Top 50 Interesting Facts about Ecuador and Ecuadorians
Ecuador is a typical country in Latin America, sharing many similarities with neighboring countries in the region. At the same time, it is a unique country with its own customs, history, and culture. In our article, we have collected 50 fascinating facts about this country and its inhabitants, which will help you form a first impression and plan your holiday in Ecuador interestingly.
50 Most Interesting Facts about Ecuadorians and Ecuador
So, let’s begin our journey through the history, traditions, and sights of this amazing country.
1. The first people in these places engaged in hunting, fishing, and gathering, living about 8,000 years ago.
2. A little over 1,000 years ago, the Kitu kingdom appeared on the territory of Ecuador, which existed safely for more than 5 centuries.
3. In the 15th century, Kitu was captured by the Incas, and the powerful kingdom collapsed in 15 years. Since that time, the Inca language, Quechua, became widespread in these lands.
4. However, in the beginning of the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors appeared in the country. They quickly established their own order and built cities, including Quito.
5. Under the Spanish, slavery flourished in Ecuador, with Indians and African slaves forced to work on plantations and mines where gold and silver were extracted.
6. In the early 19th century, the country experienced a series of uprisings and revolutions, which are reflected in modern holidays: Independence Day on 10 August and the Day of the Battle of Pichincha on 24 May.
7. In 1830, the name Ecuador was first heard. This was the name of the state that emerged on the site of the former Quito department of Great Colombia. The word Ecuador means ‘equator.’
8. Almost all of the 19th and 20th centuries were spent in wars and internal unrest, with the country invaded many times by Peruvians and Colombians.
9. Meanwhile, at the beginning of the last century, Ecuador became one of the world leaders in banana exports.
10. The last coup attempt in the country took place in 2010. However, even after the political situation in the country remains difficult, with frequent protests.
11. Modern Ecuador has completely adopted the United States dollar as its national currency, even for domestic payments.
12. It is one of the poorest countries in the region, with one-third of the population living below the poverty level. The country has a high unemployment rate, and most of the population earns no more than $400 per month.
13. The modern Ecuadorian economy is based on oil extraction and banana cultivation. The country is the world’s largest exporter of bananas.
14. The equator line runs along the northern part of the republic, not far from its capital, Quito. Most of the country is located in the Southern Hemisphere.
15. The republic covers an area of 283,000 square kilometers and has a population of 18 million.
16. The official language of the country is Spanish. However, according to the Constitution, the Amerindian languages Quechua and Shuar are considered languages of intercultural relations and communication.
17. The capital of Ecuador is Quito. This city was founded by the Spaniards in 1534 on the site of an even older Indian settlement. It was one of the first cities to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.
18. The predominant religion in the country is Christianity, namely Catholicism. Christian holidays are widely celebrated throughout the country.
19. Ecuador has five international airports, with the largest ones located in Quito and Guayaquil.
20. Ecuador is located in the -5 UTC time zone, which means it is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
21. Quito’s historic center is the most important attraction of the country, featuring ancient monasteries and churches with the richest collection of statues and paintings.
22. Not far from the capital is the Center of Peace monument, which marks the equator. It stands at a height of 30 meters. The equator line is marked with a yellow stripe, and tourists like to stand simultaneously in different hemispheres of the planet.
23. Inca roads: Just as the Romans in ancient times built beautiful roads all over Europe, the Incas in South America also established a road network of more than 30,000 kilometers.
24. Ingapirca: Near the city of Cuenca, at an altitude of more than 3 kilometers, lie the ruins of the city of Ingapirca. It was once the capital of the Cañari Indians but was later conquered by the Incas. Its name translates to «Inca fortress.»
25. Yasuni Reserve: Located 40 kilometers from Quito, it is a realm of untouched nature, with impenetrable jungle and indigenous tribes. It is a favorite tourist destination for ecological recreation.
26. Statue of the Virgin Mary in Quito: Located on El Panecillo hill, overlooking the capital Quito, this 30-meter-high statue is a replica of the famous Virgin of Quito or Virgin of the Apocalypse. The winged statue depicts a woman trampling the head of a dragon.
