ECUADOREAN Facts & Figures

Size: 109,483 square miles

Population: 15,007,343

Capital:  Quito

Currency: US Dollar

Weather / Climate:

There is great variety in the climate, largely determined by altitude. It is mild year-round in the mountain valleys; Humid Subtropical Climate incoastal and Rain Forests in lowlands. The Pacific coastal area has a tropical climate, with a severe rainy season. The climate in the Andean highlands is temperate and relatively dry; and the Amazon basin on the eastern side of the mountains shares the climate of other rain forest zones.

Because of its location at the equator, Ecuador experiences little variation in daylight hours during the course of a year. Both sunrise and sunset occur each day at the two six o'clock hours.

Taken from wikipedia

ECUADOREAN languages

The predominant and official language of Ecuador is Spanish, in addition to Northern Quechua and other pre-colonial American languages, which are spoken by 2,300,000 (Adelaar 1991). Ethnologue lists 24 languages of Ecuador:[2]

· Achuar–Shiwiar

· Awa–Cuaiquer

· Cha'palaachi

· Cofán

· Colorado

· Ecuadorian Sign Language

· Emberá languages

· Media Lengua

· 9 varieties of Quichua

· Secoya

· Shuar

· Siona

· Tetete

· Waorani

· Záparo

Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ecuador

ECUADOREAN culture

 

 

ECUADOREAN people

The Ethnography of Ecuador consists of a diverse collection of ethnic groups, almost all related to another group in one way or another. The great majority of Ecuadorans trace their origins to one or more of three geographical sources of Human migrations: the pre-Hispanic indigenous Amerindians who settled the region over 15,000 years ago, the Europeans (principally Spaniards) who arrived over 5 centuries ago, and ultimately the black sub-Saharan Africans whom they imported as slave labour during the same period. The mixing of two or more of these three groups established other mixed ethnic groups.

Mestizos, the multiracial group of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry, are by far the largest of all the ethnic groups, and comprise around 65 per cent of the current population. The second most numerous group are the indigenous Amerindians (in Spanish indígenas, amerindios, or more controversially, indios), who account for approximately 25% of the population. Whites (in Spanish blancos) are estimated at 7%, and consists largely of those of unmixed or predominant European descent. Most White Ecuadorans are of colonial era Spanish origin, also known as criollos (literally meaning "local[-born Spaniards]", as opposed to "Peninsulares", which were Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula in Spain). Criollos is one of many terms from the colonial era caste system. White Ecuadorans of European non-colonial non-Spanish origin are a minority within the White Ecuadoran group, and are simply termed white. They mainly include descendants of immigrants from Italy, Germany, and France, as well as other countries. Afro-Ecuadorans make up most of the balance of the percentage, and include mulattos (mixed European and sub-Saharan African) and zambos (mixed Amerindian and sub-Saharan African).

Besides the above-mentioned ethnic groups, there are also non-European Caucasians mostly of Levantine origine and East Asians, mostly Chinese and Japanese.

Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ecuador

ECUADOREAN food

Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse, varying with altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, beef, and cuy (guinea pig) are popular in the mountain regions and are served with a variety of carbohydrate-rich foods, especially rice, corn and potatoes. A popular street food in mountain regions is hornado, consisting of potatoes served with roasted pig. Some examples of Ecuadorian cuisine in general include patacones, unripe plantains fried in oil, mashed up and then refried, llapingachos, a pan seared potato ball, and seco de chivo, a type of stew made from goat. A wide variety of fresh fruit is available, particularly at lower altitudes, including granadilla, passionfruit, naranjilla, several types of bananas, uvilla, taxo, and tree tomato.

Regional differences

There are several Ecuadorian dishes that are typical to the various regions in the country. For example, costeños (people from the coast) preffer fish, beans and plantains (unripened banana like fruit), while serranos from the mountain regions prefer meat, potatoes, rice and white hominy (mote). Regional examples include ceviches from the Coast, which are prepared in many different ways but basically consist of seafood (fish, shrimp, etc) marinated in lime juice , as well as cassava (yuca) bread, plantains served with crushed peanuts or salprieta, and encebollado, a very popular dish in the Coast, that contains a marinade with large chunks of fish, onions and various regional seasonings.

