Theme Week Ecuador

Monday, 23 April 2018 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Theme Weeks

A vicuña, one of two wild South American camelids. In the background the point on the Earth's surface that is farthest from the Earth's center, Chimborazo volcano © David Torres Costales/cc-by-sa-3.0

A vicuña, one of two wild South American camelids. In the background the point on the Earth’s surface that is farthest from the Earth’s center, Chimborazo volcano © David Torres Costales/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil. What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador’s ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Amerindian, and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar.

Ecuador is a middle-income country, with a developing economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.

Shipwreck Bay on San Cristobal © MusikAnimal/cc-by-sa-4.0 A vicuña, one of two wild South American camelids. In the background the point on the Earth's surface that is farthest from the Earth's center, Chimborazo volcano © David Torres Costales/cc-by-sa-3.0 Portoviejo - Paragliding at Crucita Beach © Jaime del Castillo/cc-by-sa-3.0 Quito - Basilica del Voto Nacional © Suplecol/cc-by-sa-3.0 Quito - Calle de la Ronda, one of the most popular areas © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0 Quito - Church of San Francisco © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0
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A vicuña, one of two wild South American camelids. In the background the point on the Earth's surface that is farthest from the Earth's center, Chimborazo volcano © David Torres Costales/cc-by-sa-3.0
The country has four main geographic regions:

  • La Costa, or “the coast”: The coastal region consists of the provinces to the West of the Andean range – Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí, El Oro, Santa Elena. It is the country’s most fertile and productive land, and is the seat of the large banana exportation plantations of the companies Dole and Chiquita. This region is also where most of Ecuador’s rice crop is grown. The truly coastal provinces have active fisheries. The largest coastal city is Guayaquil.
  • La Sierra, or “the highlands”: The sierra consists of the Andean and Interandean highland provinces – Azuay, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Imbabura, Loja, Pichincha, and Tungurahua. This land contains most of Ecuador’s volcanoes and all of its snow-capped peaks. Agriculture is focused on the traditional crops of potato, maize, and quinua and the population is predominantly Amerindian Kichua. The largest Sierran city is Quito.
  • La Amazonía, also known as El Oriente, or “the east”: The oriente consists of the Amazon jungle provinces – Morona Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos, and Zamora-Chinchipe. This region is primarily made up of the huge Amazon national parks and Amerindian untouchable zones, which are vast stretches of land set aside for the Amazon Amerindian tribes to continue living traditionally. It is also the area with the largest reserves of petroleum in Ecuador, and parts of the upper Amazon here have been extensively exploited by petroleum companies. The population is primarily mixed Amerindian Shuar, Huaorani and Kichua, although there are numerous tribes in the deep jungle which are little-contacted. The largest city in the Oriente is probably Lago Agrio in Sucumbíos, although Macas in Morona Santiago runs a close second.
  • La Región Insular is the region comprising the Galápagos Islands, some 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean.

Ecuadorians often describe the country as a series of “micro-environments” and economic-cultural regions that are reflected in the country’s cultural and geographic diversity of coastal fishing and trade (with Guayaquil as a port), highland (with Quito as a center), and the Amazon or jungle region, with several indigenous populations continually facing intrusions by “colonos” (colonists) seeking to use land for farming including palm oil, or for oil and resource exploitation. Various studies have noted the threats to the country’s cultures and the continuing growth in population that has contributed to poverty and are a reflection of unsustainable development. Migration of more than 111,000 Ecuadorians following crisis in 1999 also highlights the population growth and inability of the resource base to sustain it, as well as the lack of appropriate economic planning in the country to fit historical traditions or the resource base.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Ecuador.travel, LonelyPlanet.com – Ecuador, travel.state.gov: Travel information Ecuador, Ecuadorian cuisine, Wikitravel Ecuador, Wikivoyage Ecuador and Wikipedia Ecuador. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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