The Republic of Ecuador is located in the northwestern part of South America. Until the beginning of the 19th century, this territory belonged to Spain. In 1822, the Spaniards were driven out by the Colombian army from the province of Quito, where Ecuador is now. Until 1830, this province was part of the Republic of Greater Columbia, and then became an independent state. The name of the country comes from the Spanish "ecuador", which translates as "equator". The equator really passes through the territory of this state.
Ecuador has land borders only with two neighboring countries - Colombia and Peru. The territory of Ecuador is 283, 500 square kilometers, and is home to just over 16 million people. The capital of the country is the city of Quito. But in terms of population (1 million 600 thousand people), Quito is inferior to the city of Guayaquil, which has more than two million inhabitants. Quito is one of the highest mountainous cities in the world, located at an altitude of 2818 meters above sea level.
Despite the fact that Ecuador is located on the Pacific coast, the country is not hit by hurricanes and typhoons. But earthquakes often occur, including very powerful ones. In April 2016, a state of emergency was declared in the country due to tremors that killed more than 600 people and injured 50, 000. It was one of the most destructive earthquakes in Ecuador's history.
Oil exports form the backbone of the Ecuadorian economy. Oil production on an industrial scale began in the seventies of the last century. In addition, Ecuador is home to the world's largest banana plantations, from where bananas are distributed around the world. Most recently, the Sangay volcano erupted in the country, lava destroyed about 83, 000 hectares of plantations. Experts predict that banana exports could be cut by 30%.
Ecuador is often referred to as a reserve country. A significant part of the country's territory is occupied by nature reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. In terms of the diversity of flora and fauna, the country occupies one of the first places in the world. The Galapagos Islands, which belong to Ecuador, are home to the world's largest turtles, which can weigh up to 300 kg. Currently, these turtles are under the threat of complete extinction.
The most expensive chocolate is produced in Ecuador. One 50-gram tile costs $ 260. The fact is that this chocolate is made from Arriba cocoa beans, and this is a very rare variety. There is a cocoa bean in the middle of each bar. Only a few hundred tiles are produced annually.
Since the equator crosses the territory of the country, and even the state received the name in his honor, the attitude to this conditional line passing through the center of our planet is special. In the Ecuadorian capital, the city of Kyoto, a monument with the name "Middle of the World" is erected. Currently, it is a ball with a diameter of 4.5 meters, which is installed on a 30-meter pyramid. This monument is one of the main attractions in Ecuador. A tourist who has visited the monument receives an appropriate certificate.
A foreigner who is in Ecuador during the elections can vote. If, of course, he wants it himself. But for the citizens of Ecuador, voting is compulsory, the "dodgers" face a fine. The head of state is the president, who is elected for a four-year term, with the option of running for a second term.
Rosalia Arteaga, became the only woman who could become the president of this country. This event took place on February 9, 1997, when Arteaga, who served as vice president, became head of state after President Abdal Bukaram was impeached. But, in the chair of the president, Rosalia Arteaga lasted only two days, already on February 11, Fabian Alarcón was approved for this position.
Football is the most popular sport in Ecuador. The national team of this country has performed at the world championships three times, albeit without much success. Since 2013, the Football Federation has decided that no one will play for the national team wearing the number 11 jersey, in memory of striker Christian Benitez, who died of sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 27. This number was returned only for the 2014 World Cup, as the practice of "unused numbers" is not approved by FIFA.
Ecuador is the country with the most even climate throughout the year. Due to the fact that the country is located at the equator, there are no sharp seasonal fluctuations in temperature. So, for example, the average temperature in July (+25 degrees), practically does not differ from the average temperature in January, which is 24 degrees Celsius. Therefore, tourists willingly visit this country all year round.