Close

Discover Ecuador

Recommend

This article paints a brief but complete picture of Ecuador in its many complexities. Although relatively small in size, the Andean country packs quite a punch be it geographically, historically, politically, economically or in terms of its peoples – yes, with an s! 

Picture it

Ecuador is situated in north western South America, next to inland neighbors Columbia and Peru. Its coast opens out onto the Pacific Ocean. The Equator runs across the country, giving it its name. The Galápagos Islands, granted world heritage status by UNESCO for their unique fauna and flora, are also part of Ecuador.

Past history

First populated by indigenous tribes, the land was absorbed by the Inca Empire in 1463. The start of the 16th century saw its discovery and subsequent conquest by the Spanish colonial empire. After also briefly belonging to Gran Colombia, Ecuador became independent in 1830. It has since been ruled by a succession of military and political groups.

Present politics

In this day and age, Ecuador is a representative democracy. Instability, fuelled by ethnic and regional factors, has been a longtime reality of the political scene. No less than seven presidents came and went between 1996 and 2007. However, in February 2013, leftist Rafael Correa was reelected as president, for a third time and by a wide margin.

¡Hola Ecuadorians!

Over time, the pre-Hispanic indigenous populations, the Europeans and the sub-Saharan Africans who arrived as slave labor have mingled to form new ethnic groups. Mestizos meld European and Amerindian ancestry and are the largest (71.9% of the population). The main language is Spanish and the dominant religion Roman Catholicism. Ecuadorians uphold a warm and friendly reputation towards foreigners.

What to count on

Dollarization to US currency in 2000 stabilized the economy after a crisis in 1999. Inflation has since been consistently low. Manufacture is aimed mainly at the domestic market and, while local cost of living is indeed low, imported goods (cars, alcohol) can be expensive. Although standards of living have improved, around a third of the population still lives below the poverty line.

 Useful link:

Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Welcome to Ecuador cancilleria.gob.ec

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
Recommend
expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
Write a comment

See also

The cost of living is one of the first questions asked by potential expats. GringosAbroad, Bryan and Dena Haines, Canadian expats living in Ecuador share their family budget. Their family of three is living in Cuenca, Azuay Province.
Many people find they can do just fine without a car once in Ecuador. But what kind of license do you need to drive in Ecuador?

Expatriate health insurance in Ecuador

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Ecuador

Moving to Ecuador

Find tips from professionals about moving to Ecuador

Travel insurance in Ecuador

Enjoy stress-free travel to Ecuador