Ecuador

Geography

· Ecuador borders the pacific ocean, Colombia, and Peru

· The capital of Ecuador is Quito

· Ecuador is one of the smallest country in South America

· Ecuador has a wide range of natural regions like in the southern coast is the a desert like region, and the snow capped peaks of the Andes mountains

· Ecuador has one of the world’s highest active volcanoes

History

The first Spaniards to arrive in Ecuador landed in 1526 in the northern part of Ecuador. Then Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, came in 1532 and conquered Ecuador. The colony thrived with Indians that extends over a 8,000 year period. In conquering Ecuador Francisco used horses, weapons, and armor.
· In 1819 Ecuador joined Venezuela, Colombia, and panama in a confederacy know as greater Colombia
· The greater Colombia collapsed in 1830 and Ecuador became independent. Then Peru invaded Ecuador and seized a large territory of the land
· Then in 1998 Ecuador had an economies crises form el Niño it caused 3 billion dollars worth of damage
· In March 2008 Colombian forces crossed into Ecuador’s territory. Since then there has been tension between Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Culture

· The major population of Ecuador is mestizo a mix of both European and Amerindian ancestry. The other 10% is of European descent.
· 95% of Ecuadorians are Roman Catholic.
· Old people usually live with there children.
· In Ecuador women were responsible for the care of children until women started working.
· The present people that live in Ecuador are know for there famous marimba music and festivals.
· Ecuador’s culture is mixed it is not just one single culture.
· Spanish is the main language spoken in Ecuador.
· Ecuadorian food consist of soup and stews, corn pancakes, rice, and eggs and vegetables.
· Some parts of Ecuador is known for the weaving skills.

Government

· The government is divided into three groups: executive, legislative, and judicial
· The government is republic. The president is placed in the executive branch and he also represents the state
· The president is elected for a 4 year of term by popular vote
· Ecuador’s legislative congress passes out laws, levies, taxes, and international treaties proposed by the executive branch
· The judicial branches consist of administrative courts, trial courts, superior courts, and Supreme Court.
· The people directly elect the nations president and congressmen. Voting is a constitutional right for all citizens

Economics

· The economy of Ecuador is based on exports of oil, bananas, shrimp, gold, and other agricultural products
· The growth of people is turning Ecuador poor.
· There has been political tension between Ecuador and Peru, because of the mining resource. There has not been much to support Ecuador as it is struggling to survive.
· On January 9,2000 president Jamil Mahuad adopted the us dollar currency
· Ecuador’s economy the eighth largest in Latin America
· Oil accounts for 40% of the products the are exported

Attractions

· The Otavalo marketplace. It is a valley at a foot of a volcano and is a community of indigenous people know for their weaving skills.
· The middle of the world monument. It is a monument made right in the middle of the world. A French explorer calculated the world’s equatorial line and made that discovery.
· In Ecuador’s capital, Quito, there is the largest historical center in the Americas called old town.
· The Tortuga bay beach is a white sandy beach. One of the most famous beaches in the Galapagos.
· The Quilotoa Loop is made up of small villages. It is a hiking trail, usually takes up to 3-4 days. It is a lake surrounded by a mountain.

The Flag

· The Ecuadorian flag has three horizontal stripes, which from bottom to top is red, blue, and yellow.
· The yellow stripe is as twice a long as the red and blue.
· Red stands for the blood shed by the soldiers in the fight for independence.
· Blue stands for the sea and sky.
· Yellow symbolizes the abundance and fertility of the crops and land.