+593 is the dialing code for Ecuador.
The equator has named Ecuador, which extends from the Amazon basin across the Andes and down to the Pacific coast of South America. A hundred miles out into the sea lies the archipelago of Galápagos, which is known for its unique wildlife. Oil dominates the economy but the country is also the world’s largest exporter of bananas. Poverty is widespread, not least among the indigenous peoples and descendants of African slaves.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Ecuador, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Ecuador is located in western South America on both sides of the equator, which has given the country its name. On the surface it is slightly larger than Norrland. The climate is mainly tropical but varies with the height above the sea.
Although Ecuador is one of the smaller countries in South America, it is one of the largest biodiversity. The mainland is usually divided into three main regions: the Pacific coastline, a rainforest-rich lowland in the east, and in between the highlands which are part of the Andes mountain range. About 100 miles out into the Pacific Ocean are the Galápagos Islands.
The coastal country (La Costa) is a 10-15 km wide hilly area that extends just under 70 km from north to south. Here, at the mouth of the river Guaya, lies the country’s largest city of Guayaquil. Most of the coastal land is characterized by tropical forest and plantations. At the far south, nature transitions into the desert.
The lowland (El Oriente) is a sparsely populated jungle area with dense tropical vegetation that covers about one third of the country and forms the westernmost part of the Amazon basin.
The highlands (La Sierra) cut through the country from north to south with two parallel ridges and between them a highland at an altitude of 2,000-3,000 meters. There are about 20 volcanic peaks of about 5,000 meters. Cotopaxi (nearly 6,000 meters above sea level) is the world’s highest active volcano. The capital city of Quito is located in the highlands, at an altitude of 2 800 meters.
|Cultivated land||29.7 %|
|Land area||283561 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.35 m|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||63.7 %|
|Death rate||5.06 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||79.67 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||73.6 years|
|Birth rate||18.51 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||17.38 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||22110 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||935.2 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||515 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||37.6 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||106 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||71 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||4.8% of the workforce|
|GDP||11300 per resident|
|Primary occupations||27.6 %|
|Secondary profession||18.8 %|
|Tertiary professions||53.6 %|
About 100 miles out in the Pacific lies the Galápagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón), which consists of about ten larger and a large number of smaller lava islands. Only a few of the islands are populated. Their peculiar nature and wildlife with, among other things, elephant turtles gave Charles Darwin important insights into his epoch-forming work About the Origin of Species, published in the United Kingdom in 1859.
Ecuador is located in a seismically active region. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occasionally cause disasters.
In the east, the climate is tropical with high heat and heavy rain. Even in the northern highlands in the west, it can rain a lot, especially from December to April. Further south, the coastal land is drier, and farther south, the climate is desert. In the highlands, the rainfall is moderate with most rainfall in autumn and spring.
Ecuador is sometimes affected by El Niño, a phenomenon that occurs every three to ten years and causes major weather disruptions, including flooding as a result.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
257,762 km2 (2018)
Swedish –6 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of residents
Quito 1.9 million
Other major cities
Guayaquil 2.3 million, Cuenca 330,000, Santo Domingo 306,000, Machala 242,000 (Census 2010)
Chimborazo (6,267 m asl)
Napo, Bobonazo, Guayas
Lago San Pablo
Average Precipitation / month
Quito 175 mm (April), 20 mm (July)
Average / day
Quito 16 °C
Unasur’s headquarters are inaugurated
The headquarters of the South American cooperative organization Unasur will be inaugurated in Mitad del Mundo just outside Quito (see May 2008). New Secretary-General Ernesto Samper (President of Colombia 1994-1998) says he will work for rapid integration with other regional bodies, such as Mercosur and the Andean Community.
Resistance to any constitutional change
An opposition group called Compromiso Ecuador (roughly Commitment Ecuador) is formed in protest of the government’s plans to change the constitution so that there is no barrier to re-election of president (see Political system). According to the group, a referendum is required for such a decision.
Correa flags for possible re-election
The president says in several interviews that he would prefer to resign after the 2017 election, but that it may be necessary for him to stand. Correa has already made it clear in the past that he has changed his mind and has come to the conclusion that the statute’s restriction on re-election should be abolished, concerning all elected items. Many people now assume that Correa intends to re-set himself; with its dominance in the National Assembly, the ruling party can rightly change the constitution.
Officers convicted of attempted murder on Correa
Six policemen are sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempted murder of the president in connection with the 2010 unrest (see Modern History).
Interpol issues a call for President Jamil Mahuad, who fled to the United States since he was ousted from power in 2000 (see Modern History). Mahuad is suspected embezzlement. Interpol has previously rejected Ecuador’s request that he be called for on the grounds that it is a “political goal”. Shortly after the warrant was issued, Mahuad was sentenced to twelve years in prison by a court in Ecuador.
No to the referendum on oil recovery
The electoral authority rejects the demand for a referendum on the Yasuní National Park, erected by environmental activists and indigenous peoples (see also August 2010 and August 2013). Opponents have collected 850,000 votes demanding a referendum, but only 360,000 of them are approved – far from the just over 580,000 that were required. The activist group Yasunidos is accusing the authority of cheating and plans to appeal to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Critics fear that drilling in Yasuní will cause damage in what is described as one of the world’s richest areas.
Renovation in the government
Correa replaces ten ministers.
Setback for the government in local elections
The opposition gains control of Quito and the industrial city of Cuenca, and retains power in Guayaquil. Correa says it will be impossible to rule the country without control over the capital and accuses the winner Mauricio Rodas of conspiring with the “fascist right” in Venezuela. The Correas País Alliance wins in 10 provinces.
Ex-police chief arrested in US
Ecuador’s former chief of police, the former General Edgar Vaca, is arrested in the United States where he fled from charges of human rights violations committed in his home country in 1985. Vaca is suspected of having kidnapped and tortured three people with ties to one underground left group during the reign of President León Febre from 1984 to 1988. The legal process surrounding the events in 1985 has been started a few months earlier and is the first in Ecuador to deal with crimes against humanity.