Monday, January 11, 2010

Ecuador: A Short Summary

Differentiating Facts:

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.

Economic Facts:

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.

General Facts:

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.

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