Wonders of Ecuador

The Republic of Ecuador is a country located in the northwestern coast of South America. It has borders with, Colombia at north, the Pacific Ocean at the west and Peru at south and east. Its capital is Quito city, which is located in the equatorial line that divides the Earth into southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere.

The largest city of the country is Guayaquil, which is also the main port of Ecuador. Ecuador like most Latin American countries is a multiethnic and multicultural nation, with a diverse and rich culture. Its population is around 13 755 680 million people and the official language is Spanish. The main religion is the Roman Catholic with 85% of the country’s population.

Ecuador, because of the presence of the “Cordillera de los Andes” (Andes Mountain Range) is divided into three regions Coast, Sierra (Mountains) and Selva (jungle). This geographical division causes the existence of several microclimates in the Ecuadorian territory.

The Ecuadorian coast has a tropical climate; the Andean region has a dry mild climate; whereas the Amazon jungle has a climate more hot and humid.

Besides, the country hosts one of the most impressive biodiversities of the planet. An endless number of flora and fauna species inhabit the Ecuadorian territory; most of them are in the Ecuadorian Amazon and in the famous Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin received the inspiration to create his famous Evolution theory.

The Galapagos Islands are considered one of the Natural wonders of the World and the main tourist destination of Ecuador.

Near to the Galapagos are also a set of hydrothermal vents, which are amongst the Underwater Wonders, because of the unique ecosystems that they sustain.

The economy of Ecuador is sustained mainly by the mining, being the petroleum the main exportation product and the main source of incomes since 1970s.

Tourism is also an important activity, which is one of the main prospects of the country. Ecuador has some beautiful sites that worth visiting, such as the Galapagos Island one of the Underwater Wonders of the World, the lush Amazon jungle, the beautiful beaches of the vast Ecuadorian coast or the wonderful peaks of the Andes.

The currency in the country is the USA dollar, which was adopted in 2000, because of the economic crisis in the country, which devalued a lot the “Sucre”, the previous currency of Ecuador.

The first human vestiges in the Ecuadorian territory, date from 3500 BC. Ecuador was inhabited since long time ago by ancient tribes like the Shiris, Cañari or the Valdivia culture. In the XV century the Ecuador’s territory as well as great part of South America was part of the Inca Empire.

In the XVI century Ecuador was invaded by the Spaniards who destroyed the Great Inca Empire and ruled in South America until XIX century. During great part of the colonial time, Ecuador was part of the viceroyalty of Perú, whose capital was Lima. In 1563 Quito became a royal audience (an administrative district); but the current Ecuadorian territory was governed still from Lima.

Since the second half of the XVIII century; but, mainly at the beginning of the XIX century many independence movements surged around all South America. One of these independence movements was born in Quito in 1809 and it was led by Carlos Montúfar, Eugenio Espejo and the Bishop Cuero Caicedo. They proclaimed the Independence of Quito; nevertheless, Spanish army controlled still the Ecuadorian territory and the most part of South America from Lima, Peru.

But, in 1822 Simon Bolivar arrived to Ecuador accompanied by Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, who defeated Spanish army in the Pichincha Battle. After this battle the Spanish army was expulsed from the country. Ecuador then became part of the Great Colombia.

The Republic of Ecuador was born only in 1830, after Great Colombia’s dissolution. The first years of the new republic were very instable, a great number of presidents ruled in Ecuador in the three first decades of country’s existence.

Since 1860 to 1895 the country was ruled by the conservatives with the support of the Roman Catholic Church, but in 1895 a coastal liberal revolution reaches the power, reducing and disestablishing the Church’s power. During this time, speech freedom and press was introduced in the country.

Liberals were in the government until 1925, when a military revolution known as the “Julian Revolution” took the power. The next 20 years were an instability period and social crisis in the Ecuadorian history.

In 1941 Ecuador initiated a war against Peru for the control of the Amazon jungle. But, the superior army of Peru defeated to the poorly-supplied and inadequately-armed Ecuadorian force. Peru took the control of great part of the Southern Ecuador and the Peruvian Navy blocked the Guayaquil Port.

Finally, in 1942 because of the pressure of USA and several Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brasil and Chile; Peru and Ecuador signed in Rio de Janeiro a Protocol, to formalize its mutual national borders. Nevertheless, Ecuador ignored several times this protocol along the XX century, generating periodical conflicts between both countries. This chronic conflict was definitely resolved only in 1998.

During the 1960s and 1960s, Ecuador was under military rules. In this period several oilfields were found in the country and it was built the Andean Oil Pipeline, which allow to transport oil from the Amazon jungle to the Ecuadorian coast.

This project turned Ecuador the second oil exporter of South America after Venezuela. The democracy returned to the country in 1979 with the creation of a new constitution. José Roldos Aguilera was elected president of the country in 1981; however he died some months later and Oswaldo Hurtado was declared president; its government as well as most government of South America during the 1980s suffered economic crisis, because of the high inflation, budget deficits, uncompetitive industries and corruption and instability in the governments.

In 1998 the country experienced the worst crisis of its history, which was caused mainly by the “Niño” Phenomenon that generated around three billion dollars in damage. The social crisis caused by the economical catastrophe produced a great political crisis.

Six presidents were removed of the government during only seven years (between 1997 and 2003). In the lasts years Ecuador has reached a certain level of economic and political stability thanks to the high prices reached by petroleum in the last times.

Today Ecuador is a country quite stable economically and socially. Besides, because of its rich culture, nice people and its amazing landscapes, it is a great tourist destination that worth visiting.