For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Ecuador topics.
Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: Ecuador or República del Ecuador, IPA [re'puβlika ðel ekwa'ðoɾ]) is a country in northwestern South America, bounded by Colombia on the north, by Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean on the west. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón) in the Pacific, about 965 kilometers (600 miles) west of the mainland. Named after the Spanish word for equator, Ecuador straddles the equator and has an area of 256,370 square kilometers (98,985 mi²). Its capital city is Quito.
Ambato (full form, San Juan de Ambato) is a city located in the central Andean valley of Ecuador. Lying on the banks of the Ambato River, the city also sits beneath several tall mountains. It is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, at an elevation of 2,577 meters above sea level. The population is 180,000 (INEC, 2010), making it the tenth most populous city in the country. It is variously nicknamed "City of Flowers and Fruit", "Cradle of the Three Juans", and "Garden of Ecuador." Inhabitants of Ambato are called Ambateños. The current mayor of Ambato is Fernando Callejas Barona.
The city has been fully or partially destroyed by earthquakes several times in its history, most recently on 5 August 1949 when the city and its cathedral were almost completely levelled. The city was rebuilt in the two years following. In honour of the tenacity of the resident Ambateños, the city celebrates the Festival of Fruits and Flowers during Carnival in February. Today, the Festival of Fruits and Flowers is one of the most important in Ecuador.
The city is referred to as "Cradle of the Three Juans" as it was the birthplace of three notable Ecuadorians: Juan Montalvo, a noted essayist of the 19th century, Juan León Mera, the author of the country's national anthem, and Juan Benigno Vela, a key figure in the Ecuadorean independence movement. The city is well known for its production of fruit, tanneries, food products and textiles
Selected Picture: Riobamba's Cathedral
Riobamba, is a city with a rich architectural heritage.
Selected biography: Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples in Ecuador are the groups of people who were present in what became the South American nation of Ecuador when Europeans arrived. The term also includes their descendants from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. Their history, which encompasses the last 11,000 years, reaches into the present; 25 percent of Ecuador's population is of indigenous heritage, while another 65 percent is of mixed indigenous and European heritage. Black people, people of Spanish descent, and others make up the remaining 10 percent.
While archaeologists have proposed different temporal models at different times, the schematic currently in use divides prehistoric Ecuador into five major time periods: Lithic, Archaic, Formative, Regional Development, and Integration. These time periods are determined by the cultural development of groups being studied, and are not directly linked to specific dates, e.g. through carbon dating.
The Lithic period encompasses the earliest stages of development, beginning with the culture that migrated into the American continents and continuing until the Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene. The people of this culture are known as Paleo-Indians, and the end of their era is marked by the extinction of the megafauna they hunted.
The Archaic period is defined as "the stage of migratory hunting and gathering cultures continuing into the environmental conditions approximating those of the present." During this period, hunters began to subsist on a wider variety of smaller game and increased their gathering activities. They also began domesticating plants such as maize and squash, probably at "dooryard gardens." In the Andean highlands, this period lasted from 3500-7000 BP.
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- ...that Ecuador's biodiversity is amongst the highest in the world. For instance more than 16,000 species of plants, including 4,000 species of orchids.
- ...that the fastest-growing cities, receiving the least media attention, Esmeraldas, Manta, Salinas, and Machala all being port cities have doubled their growth, and have the most stable economies in the country, leaving Nueva Loja, the only inland city to have equalled that growth.
- ...that Quito (the capital of Ecuador) has the highest cable car in the world.
- ...that Quito (the capital of Ecuador) has the most extensive colonial district of Latin America.
- ...that Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) has the most modern airport of the Latin American region... (see municipalidad de guayaquil in red)
- ...that Panama hats are not actually made in Panama but in Ecuador.
- ...that Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) became the first intelligent city in incorporating a global free internet access at the hot spots of the city.
- ...that it is the only place in the world where you can actually visualize that you are standing on the northern hemisphere as well as on the southern hemisphere.