Ecuador is a small country in South America. It is located on the western side of the continent and is bordered by Colombia and Peru. The Equator runs through the country and that is where Ecuador gets its name. The following are some fun facts about Ecuador.
Interesting facts about Ecuador
- Ecuador was colonized by the Spanish in 1563. Independence was gained from Spain in 1822 after defeating the Spanish Royalist forces and from Gran Colombia in 1830. This makes it one of the only countries to celebrate two independence days.
- There are 24 provinces of Ecuador and each has a capital city. The largest city in Ecuador is Guayaquil with a population of about 3.7 million. The capital city is Quito with a population of about 2.7 million.
- The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar, which was adopted in 2000 after Ecuador suffered a financial crisis and defaulted on their external loans in 1999. The currency that was used before this was called the Ecuadorian Sucre.
- The world famous Galapagos Islands were made a part of Ecuador in 1832. They lie over 950 km west of Ecuador. They are famous for the unique wildlife and as the location where Charles Darwin formed his theory of evolution.
- The main exports of the country are oil, seafood, wood, gold and many agricultural products.
- The main religion of Ecuador is Roman Catholic with 95% of the population professing this faith.
- The official language is Spanish, but many people also speak native languages.
- The country has many active and inactive volcanoes. Chimborazo is an inactive volcano that is the highest point in Ecuador. Due to its position near the Equator it is known as the closest point on Earth to the Sun.
- The climate is varied because of the differences in elevation. The low lying areas are warm and humid and the highlands are cool and dry.
- Ecuador is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. It has 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 19% of the country is protected.
- The flag of Ecuador represents the diversity of the country (yellow), sky and sea (blue) and blood of those who fought for independence (red).