27. Darwin’s Arch or Pillars of Evolution: A natural formation in the shape of an arch in the Galápagos Islands. It collapsed as a result of erosion, leaving behind two stone pillars.
The Character and Customs of the Ecuadorians
28. Ecuadorians differ greatly from most other Latin Americans in mentality. While the inhabitants of many countries in the region are characterized by a high temperament, Ecuadorians are slow and unhurried.
29. Ecuadorians are characterized by self-esteem and pride, but they are not resentful and do not like direct conflict.
30. Family is sacred to the Ecuadorian. Relations between family members are always friendly and respectful. This is especially noticeable in relation to the elderly, who are never left alone but live with the families of their children.
31. Equality reigns in the local family, which is another difference from neighboring countries. Both men and women can be the breadwinner. No one tells the other what he or she is obliged to do.
32. Ecuadorians are very hospitable people. They gladly welcome anyone to their family feasts. It is customary to visit with gifts, which can be intended for any member of the family.
33. The majority of Ecuadorians are zealous Catholics, and any important event is necessarily connected with the church. Although the locals are also respectful of the traditions of their distant Indian ancestors.
34. Godparents of children are highly honored in the country. The ties between godparents and godchildren are so strong that they can be traced throughout life.
35. Locals are moderate in eating and drinking alcohol, although the traditions of national cuisine here are rich and varied. Depending on where they live (mountains or coast), Ecuadorians may prefer fish and beans or meat and potatoes.
36. Aboriginal people do not brag about their successes or show off their wealth. They prefer modest things, which is considered a sign of good taste.
37. The direct descendants of the Incas, the Quechua Indians, still live in huts made of rods covered with clay, far from the benefits of civilization, and are mainly engaged in agriculture.
38. The Quechua still have a developed communal system. They live in small settlements in which everyone is related by blood, working the land together and herding cattle.
39. The Quechua wear simple clothes, but must wear brightly colored ponchos and wide-brimmed hats. Their women adorn themselves with beads, bracelets, and earrings, often made by themselves.
40. The Quechua are very fond of music and songs. Almost every day in their villages, one can hear traditional tunes accompanied by drums and flute.
41. It is customary for these people to give their children talking names, as the Incas did. These may be words that denote desirable qualities the child will possess or the name of the child’s patron animal.
Nature of Ecuador
42. Geographically, Ecuador is divided into four parts: the coast, the mountains, the Amazonian lowlands, and the Galápagos Islands. Each part is unique in its own way and has its own natural characteristics.
43. The Coastal region is home to popular beaches. It is warm and very humid, with about 6,000 millimeters of precipitation falling each year, leading to frequent floods in the winter and spring.
44. In the Sierra mountains, there are many snow-capped peaks over 5 kilometers high, and the climate strongly depends on the altitude. For example, in the capital, Quito, located at an altitude of 2,000 meters, the nighttime temperature drops to +10 degrees Celsius.
45. In Oriente, the pre-Amazon lowlands, there are many rivers and thick, impenetrable jungles, which are still inhabited by semi-wild tribes of Indians.
46. The Galápagos Islands are of volcanic origin. They have little vegetation, but they are home to unique species of animals, such as giant tortoises, iguanas, and others.
47. There are more than 40 active volcanoes in the country, and one-third of them are located on the Galápagos Islands. The highest volcano in the country is considered to be Chimborazo (6,267 meters), and the most active is Cotopaxi (5,896 meters).
48. The country’s primary natural disaster is earthquakes. Ecuador is located in an active tectonic region, and earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 8 are frequent.
49. The Amazon jungle is home to a huge number of animals and birds. Among the most dangerous are the jaguar and the Andean condor, the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere.
50. The largest rivers in the country are the Amazon tributaries Napo and Putumayo, which originate in the Andes. Ecuador does not have large lakes.
Friends! If you know more interesting facts about Ecuadorians and the country itself, please share them in the comments. This country is full of amazing stories, culture, and traditions, and many people would be glad to learn something new. We will be very grateful to you!