General Information about Ecuador.
Quito - Capital City and Home of the Equator Line.
Galapagos Islands - Fascinating islands with many species not found anywhere else.
Typical Ecuadorian Food - Typical Dishes, Meals and Drinks from Ecuador
- Typical Food of Ecuador Quiz - A fun quiz to test your knowledge
National Anthem - With its translation in English.
Ecuador is not only about the country on the mainland but it also contains the famous Galapagos Islands about a thousand kilometers off the coast. These islands that are teeming with all kinds of tropical life are truly one of the world's wonders, and worth a good long exploration, just like Darwin did.
The country's history dates back to indigenous people living in the area before the start of the Inca empire. Through trade, important marriages and travel the land became a part of the Inca empire. However, there was a division only weeks before the Spanish conquistadors arrived to Peru and conquered Cusco. This division did not stop the Spanish from continuing their own conquest. Ecuador became a separate Republic in 1830 with the help of Simón Bolivar after over three hundred years of Spanish rule.
The banana republic lies on the equator, and its name literally means equator in Spanish. The country's main exports are oil, bananas, flowers and shrimp, all of which make it very dependent on the international market and subject to fluctuations that may occur. They have endured a long economic crisis, and have suffered many changes in presidents for this reason, including the controversial topic of abandoning their own currency in favor of the American dollar in 2000. While there were some positive results, the number of people living below the poverty line continues to rise. Today there is still a large gap between the rich and the poor in Ecuador. Due to the major problems with debt the executive branch remains very weak today. Although the government is not seen as stable, the country is still a very safe place to visit. Tourists are often unaffected by political changes that are generally peaceful.
The Ecuadorian football team did well in the most recent world cup, although they are best know for playing in their home stadium, where other teams are unable to acclimatize to the high altitudes. Bullfighting, brought over from Spain, is also popular here although in general it is a bloodless battle that is celebrated in rural areas.
There is a large amount of diversity in the people with a mestizo majority. 95% of the Population is Catholic and unlike many other South American nations, they are practicing Catholics who generally attend mass weekly. In some indigenous parts, Catholicism has combined with local ancient theologies.
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