ECUADOR Ecuador's one of South America's smallest countries. It is located on the West Coast between Colombia and Peru. The Equator passes through Ecuador giving its name (Ecuador is Spanish for equator). Ecuador has a group of Islands located about 600 miles of its coast. Charles R. Darwin studied a variety of plants and animals there. The Galapagos Islands are famous for the variety of plants and animals that are located there.
GOVERNMENT Ecuador has had more than 15 constitutions since it gained independence from Spain. Most provide an elected legislature, but many people aren't allowed to vote. Strong leaders have replaced many constitutions so they could stay in office. Most leaders are military and have army backing. Since 1979 Ecuador has been an elected government. Ecuador's government is a Republic and like the USA the president holds office for four years. The political parties are Popular Democracy, Roldosista Party, and Social Christian Party.
ECONOMY Ecuador's service industries include communication, transportation, finance, insurance, and real estate. Their chief export is petroleum. Other major exports include bananas, cocoa, coffee, and shrimp. The United States is Ecuador's main trading partner. Ecuador also trades with Colombia, Germany, and Japan. Ecuador imports cars, trucks, chemicals, machinery, and many other products.
PEOPLE Most people are farmers. Most of the nation's bananas, cocoa, coffee, and sugar cane are raised on plantations. Oranges and rice are raised on private farms. The people also grow beans, corn, potatoes, and wheat. Farmers raise cattle for meat and diary products. Ecuador ranks as the worlds leading producer of balsa wood. Ecuador also has fish farmers who catch fish, herring, mackerel, and raise shrimp in ponds. Most of Ecuador's people are mestizo (Indian and white ancestry). Most Ecuadorians speak Spanish, and are Roman Catholic. The main ethnic group is Quechua. They...