Ecuador was inhabited by indigenous groups for thousands of years. These early inhabitants were hunter-gatherers and fishermen. These native peoples lived in isolated groups and clans. Then the Inca Empire arrived, and after years of fighting, the Incas gained control of the land in the 1400s. In 1534, Spanish conquistadors arrived in what is now Ecuador and claimed the area as a Spanish colony. Spain controlled Ecuador for the next 300 years. In 1822, Simon Bolivar and his armies defeated the Spanish and the area gained independence. At this time, Ecuador was among a group of countries called Gran Colombia. It wasn’t until 1830 that Ecuador became a separate country.
The national flag of Ecuador is a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red. In its center is the country’s coat of arms, which is a shield with a condor sitting on top. The national flag of Ecuador was adopted on September 26, 1860.
Ecuador is located in western South America and is bordered by Colombia and Peru. The physical geography of Ecuador is quite varied. The country is home to snow-capped mountains, plains, highlands, and jungle. The Galapagos Islands, which are home to diverse plant and animal life, are located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
World Land Mass Ranking: 74th
Highest Mountain: Chimborazo, 6,263 m (20,548 ft)
Longest River: Amazon River, 6,992 km (4,345 mi)
Ecuador Population: 17.6 million (as of 2020)
Capital City: Quito
Capital City Population: 2 million (as of 2020)
The climate of Ecuador varies on location and altitude, but since Ecuador is located on the equator, most of the country has a humid tropical climate. The country receives more than 20 inches of rain each year. Ecuador has two seasons, a dry season and a wet season.
Ecuadorian cuisine can be split into three categories according to geographical regions: highland cuisine, coastal cuisine, and Oriental cuisine. Highland cuisine often incorporates pork, chicken, beef, or guinea pig into dishes. Coastal cuisine includes seafood, fried plantain, rice, and beans. Guatita is Ecuador’s national dish. It is a hearty, thick stew made out of tripe simmered in a sauce of potatoes and peanuts.
Like many other countries throughout the world, football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Ecuador. There are many different football teams in Ecuador, but the most well-known is the LDU Quito, which has won many different football awards. Besides football, basketball, horseriding, and paddleball are popular in Ecuador. Traditional sports are also common in Ecuador, including Ecuavóley and Chaza.
The culture of Ecuador is diverse and rich, just like the country’s history. Modern-day Ecuador is shaped by influences from indigenous groups and Europeans. The majority of Ecuadorians are Spanish-speaking Catholics. Families are important to Ecuadorians, and it is not uncommon for extended families to all live together in one household. Visual art is an important aspect of Ecuadorian culture. The Kichwa people of Tigua are famous for their traditional paintings on sheepskins. These paintings can be found for sale all across the country.
10 facts about Ecuador
1. Ecuador means “equator” in Spanish.
2. The national fruit of Ecuador is called guanabana.
3. Over 300 different types of bananas grow in Ecuador.
4. The official currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar.
5. Ecuador is one of the largest exporters of cacao beans.
6. The Andean Condor is Ecuador’s national animal.
7. There are 1,654 species of birds in Ecuador.
8. Ecuador is known as the orchid capital of the world.
9. In Ecuador, garbage trucks play music as they drive.
10. Ecuador’s independence day is on August 10th.