Ecuador - geography
The Andes divide the country into three natural geographical regions. The
highlands, the Sierra, consist of two parallel mountain ranges with a
plateau in between. The Pan-American Highway runs on the plateau at an altitude
of 2000-3000 m, and the route is flanked at intervals by up to 6000 m high
snow-covered volcanoes in perfect cone shape. This landscape element is so
distinctive that it is part of the country's coat of arms. The eastern region, Oriente,
is made up of tributaries from the Andes, which slowly slide into the tropical
rainforest of the Amazon Basin. The coastal region, Costa, consists
of a low mountain range along the coast and a large river plain between this and
the Andes. The rivers converge in a large outlet at Guayaquil.
The climate is characterized by its location on the equator. The
temperature and precipitation are quite uniform throughout the year, but due to
the large altitude differences, you can find all climate types from tropical to
polar with a similar variation in the plant cover. In the coastal region, it
will be drier to the south due to the cooling from the cold Humboldt
current. In an old guide, it is stated that when you can no longer see trees,
you are in Peru.
Population and occupation
The population is very unevenly distributed. The rainforest areas of the
Oriente are very sparsely populated, while the rest of the country has a
population density of approximately 100 residents per km2. Just over
60% live in cities. The population growth is approximately 1.5% per year. There is
some emigration to especially the United States, but the country also receives
immigrants itself, especially from neighboring Colombia. Within the country's
borders, the population flow goes from country to city, with by far the largest
share to the capital Quito and the other major city of Guayaquil. Some are also
moving to newly cleared rainforest areas in the Oriente around the oil city of
Do you know how many people there are in Ecuador? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
approximately 40% of the population are stated to be Indians and about as many
mestizos, but the boundary between the two groups is fluid. approximately 10% white
and slightly fewer blacks and people of mixed black and white descent make up
the rest. The blacks inhabit especially the northeastern part of the country
around Esmeralda. Together with Guatemala and Bolivia, Ecuador has Latin
America's largest Native American population, both in terms of number and per
cent. of the population. The Highland and Lowland Indians are of vastly
different ethnic origins.
Profession. Nearly three-quarters of those in employment are
men; women are mainly employed in public and private service occupations. Until
oil exports began in the early 1970's, the country was completely dependent on
the agricultural sector, and a one-sided export of first cocoa and later bananas
meant great dependence on the world market and its fluctuating prices.
Agriculture etc. contributes less than 10% of GDP, but up to 30% of
the population is associated with the sector. A large part of the production,
especially of food, takes place on small farmers' minimal plots of land with
outdated cultivation methods. Several attempts at land reform have not
decisively changed the pattern. A 1994 reform is to completely liberalize land
trade; The aim is to promote a concentration of good land through acquisitions,
so that export production can be expanded. The law has caused extensive
In the highlands, extensively run estates are found on the best lands in the
valley bottoms, while the small plots of land of the Native American peasants
lie up the mountain slopes. Products from the temperate zone are grown here,
such as potatoes, barley, onions and beans. In the flat, tropical coastal
lowlands, the original rainforest has been felled in favor of large plantations
of bananas, oil palms and rubber trees. Bananas continue to account for a
significant share of Ecuador's exports, and the country is a world market leader
with about a quarter of total banana exports.
The Amazon lowlands are largely covered by rainforest with scattered Native
American settlements, but felling takes place very quickly. In connection with
the oil extraction in the region, the road network is being expanded, and
colonists from the highlands are more or less legally settling on small
farms. Large plantations are also laid out here, especially with oil palms. The
major changes are causing serious conflicts with the indigenous people.
Up through the 1980's, with large investments, Ecuador developed n of the
world's largest productions of farmed shrimp from large basins in the coastal
region's mangrove swamp. The value of shrimp exports is the same as banana
Oil. Since the early 1970's, oil production has provided the
framework for the country's business development, with major investments in
infrastructure, modernization of agriculture, shrimp farms and industry coming
from oil revenues and from the loans that oil has provided. Extraction takes
place in northern Amazon Slavonia around the city of Coca, while Guayaquil Bay
has natural gas fields. The sector contributes approximately 40% of exports. There are
constantly new fields in the Amazon. The oil extraction itself has been
developed with significant foreign support, while investments in refineries and
other ancillary industries have not been of interest to investors. Ecuador is
thus a major exporter of crude oil, but imports fuel.
Despite the development after the oil boom, Ecuador's industry is
small compared to other South American countries. The production is mainly aimed
at the domestic market with cement, rubber and fertilizer industries, but
an increasing proportion of coffee is exported as instant coffee. It has not
succeeded in integrating the industry into an overall economic development; the
individual industries function as isolated islands, and virtually all input in
the form of machinery and raw materials is imported. The sector is entirely
concentrated in Guayaquil and Quito.
Ecuador - language
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. In addition, Quechua,
called Quichua in Ecuador, is spoken by approximately 2.5 million In
the eastern rainforest areas, Shuar and 9-10 other South American
Native American languages are spoken by nearly 60,000 (2000). About half of
the Native American population does not speak Spanish.
Ecuador - religion
The vast majority of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic
Church; approximately 1% are Protestants, not least through missions from the United
States. Some Native American tribes in the rainforest areas have preserved their
original natural religion.
The Catholic mission began with the conquistadors in the 1500's; in the
1800's. was the country under Jesuit influence. In 1904, state and church were
separated, and religious freedom was introduced.