Ecuador

by Keelan Crampsey

Background:

Ecuador is located on the west coast of South America. It is bordered by Colombia, and Peru. It's capital is Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world after La Paz, Bolivia. It is about 9000 feet. There is a heavy influence of Spanish culture. In 1967 oil producers found that el Oriente (part of the Amazon) contained a lot of oil. They had to produce the largest oil pipeline to go through the jungle, over the Andes ,and to the coastal city of Esmeraldas. About 300,000 barrels a day are pumped through the pipeline. Revenues have reached 270 million dolares per month. The government subsidizes the cost of living for the Ecuadorian people with these new oil revenues.

History:

For centuries Ecuador was knwon as the kingdom of Quito. Named after the Quitas Indians who lived in the area. In the pre-Colombian era Ecuador was inhabited by hunters and fisherman and other native tribes. They may have spoke different lanuages but they shared many customs. Even after being conqured by the Incas they maintained their cultural identities.

In 1526 the Incas were conqured by the Spanish. The Spaniards saw that the Inca leader wore gold. So they decided to capture the Inca leader. After they got everything worth getting they ruthlessly killed the Lord Inca. That started a great war between the Incas and the Spaniards. Without a leader the Incas fell quickly.

Economy:

Ecuador is one the most underdeveloped nations in South America. This is because most of the people are Indian subsistance farmers that grow just enough food for their family. A high birthrate and inadrquate transportation facilities have also kept the Ecuadorian standard of living low. The annul income per household is below $1,500. Severe inflation is often a problem, too.

Farming is one of Ecuador's major economic activities but less than 20% of the country is uner cultivation. Some of the major highland crops are beans , maize, wheat, barely, and potatoes. All are grown for domestic consumption. Guinea pig is native to the Andes region, and has been raised as a domestic animal for its meat for thousands of years.

Ecuador is still one of the worlds cheif exporters of bananas. It faces competition from Central America. Today coffee and bananas are among top exports from Ecuador. Rice is catching up with the rest. Sugar cane is also cultivated on the coast. Some of the major trading partners are the United States, other Latin American nations, the Caribbean, and the EU.

Geography:

Ecuador is located on the western coast of South America on the Equator. Ecuador is a very warm country. Off the coast of Ecuador about 600 miles are the Galapogos Islands. The Galapogos Islands are home to many unique species of animals found no where else on the planet.

The area of Ecuador is 283,520 sq km( 175,780 sq mi). It has a population of 11,700,000. The growth rate is 2%. The country has been divided into four sections ; the western costal lowlands, the central Andean highlands, the eastern jungles of the Amazon basin and 620 mi west of the mainland- the Galapagos Islands. The Andean highlands has the nations highest point Mt. Chimborazo which stands at 20,700ft. Ecuador is home to several active volcanos.

The Amazon lowlands east of the Andes are an impenetrable forest known to the Ecuadorians as the Oriente(east).The Amazon does not flow through Ecuador, but all rivers east of the Andes flow into it. The Galapagos Islands were the country's first national park.

Culture:

The main religon in Ecuador is Roman Catholicism. There are also other Christian religions present. Spainish is the main language in Ecuador. There are many other tribal languages in Ecuador. English is only understood in tourist areas such as hotels and the airports. The food in Ecuador consists mainly of soups and stews, corn pancakes and vegetables.

 

Events:

Ecuador is a Catholic country so they celebrate a lot of the holidays we do. Another major holiday there is All Souls Day. It is celebrated on November 2. This is where the country brightens up cemeteries with flowers. Simon Bolivar's birthday on July 24 is greatly celebrated as is Christopher Columbus's on October 12.

Corpus Christi is a big feast in June that has traditional harvest fiestas.

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