Officially known as the Republic of Ecuador, there are many interesting facts about this tiny democratic republic country in South America. Ecuador derives its name from the 'equator'; as the equator straddles this country. This tiny country is bordered by the mighty Pacific Ocean to its west, Columbia to its north, and Peru to its south and east. A tour of Ecuador would serve a treat to any nature lover, owing to the rich biodiversity in this part of the world.
It is blessed with the presence of rare birds, plants, insects and tropical forests. Not to mention, the beauty of the Galapagos Islands that lie in the Pacific ocean at a distance of about 600 miles off the mainland. Ecuador is a tiny country, but is home to many diverse and rare species. Ecuador has also many famous people in its rich history.
Ecuador has a big history of independence struggle, with its major wars being with Spain, Peru, and Gran Columbia. Ecuadorians got liberated from Spain on May 24, 1822, and from Gran Columbia on May 13, 1830. These two days are thus celebrated as independence days. Take a review of the quick facts given below, that would surely add to your general knowledge!
- Capital City: Quito.
- Area: Around 175,000 square miles, including the Galapagos Islands.
- Currency: US Dollar.
- Language: Majority of the population speaks Spanish.
- Religion: 95% people in the population are Roman Catholics.
- Largest City: Guayaquil.
- First President: Juan José Flores.
- National Animal: Andean Condor.
- National Flower: Rose.
- National Anthem: Himno Nacional de Ecuador.
- National Motto: Dios, patria y libertad, in Spanish, which in English translates to God, homeland and liberty.
Some Interesting Facts
- It is the second smallest country in South America. In fact, it is of the same area as the state of Nevada in the US.
- There are 22 provinces in Ecuador, each with its own capital.
- The capital city of Quito, and the third largest city in the country, Cuenca, have been declared as world heritage sites by the UNESCO, owing to their rich history.
- It is one among the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world.
- Soccer is so popular in Ecuador, that it is considered its national game!
- Ecuador, along with Chile, are the only countries in South America that do not share a border with Brazil.
- The highest peak in Ecuador is Chimborazo (at 6,310 meters; 20,700 ft.).
- The country is divided into 4 geographical regions - coastal lowlands, mountain highlands, eastern jungle lowlands, and the Galapagos Islands.
- the Galapagos Islands became a part of Ecuador in the year 1832.
- There are more than 25,000 species of trees and plants, and 3,800 species of vertebrates, 1,550 species of mammals among other species in Ecuador.
- Ecuador is home to an ethically mixed population. 65% of the population is Caucasian/mixed indigenous. The Quechua, Otavalenos, Salasacas, and Saraguros, comprise the indigenous population of the country.
Other Interesting Facts
Facts About the Ecuador Flag: Ecuadorians value their independence truly, and there is a color (red) dedicated to the blood that was shed by the soldiers to gain independence. The flag has 3 horizontal stripes - yellow, blue and red (top to down). The yellow stripe, which signifies abundance of crops and diversity of species, is the widest, and is double in width as compared to the other two stripes. The blue stripe symbolizes the color of the sea and sky. In between, there is a symbol of a coat of arms.
Economy and Trade: Agriculture formed the backbone of the country till the early 1970. Various products like coffee, potatoes, sheep, etc., were produced. The discovery of oil deposits in the Amazon gave a major boost to the economy of Ecuador, and the attention was then centered to the petroleum industry. Due to political crises, the economy has been a witness to many ups and downs. Though, it has now recovered from the severe crises, the problem of unemployment still plagues the country.
Cuisine: Ecuadorians are great food lovers, considering the rich variety in food and cuisine. The food choices vary as per the region, and in the highlands, people prefer eating pork, chicken, beef, guinea pig, potatoes, along with grains like corn and rice. Seafood is preferred in the coastal areas, and shrimp and lobster are popular foods there. People here follow a three-course meal, which includes soup as the first course, high protein foods like meat and fish in the second course, and a light supper. Bananas, tree grapes and peach palms are popular fruits. Yuca is a dietary staple of the people near the Amazon region.
Flora and Fauna: Ecuador is home to many rare species of birds, animals and plants. You can find mangrove swamps, orchids, rain and cloud forests. The Galapagos Islands are very rich in the flora and fauna, with the Green turtle being the main attraction. The Galapagos Islands are also home to animals like seals, sea lions, whales, etc.
Climate Facts: The climate varies greatly in Ecuador, and there is no similar climate all through the year. The early months from January to April see warm currents bringing in a hot, humid and rainy weather. May and further months witness a cooler climate.
Ecuador is an amazing country to live and visit, and as said earlier, a tourist's paradise. It is thus rightly called - the land of eternal spring! We have given only a few interesting facts, there is much that one can see in this tiny but mighty nation. A visit to this place is a must for all nature lovers.