The official name is the Republic of Ecuador (Republica del Ecuador).
Located in the northwestern part of South America. The area is 283.6 thousand km2, the population is 13.5 million people. (2002). The official language is Spanish. The capital is Quito (1.487 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day on August 10. Monetary units are US dollar and sucre.
Member of the UN (since 1945), OAS (since 1948), WTO (since 1996), etc.
Geography of Ecuador
It is located on the equator between 1°27’06” N and 5°00’56” S, 75°11 49″ and 81°00’40” W. Includes the Galapagos Islands (Colon) to the west of the mainland. In the west, it is washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean: the extreme southwest of the country and the Galapagos Islands is washed by the cold Peruvian current, and the main part of the mainland coast is washed by the warm Intertrade countercurrent. There are no large islands and bays on the main part of the coast, there are many shallow bays, rocks alternate with lowlands. Only in the south-west the Gulf of Guayaquil protrudes deeply with the large island of Pune. Ecuador borders Colombia to the north and Peru to the south.
It is divided into three natural regions – Costa (coast), Sierra (highlands) and Oriente (east), formed by the Andes ridges, cutting the country from south to north. In the west, in the Costa, coastal highlands are separated from the Andes by the valley of the Guayas River. The Sierra is a volcanic highland of the Andes, consisting of the ridges of the Western and Eastern Cordilleras, which border the intermountain basins (2500-2800 m). In one of them, at the foot of the Pichincha volcano, Quito is located (altitude 2800 m). In the northern part of the highlands – approx. 50 extinct and active volcanoes. Among them is the highest peak in Ecuador – the extinct volcano Chimborazo (6267 m), as well as the world’s highest active volcano Cotopaxi (5897 m). Oriente is a foothill plain in the northeast of Ecuador.
The main minerals are oil (reserves 3.4 billion barrels) and natural gas (reserves 9.8 billion m3). The main oil fields are located in the north of the Oriente, gas – in the Gulf of Guayaquil. Known deposits of gold, copper, uranium, limestone, polymetallic ores (silver, zinc, lead).
The soils are lateritic on the plains and slopes of the Andes, volcanic in the intermountain basins.
The climate is equatorial (except for the southwest), stable temperatures: + 28 ° C – Oriente and + 23 ° C – Costa. In the Sierra, temperatures decrease with altitude (in Quito, approx. +13°C with daily fluctuations). Precipitation falls throughout the year (up to 7000 mm on the slopes of the Andes and in the north of the Costa, up to 4000 mm in the Oriente, 400-1300 mm in the Sierra basins).
Dense network (with the exception of the southwest), there are no large lakes. The main rivers of the Costa – Guayas (in the south) and Esmeraldas (in the north) – flow into the Pacific Ocean, Oriente – Putumayo, Napo, Pastaza and Zamora – belong to the Amazon basin. The sources of the main rivers of Ecuador are in the Sierra.
Oriente and the north of Costa are covered with selva. On the slopes of the Andes up to 3000 m – mountain selva (cinchona, balsa, coca, orchids), higher, up to 4500 m – alpine meadows paramos, even higher – eternal snow. In many areas, forests have been reduced to fields and plantations.
The fauna of the Oriente and northern Costa is typical of the selva: tapir, jaguar, monkeys, an abundance of birds – parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, as well as reptiles and amphibians. Spectacled bear and mountain tapir are found in mountain forests and paramos, hummingbirds and condors are found in paramos. The fauna of the Galapagos Islands (national park) is peculiar – giant tortoises, marine iguanas, etc.
Population of Ecuador
According to Countryaah, the annual population growth is 1.96%. The population has grown by 3.2 million since 1990. Birth rate 25.47%, mortality 5.36%, infant mortality 33 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 71.6 years. The ratio of men and women is 0.99. The population aged 0-14 years is 35.4%, 15-64 years old – 60.2%, 65 years and older – 4.4%. The urban population is 63.4%. Competently 90% of the population is over 15 years old.
Ethnic composition: Hispanic Ecuadorians 75% (descendants of immigrants from Europe, mainly from Spain – 7%, mestizos and assimilated Cholo Indians – 65%, blacks in the northwest – 3%). OK. 25% are Indians, among which the vast majority are Quechua of the Sierra. Quechua also inhabit the eastern slopes and foothills of the Andes; the Indian peoples of the Khivaro group, the Shuar and the Achuar, as well as the Huaorani, Kofan, and Siona-Sekoya, live in the Oriente; in the north of Costa – colorado, kayapo, ava.
The Spanish language predominates, however, in rural areas, the languages of the indigenous population have been preserved, primarily Quechua (Quichua), which is widespread in the Sierra and part of the Oriente. In Costa, the languages of Chacha (Kayapo), Colorado, and Ava Kuaikier; in Oriente, Shuar, Achuar Shiviar, Huaorani, Kofan, and Sekoya.
Religion – Catholic (95% of the population). There are Protestants among the Indians in the Sierra.