50 Fascinating Facts about Ecuador

Ecuador is a small country located in South America. It is bordered in the north by Columbia, on the east and south by Peru and by the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador has an area of 109,484 square miles (283,520 square kilometers). The country’s capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site in the 1970s by UNESCO. The country is home to over 15 million people, while Quito has over 2 million inhabitants. The country’s official language is Spanish, but Kichwa, Shuar and other indigenous languages are recognized by the government. Their flag is comprised of a yellow, blue and red stripe with the country’s coat of arms directly in the middle of the horizontal flag. Ecuador does not have an official religion, however 95% of the citizens identify as Christian. The official currency of Ecuador is the United States dollar.

Ecuador Facts

1
Ecuador has a total nominal GDP of $80.9 billion, which is the 64th highest in the world. Its total nominal per capita GDP is $5,310.
2
Ecuador has the 8th largest economy in Latin America and has grown exponentially in the last decade.
3
Unemployment in Ecuador is around 6%, and is currently moving in a downward trend as the economy continues to grow.
4
Ecuador’s main exports include oil, bananas, sugar cane, shrimp, cotton and coffee. Their main imports include raw materials, fuels, and transport equipment.
5
The United States dollar has been used as the country’s currency since a banking crisis in 1999. In March of 2000, the country officially made the U.S. dollar their currency in order to avoid hyperinflation.
6
Ecuador’s government is a unitary presidential constitutional republic with both a President and a Vice President elected each term.
7
The Ecuadorian flag is comprised of 3 colors; yellow for the diversity in the country, red for the blood that was shed for the country’s independence and blue for the sky and the ocean.
8
Ecuador has numerous volcanoes that make up its terrain. Many of them are still considered active.
9
It is a normal activity for doctors in Ecuador to make house calls.
10
Iguana Park is located in Guyaquil, Ecuador and it is a safe haven for Iguanas.
11
Public buses will stop anywhere in the cities of Ecuador if someone is flagging them down.
12
Trash trucks play music as they drive through the cities, similar to ice cream trucks in the United States.
13
Fresh squeezed juice is a staple at every Ecuadorian meal. People buy fresh fruits and vegetables at markets on a daily or weekly basis and prepare meals and juices with fresh ingredients each day.
14
Guinea pig is a delicacy in Ecuador. Many restaurants have meals that include guinea pig meat.
15
Many Ecuadorians hold more than one job. They have a day job that they go to each day, then they will also have small jobs they pick up throughout the week.
16
Most of the festivals and holidays celebrated in Ecuador are based on their religion. 95% of the country is Catholic, therefore they celebrate many Saints days and Christian Holidays.
17
Most 15 year old girls in Ecuador will celebrate their quinceanera. During this coming of age party, the girls wear pink dresses and are given away by their fathers.
18
Most of the movies played in movie theaters come from the United States, and are dubbed with Spanish subtitles.
19
One of the first drugs that was found to treat malaria came from the bark of a tree that is indigenous in Ecuador.
20
There are 1600 different species of birds in Ecuador, which accounts for 15% of all of the bird species in the world.
21
The name Ecuador came from the word equator since the equator passes directly through the country.
22
Lunch is the largest meal of the day in Ecuador. Families will come home from work and school to eat together or to meet at a restaurant. The average restaurant will have lunch specials for $2 and $3 every day.
23
Ecuador is divided into four regions: Costa, Sierra, Oriente, and Galapagos Islands.
24
Approximately 10% of the population of Ecuador is of European descent.
25
Guayaquil is the largest city and port in Ecuador. It is also the wealthiest area in the country.
26
Bananas are grown primarily in the country's coastal plains region. The bananas grown here make Ecuador the largest banana exporter in the world.
27
The literacy rate in Ecuador is 93%.
28
Spanish is the official language of the country and is spoken by 93% of Ecuador's residents.
29
Ecuador is the smallest country in South America. It is roughly the size of the state of Colorado.
30
There is lots of biodiversity in Ecuador. The country is home to about 25,000 species of plants and 1,600 species of birds.
31
Charles Darwin noticed the biodiversity of Ecuador, which inspired him to begin studying evolution.
32
Ecuador gained its independence from Spain in 1822 after 300 years of Spanish rule.
33
The national sport of Ecuador is soccer.
34
Ecuador implemented family life education into its schools' curriculum due to the high rate of adolescent fertlity.
35
The Galepagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, these islands were the first World Heritage Site in the world.
36
Quito was named as the second UNESCO World Heritage Site worldwide. Both Quito and the Galepagos Islands were designated in 1978.
37
Oil accounts for 40% of the country's exports.
38
The majority of the world's balsa wood comes from Ecuador.
39
Ecuador's healthcare system is ranked as one of the best in the world.
40
Woven straw Panama hats did not originate from Panama. They were first made and worn in Ecuador.
41
The first female President of Ecuador was Rosalía Arteaga. She served just two days.
42
Ecuador was the first country to add rights for nature to its constitution.
43
Voting is a requirement for Ecuadorians between the ages of 18 and 65.
44
It is estimated that between two and three million Ecuadorians live abroad.
45
The first expedition to measure the earth's circumference began in Ecuador.
46
Ecuador is the largest exporter of cacao beans in the world.
47
The country's national flower is the rose. Due to the ideal conditions for rose-growing, these flowers can be purchased very cheaply.
48
The quality of life and cost of living have led to Ecuador being named as one of the top countries for expats.
49
There are 13 indigenous languages that are recognized in Ecuador.
50
Quito sits at 2,850 meters above sea level, making it the highest official capital in the world.

Ecuador is a beautiful tropical country located in Latin America. Since gaining its independence in 1830, it has thrived as a constitutional republic. The country has had its ups and down economically, but in recent years has flourished greatly and is once again becoming a country to watch in Latin America. The people of Ecuador are very relaxed, and always love to meet tourists.

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