Seafood is very popular at the coast, where fish, prawns, shrimp and crabs, clams, etc are key parts of the diet. Plantain- and peanut-based dishes are the basis of many coastal meals, which are usually served in two courses. The first course is caldo soup, which may be aguado (a thin soup, usually with meat) or caldo de leche, a cream vegetable soup. The second course might include rice, meat or fish with a menestra (lentil stew), and salad or vegetables. Patacones (fried green plantains with cheese) are popular side dishes with coastal meals. Some of the typical dishes in the coastal region are: ceviche, pan de almidón, corviche, guatita, papas con quero, encebollado and empanadas; in the mountain region: hornado, fritada, humitas, tamales, llapingachos, lomo saltado, and churrasco.

A food of the mountainous parts of Ecuador is guinea pig.

The food is somewhat different in the southern mountain area, featuring typical Loja food such as repe, a soup prepared with green bananas; cecina, roasted pork; and miel con quesillo or "cuajada" as dessert. In the rainforest, a dietary staple is the yuca, elsewhere called cassava. The starchy root is peeled and boiled, fried, or used in a variety of other dishes. Many fruits are available in this region, including bananas, tree grapes, and peach palms. It's also used as a bread and has spread throughout the nation, most notably, to Quito where a company sells the native pan de yuca in a new sense; different types sold with frozen yoghurt.

Typical meal

Ecuadorian cuisine traditionally consists of two dishes, a soup and a rice platter. For the most part, Ecuador is known not only for its bananas and all the dishes made from them, but for its starch consumption of products like potato, bread, rice, and yuca. Traditionally any of these factors can be found in either the soup or the rice platter that may be served. Most regions in Ecuador follow the traditional 3 course meal of sopa (soup) and segundo (second dish) which includes rice and a protein such as meat, poultry, pig or fish. Then dessert and a coffee are customary. Dinner is usually lighter and sometimes just coffee or agua de remedio (herbal tea) with bread.

Alcoholic beverages

Aguardiente, a sugar cane-based spirit, is probably the most popular national alcohol. Canelazo is a popular drink made from aguardiente. Drinkable yogurt, available in many fruit flavors, is popular and is often consumed with pan de yuca, a light bread filled with cheese and eaten warm.

Christian influence

Besides the regions, there are several typical Ecuadorian dishes consumed on special occasions. During Finados (November 2), there is the Colada Morada, which is prepared with black corn flour. During Easter, the Fanesca is traditionally served all over Ecuador. Fanesca, a fish soup including several types of beans, is often eaten during Lent and Easter. During the week before the commemoration of the deceased or día de los muertos, the fruit beverage Colada Morada is typical, accompanied by Guaguas de Pan, which is stuffed bread shaped like children.

Taken from wikipedia

Doing business in ECUADOR

Ecuador's economy has heavily depended on exporting resources such as petroleum, fish, shrimp, timber and gold. In addition, it has rich agriculture: bananas, flowers, coffee, cacao, guayusa, sugar, tropical fruits, palm oil, palm hearts, rice, roses, and corn.[32] The country´s greatest national export is crude oil.[33] Fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. Industry is largely oriented to servicing the domestic market, with some exports to the Andean Community of Nations.

Deteriorating economic performance in 1997–98 culminated in a severe economic and financial crisis in 1999. The crisis was precipitated by the El Niño weather phenomenon in 1997, a sharp drop in global oil prices in 1997–98, and international emerging market instability in 1997–98. These factors resulted in a 7.3% contraction of GDP, annual year-on-year inflation of 52.2%, and a 65% devaluation of the national currency, the Sucre, in 1999, which helped precipitate a default on external loans later that year. In January 2000, President Jamil Mahuad announced a policy to adopt the U.S. dollar as the official currency of Ecuador, and although Mahuad was forced from office, his successor Gustavo Noboa continued with the plan, and also entered into negotiations with the IMF.

Ecuadorhas a network of national highways maintained by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Comunicaciones (Ministry of Public Works and Communication). The Pan-American Highway connects the northern and southern portions of the country as well as connecting Ecuador with Colombia to the north and Peru to the south. The quality of roads, even on truck routes, is highly variable.

There is an extensive network of intercity buses that use these mountain roads and highways. The most modern Ecuadorian Highway connects Guayaquil with Salinas.

The Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos is the Ecuadorian national railway. The Interandean Railroad is essentially defunct; only the short "devil's nose" section is usable. Tourists usually board the train in Alausí, although some opt for a longer trip from Riobamba (if available).

Taken from wikipedia

ECUADOR: useful links

www.ecuador.com/

www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1212882.stm

www.ecuadorexplorer.com

www.ecuadortouristboard.com

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