1. Called "Republic of the Equator": a mega-diverse country. One of only two countries in South America (with Chile) not to border Brazil; Columbia is north, Peru is east and south, and Pacific Ocean is west. Also includes the Galapagos Islands.
2. Capital City: Quito, called "Light of America" and "Face of God" - Old Downtown is one of the first Unesco World Heritage Sites. City: Guayaquil.
3. Public education mandatory, free ages 5-14. Only 10% go to high school. 61 universities. Fewer than 1% of faculty have doctorates.
Historical & Geographical facts:
1. Exists from 3,500 B.C. Pop: 13,625,000. Spanish language: 65% Mestizo, 25% AmerIndian. National Holiday: August 19 (1809).
2. Three main geographic regions: 1) the coast 2)"the highlands" 3) "the east" and Galápagos Islands.
3. Had a long-lasting border dispute with Peru resolved in 1942 with unity against Axis Powers in WWII. Domestic military interventions in 1960s.
1. Recent constitution approved by referendum 2008. Multilateral approaches taken to international issues. $U.S. Dollar.
2. Water insufficient. 686 cases of malaria/100,000 people.
3. Natural resources, oil, gold, fish, shrimp, timber. Rich agriculture. Panama Hats.
1. Aver. Life expectancy: 70. Popular sports: capoeira, bullfighting, rock climbing.
2. Networks of national highways and intercity buses (not many trains).
3. Aguardiante: "fire-water" sugar-cane based spirit. Drinkable yogurt often consumed with pan de yucca, a light bread filled with cheese and eaten warm.