Country in South America
Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galapogas Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial centre, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compania de Jesus Church.
The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of Amerindian groups that wer 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 Columbia, from wehich 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 17.1 million people being mestizos, followed by a large minorities of European. Amerindian and African descendants.
Spanish is the official language.
Ecuador is a middle income representative democratic republic, and is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It hosts many endemic plants & animals, such as those of the Galapogas Islands.