In northwestern South America is the country of Ecuador, which borders Colombia and Peru. The name comes from the fact that the equator cuts through the northern part of Ecuador. In Ecuador, the official language is Spanish, but there are also about 13 different languages of origin spoken by a small part of the country’s population. When the number of inhabitants was estimated in 2011, a figure of over 15 million was reached. The country’s capital is called Quito and it was named a World Heritage Site in the 1970s for having Latin America’s best-preserved historical center. The country’s largest city is called Guayaquil and the third largest city Cuenca has also been designated a World Heritage Site.
Ecuador’s history is rich and exciting and in addition the country has plenty of unique plant and animal species. In the Galapagos Islands you will find endemic species, unique species, and since 2008 they have legislated on the law of nature and the law of ecosystems. The country gained its freedom from Spain in 1830 and is today a republic with a president.
Geography and climate
Ecuador has four main geographical regions and these are:
La Costa – This is the coastal region consisting of the provinces located west of the Andes. Here the soil is fertile and bananas that are exported are grown, among other things. The banana brands Dole and Chiquita are known worldwide. Rice is also grown in this region. On the coast, people also do fishing.
La Sierra – This is the highlands and here we find the Andes and highlands of Azuay, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Imbabura, Loja, Pichincha and Tungurahua. Here are most of Ecuador’s volcanoes and snow-capped peaks. Agriculture consists of potatoes and corn and here is the largest city of Quito.
La Amazonia – This part of the country is also called the East and consists of the provinces with the Amazon jungle. The region consists mostly of the Amazon parks and areas where indigenous tribes continue to live as they have always done. It is here that there are large reserves of petroleum and this has led to part of the area being exploited by petroleum companies.
La Region Insular – This is the region that includes the Galapagos Islands. The region is located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 km west of the mainland.
According to bridgat.com, the climate in Ecuador is very varied and exactly what climate you will encounter depends on how high above sea level you are. You have tropical forests as well as a coastal climate and when you get higher up towards the Andes you are met by grassy plains and then at a higher altitude you are met by snow that remains all year round. The tropical rainforest gets its water from tributaries to the Amazon River and this is an area that is enormously rich in animal species. In the rainforest it is always humid because it rains all year round. Due to the volcanic activity that exists in the region, Ecuador is often hit by earthquakes.
There are certain environmental problems in the country, such as the felling of forests, which leads to soil erosion. In addition, water from the oil industry is polluted and this is a danger to areas that have a sensitive ecology. In the Amazon and in the Galapagos Islands, there are also environmental problems that are caused by the population growing and that it is also visited by a lot of tourists every year.