We continue our tour of South America by bringing you 10 crazy facts about Ecuador. Located in the northwestern corner of South America, Ecuador is 7th most populous country on the continent and 9th by area, about the size of Colorado.
Created after the dissolution of Gran Colombia, Simon Bolivar’s great South American nation, Ecuador gained its independence in 1830. Before Spanish colonization it was a part of Inca Empire. Today, the majority of its population are mestizos, or mixed offspring of Indians and European settlers, reflecting the history of the area. The small community of Japanese also exist in Ecuador, so brushing up on facts about Japan wouldn’t go amiss.
Ecuador is one of the most successful economies in South America, largely due to its positive export balance. Oil, bananas and timber, including balsa wood, are the main Ecuadorian products. In recent years, tourism is becoming increasingly important part of the economy as well. Combination of tropical rain forest, high volcanic peaks and Pacific coast proves to be a magnet for foreign visitors and Ecuadorians are reaping the benefits of their beautiful country. With relaxed and easy going attitude and friendliness they show to everyone, they are considered one of the best hosts in the world.
Ecuador’s rich history and geography have joined forces to produce some quirkiness, though. There are some crazy facts that are true only in Ecuador and nowhere else on the planet.
10. Ecuador means equator
República del Ecuador, literally means Republic of Equator. This makes it the only country in the world that is named after geographic feature. Ciudad Mitad del Mundo or Middle of the Earth City, is built on the equator to commemorate this fact. A large monument marks the equator line, measured by a French expedition in 1936. By using modern GPS it was discovered that French missed it by some 240 meters. Considering technology they used, it is still a pretty good result.