Ecuador

By: Derek Dinderman, Brea Burroughs and Riley Ries

Capital: Quito
Population: 15,223,680
Currency: US Dollar

Flag

Adopted on November 7, 1900 Red represents the blood shed by the martyrs and soldiers who fought for independence from the Spaniards Blue represents the color of the sea and the sky Yellow is symbolic of the richness of the landscape and the abundance of crops

History

In the late 1400s, various indigenous peoples were conqured by the southern Incas. The Incas ruled the area until 1534 when they were conqured by the imperialistic Spaniards. The Spanish ruled the area for nearly 300 years, during which time they enslaved the natives and built an extension to their empire. Finally, in 1822 the Ecuadorians gained independence, led by Antonio Jose de Sucre. The country declared itself a republic in 1830 from the failed Simon Bolivar-led Gran Colombia.

Common Foods

Cacoa Fruit: Common plant in Ecuadors lowlands. The white pulp is edible and sweet, but it doesnt taste like chocolate. Chocolate is made from the almond-like seeds in the plant. The seeds are sun-dried and roasted. Ecuador is the key cacao producer of the world. Colada Morada: Served at Au Souls Day celebration, thick, hot, sweet liquid made of corn flour, seven different fruits, and several spices. Roasted Guinea Pig: Originally was only for special events. Now famalies eat it at restaurants. It tastes like chicken. It has one of the lowest amounts of cholesterol. Considered to have some medicinal properties.

Souvenirs

Panpipes: The people of Otavalo are known for these handicrafts.Ceramics: These are made in Cuenca by local artisans. They make black-burnished ceramics. Hats: The "Panama Hat" industry in Cuenca. They are made of the leaves of the paja toquilla, a costal plant.

Places to Visit

Galapagos Islands: The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off of the coast of Ecuador. It is here that Charles Darwin developed his thesis of evolution based on his observations.The Amazon Rain Forest: The Ecuadorian Amazon is home to the world's loudest monkey: the Howler Monkey. Plants in Ecuadors rain forest  are used to make medicines throughout the world to treat malaria, Parkinsons disease and, multiple scelerosis.

Sports

Soccer is Ecuadors national sport. Some games are played in parks, plazas, and vacant lots around the country. The national team has done well at the World Cup. Other popular sports are basketball and volleyball. Ecuadors first appearance in the Olympics was in 1924 in the Summer Games in Paris. The countrys first Olympic medal was a gold medal in the 20km walk which was won by Jefferson Perez at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Other popular sports are tennis, running, and boxing. Volleyball is played by two teams of three with a heavy ball. The kids play hopskitch and hide-and-seek.

Holidays

New Years Day. Battle of Pichinch on May 24. Simon Bolivar on July 24. All Souls Day Nov 1-2 visit cemetaries.