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THE SPANISH LANGUAGE

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world due to the number of speakers who claim it as their native tongue (after Mandarin Chinese). It is spoken as a first and second language amongst 450 and 500 million people. It is the third most spoken language as a first or second language after Mandarin Chinese and English combined, and is the mother tongue to 400 million people worldwide... Read more

INFORMATIONS



ECUADOR Country Profile

The Republic of Ecuador,is a representative democratic republic in 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 in the Pacific, about 965 kilometers (600 miles) west of the mainland. Ecuador is 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, however its largest city is Guayaquil.

Capital:
.: Quito

Area:
.: Total: 256,370 km² (72nd) 98,985 sq mi
.: Water (%): 8.8

Independence:
.: From Spain: May 24, 1822
.: From Gran Colombia: May 13, 1830
Official languages:
.: Spanish

Population:
.: July 2005 census: 13,228,000 (67th)
.: Density: 47/km² (147th) 122/sq mi

PROFILES ECUADOR

profiles - ecuador Ecuador is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the West, Peru on the east and south, and Colombia in the north. Ecuador also controls the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean which are approximately 600 miles (965km) west of the mainland. Ecuador is derived from the Spanish word for Equator, which runs straight through Ecuador. Its capital city is Quito, which translates to La Capital del Sol (The Capital of the Sun), however its largest city is Guayaquil with a population of 2 200 000. Ecuador has a population of approximately 13 million people; slightly more than half live on the coastal lowlands (54%), about 5.5 million people live in the mountains (42%) and about 500 000 inhabit the vast Amazon basin (3%). The Galapagos Islands is home to approximately 17000 people.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE ECUADOR

people and culture - ecuador It is estimated that about 70% of the population live below the poverty line, so finding enough food to feed ones family is the prime concern for most of the population. Despite the struggle for survival for more than half of the population, Ecuadorians are very friendly and welcoming. They are very generous and open, and celebrate birthdays and special occasions with great enthusiasm.

Ecuadorians are very proud of their country and independence. They take pride in the natural beauty of their country, despise corrupt politicians that no matter what they say in the lead up to an election, continue to miss appropriate the countries wealth. As with most countries there is a friendly rivalry between the different regions. This is most obvious between the cities of Quito (in the mountains) and Guayaquil (on the coast) with each claiming that they are either more civilized, courteous, hardworking or have the better lifestyle.

While the official language is Spanish, many indigenous communities and regions continue to speak traditional languages such as Quechua, Awapit, Cha’palachi, Quichua Shimi and Huaotirio. The Amazon region is home to more than six hundred thousand Indigenous people from more than 14 different cultural groups including Cofán, Siona-Secoya, Shiwiar, Huaoranis, Achuar, Shuar, Záparo and Los Tagaeri. The national sport is of course football (soccer) just like in every other South American country. Impromptu games are played everywhere with people of all ages showing off their skills. The national league games are played every weekend and when the national team plays the whole country practically comes to a stand still. Volleyball and basketball are also popular.
Following the economic crisis of 1999 more than half a million Ecuadorians migrated overseas. There are large communities in the United States, Spain and Italy, Canada and Japan. It is estimated that the total expatriate population is more than two million people.

GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENT ECUADOR

Ecuador is one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hot spots’ with over 20 000 plant species, 1500 bird species and 300 species of mammals. The vastly different climatic zones and regions support different species with the tropical forests in the east containing the most diversity. As a comparison, Ecuador has twice as many recorded bird species than the whole of North America or Europe. Nature lovers flock to Ecuador to enjoy the variety and spectacle that such a diverse and large number of species offer.

Ecuador can be divided into 4 geographical regions, the Coast, the Andes, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands. The Pacific coast has an average temperature of 25 degrees C (75 F) and is generally hot and humid (the wet season) from December to May, and dry and warm from May to October. The temperature in the Andes region (The Highlands) varies depending on altitude. It is generally cold and wet from November to April, and dry between May and October. The temperature ranges from 0 to 20 degrees C (32-68 F) depending on altitude. A general rule is that the higher the altitude the colder it gets. The Amazon Basin is humid and rains frequently between January and September, with temperatures reaching 36 degrees C (97 F) quite regularly. Between October and December it is generally dry and more pleasant due to the reduced humidity. The Galapagos Islands have warm and pleasant subtropical conditions all year round with an average temperature of 28 degrees C (82 F).

WEATHER AND CLIMATE ECUADOR

weather and climate - ecuador Ecuador can be divided into 4 geographical regions, the Coast, the Andes, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands. The Pacific coast has an average temperature of 25 degrees C (75 F) and is generally hot and humid (the wet season) from December to May, and dry and warm from May to October. The temperature in the Andes region (The Highlands) varies depending on altitude. It is generally cold and wet from November to April, and dry between May and October. The temperature ranges from 0 to 20 degrees C (32-68 F) depending on altitude. A general rule is that the higher the altitude the colder it gets. The Amazon Basin is humid and rains frequently between January and September, with temperatures reaching 36 degrees C (97 F) quite regularly. Between October and December it is generally dry and more pleasant due to the reduced humidity. The Galapagos Islands have warm and pleasant subtropical conditions all year round with an average temperature of 28 degrees C (82 F).

MONEY ECUADOR

Since 2000, Ecuador has used the US dollar as its currency. Hotels range from $10 a night up depending on the location and level of luxury. It is possible to find reasonable backpacker accommodation from $5 a night.
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Quito
ECUADOR
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