Ecuador is the smallest of the South American Andean countries and gets its name from its proximity to the equator. Ecuador literally means equator in Spanish. It is bordered by Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean.
Although Ecuador belongs to the tropics varying altitudes mean that its regions have very different temperatures and weather conditions. The low-lying lands to the west of the Andes are tropically hot and humid in the north and dry and arid in the south. The lowlands to the east of the Andes are made up of Amazonian rainforest.
Since 1997 Ecuador has suffered great economic and political difficulties. Economic crises and natural disasters such as El Nino have hit the socially deprived population the hardest. 70% of the 15 million inhabitants of Ecuador live below the poverty line.
Three fish factories offer occasional work for a few inhabitants of Posorja. Of the 15 000 people living in the region over 60% are without regular work.
Posorja is a small fishing town about 10 km from the seaport of Guayaquil on the Rio Guayas estuary. Posorja is situated in a very dry region of Ecuador.
Posorja used to be a seaside resort and the inhabitants relied on fishing to make a living. An increase in marine pollution and technological advances in fishing have almost completely destroyed these sources of income.
Ecuador - a South American country on the equator
|Government|| Presidential republic since 1830. 1809 independence from Spanish colonial rule.|
|Population||Approximately 15 million, of these almost 3 million live abroad, mainly in Spain.|
|Area||272 000 km² (including the Galapagos Islands), 22 Provinces; smallest Andean country|
|Regions||Coast (costa), Andean highlands (sierra), Amazonian lowlands (oriente) and the 13 volcanic Galapagos Islands which are situated about 1000 km from the mainland|
|Borders||In the north with Colombia, in the east and south with Peru and in the west with the Pacific Ocean|
|Languages||The official language is Spanish, Queshua is spoken in the highlands, and in the Amazonian region various tribal languages are spoken|
|Cities||Quito, the capital city with 2 million inhabitants; Guayaquil, a port and industrial centre with 2.8 million inhabitants; Manta, a fishing port with 400 000 inhabitants and a US military base; Cuenca, a popular tourist attraction and world cultural heritage site with 250 000 inhabitants|
|Religion||93% Roman Catholic, despite freedom of religion since 1904|
|Ethnic Groups||30% Indians, now called Indios or Indigenas 50% Mestizos (descendents of an Indian parent and a white parent)|
10% white, Asian, Arab (including 5000 Germans, 2000 Swiss and 20 000 Koreans)
|Social Structure||About 2% of all Ecuadorians belong to a rich white elite; a further 10% are classed as wealthy or comfortably off. Together these two groups have over two thirds of the national income at their disposal. An ever decreasing middle class makes up only 20% of the population.|
Over 60% of the population can be described as poor and a third of those people are living on the breadline.
|Population Density||48 inhabitants per km²|
|Currency||US Dollar since 2004, before that SUCRE|
|Economy||In 2004 there was an economic boom due mainly to the flourishing oil industry. Athough Ecuador is the world´s largest exporter of bananas agriculture stagnated|
About half the population is without regular work. For this reason approximately 20% of Ecuadorians work abroad and the money they send back to their families is Ecuador´s second largest source of income after oil exports. Fish, shellfish (canned), shrimp and flowers are also exported.
|Flag||Yellow, blue and red with the national coat of arms in the middle. The coat of arms consists of the sun, a condor, the Chimborazo, the Rio Guayas and a steamboat.|