coastal area (Costa).

The country is known for its quality coffee, especially from the mountain region (Sierra). Coffee plantations are widespread in the Andean highlands.

Ecuador is also one of the main producers of cocoa in the world. Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate and other cocoa products.

Rice is grown in different parts of the country, both for domestic consumption and for export.

Palm oil production continues to increase in Ecuador, especially in the Amazon rainforest. Vegetables and grains are also grown in different parts of the country for home consumption.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Oil and gas extraction is one of the most important sectors of Ecuadorian industry. The country is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The largest oil field in the country is Shushufindi in the Amazon rainforest.

Logging from the Amazon rainforest has a long history. The country mines a variety of timber, including mahogany and various hardwoods.

There is an extensive coastal strip on the Pacific Ocean, so fishing plays an important role in its economy.

Ecuador has reserves of gold and other metals. The country is also a major producer of gray cement, which is used in construction and infrastructure.

 

Industry:

The food industry is an important sector of Ecuadorian industry. The country specializes in the processing of food products, including bananas, coffee, cocoa, fish and seafood.

Ecuador has a textiles and clothing industry that focuses on the production of clothing, especially sportswear and swimwear. Thanks to oil production, Ecuador also has a refining industry.

The country also has a chemicals industry, including the production of fertilizers and chemical products for agriculture.

Ecuador has an electric power industry that includes the generation of electricity mainly from hydroelectric sources.

The woodworking industry involves the processing of wood from the Amazon rainforest for export.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: maritime transport, services, and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: the cities of Quito, Cuenca and Chimborazo, Cotopaxi Volcano, Sangay National Park, Galapagos Islands, Quilotoa Volcanic Lagoon, and the Amazon Region

Ecuador is known for its stunning nature, including the Amazon rainforest, high Andes mountains, volcanoes, Pacific Ocean beaches and the unique Galapagos ecosystem. Tourists can explore a variety of natural scenery, including Cotopaxi, the tallest active volcano in the world, and the Napo River, which flows through the Amazon rainforest.

The Galapagos archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is known for its unique biodiversity and is one of the main destinations for naturalists and wildlife lovers.

Ecuador is trying to promote ecotourism and sustainable tourism. There are many protected nature reserves and national parks that offer opportunities for trekking, mountain climbing, bird watching and other activities.

 

Waterparks in Ecuador:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The country has a president as the head of state and a government that has executive power. The president is an elected official and serves a four-year term. The government of Ecuador is composed of various ministries that manage various aspects of state governance, such as finance, foreign relations, education, and more.

Legislative power in Ecuador is vested in the National Assembly, which consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Members of the National Assembly are also elected for four-year terms. Parliament plays a key role in the process of making laws and overseeing government performance.

Ecuador has an independent judicial system that includes the Supreme Court and other judicial bodies. The judiciary is responsible for applying laws and resolving legal disputes.

In addition to the federal government, Ecuador also has autonomous provinces and local governments that have some degree of authority in dealing with local affairs.

 

Capital city: Quito

It is located in the central part of the country in the Andean highlands, at an altitude of approximately 2 850 meters (6 350 feet) above sea level. Quito is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and offers a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

Quito was founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1534 on a site that was an important center for the indigenous Kichwa population.

 

Area: 283 560 km2 (109 483 square miles)

 

Population: 17 400 000 (2022)

Ethnic composition: Ecuador has a diverse ethnic composition. The main groups include mestizos (descendants of Indians and Europeans), indigenous Indian tribes, the Afro-Ecuadorian community, and minorities of European descent.

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. However, many residents also speak Native American languages such as Kichwa and Shuar.

Catholicism is the dominant religion in Ecuador, but the country also has minorities of Protestant Christians and other religious groups.

The country has different urbanization trends, with increasing numbers of people migrating to cities in search of job opportunities and better living conditions.

Ecuador faces an aging population as a result of long-term demographic trends. This has implications for health care and the pension system.

Many Ecuadorians emigrate for work, especially to the United States, Spain, and other countries, affecting the country’s economy and social dynamics.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 5

 

  1. Quito (1978) – The capital of Ecuador – it is located in the Andes and is known for its historical monuments and colonial architecture.
  2. The Galapagos Islands (1978) – An archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, famous for its unique biodiversity and Charles Darwin’s research.
  3. Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca Historic Center (1999) – The old town of Cuenca, Ecuador, which has preserved colonial architecture.
  4. Sangay National Park (1983) – A protected area in Ecuador, known for its volcanic activity and diverse fauna.
  5. Qhapaq Ñan (2014) – A long network of roads built by the Incas in South America, used for transportation and communication in different parts of the empire.

 

National parks: 11

 

  1. National Mrark Yasuni
  2. El Cajas National Park
  3. Sangay National Park
  4. Cotopaxi National Park
  5. Machalilla National Park
  6. Galapagos National Park
  7. Llanganates National Park
  8. Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park
  9. Yacuri National Park
  10. Cayambe-Coca National Park
  11. Podocarpus National Park