Current Time in Quito
Located near the equator, the Republic of Ecuador has been home to many groups of the centuries. First home to many indigenous groups, it was colonized by Spain in the 16th Century before becoming a part of Gran Colombia in 1820. A solitary nation since 1830, Ecuador is a growing nation with a focus on ecological diversity and a steadily climbing standard of living.
Although it is still finding its place economically in South America, the country ranks relatively high on the Human Development Index and continues to find ways to both improve itself internally and to have a positive impact on its surrounding nations.
Quick Facts about Ecuador
- Ecuador was once part of the union of Gran Colombia along with Panama, Venezuela, and Colombia.
- Ecuador is the only country in the world named after a geographic feature - in this case, the equator.
- The first UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. Not only that, but the second site - Quito - is also located in Ecuador.
- All Ecuadorian citizens between the ages of 18 and 65 are legally required to vote.
- The highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi, is located in Ecuador.
Ecuador is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, but it does share land borders with two other countries. Colombia lies to Ecuador's north, while Peru lies to both its east and its south.
Ecuador's total area is 109,484 square miles, making it the seventy-third largest nation in the world. Only five nations in Latin America are smaller than Ecuador. Ecuador's holdings are not, however, limited to its continental location. Ecuador also owns the Galapogos islands, which makes up about five thousand square miles of Ecuador's territory.
The official spoken language of Ecuador is Spanish, the same as the bulk of its neighbors. With this said, much of Ecuador's indigenous population either speak Quichua as a first language or tends to be fluent in that language as well as Spanish.
Ecuador is home to at least ten other indigenous languages, all with varying numbers of speakers. One of these languages, Zaparo, is notable for having only five living speakers left. English is the most-spoken foreign language in Ecuador, especially in those areas that are dominated by the tourist industry.
Weather $amp; Climate
Ecuador's seasons can generally be characterized in one of two ways - wet or dry. With this said, though, the weather can be unpredictable during either season. The weather tends to be fairly mild during half of the year, but it does get rather hot from December to May.
Humidity is generally an issue during the wetter parts of the year, especially as compared to some of its neighbors. Rain can be a major issue during the wet part of the year, and the weather itself is notable for changing quickly and without mucn notice.
Type of Government
Ecuador's government is a representative democratic government. The head of state and the head of government is the President, who can serve for up to two four-year terms. The legislature is the 130-person National Assembly, which has only existed since 2009.
In addition to its judiciary, Ecuador also has a unique fourth branch that concentrates exclusively on transparency and accountability. This branch largely deals with fighting corruption and ensuring that that the government is held accountable by the citizens. This branch is made up of the Superintendent, the Ombudsman, the Comptroller General, and the Council of Citizens Participation and Social Control.