General Information - Josh Heikkila
History - Connor Deuschle
Arts and Entertainment - Melissa Hurley
Food and Cuisine Customs - Kyle Russell


General Information:

The population of Ecuador is 13,755,680 with Quito as the capital city. Within this population 38.3% of the people are below the poverty line (country reports). For currency they use the U.S. dollar (USD). Their government is a Republic. They declared independence from Spain on the 24th of May, 1822 (country reports). Although they declared independence in May, their constitution was issued on the 10th of August 1809 which is when they celebrate their Independence Day (country reports).


Ecuador receives approximately $13,300,000,000 (USD) selling petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, and shrimp. The people they give to are the United States (40.3%), Colombia (5.8%), Germany (5.4%), South Korea (5.3%), and Italy (4.6%) (country reports).
With imports, Ecuador spends about $13,000,000,000 (USD) on consumer goods, industrial raw materials, and capital goods. They buy from the United States (26.8%), Colombia (13.6%), Brazil (6.5%), Venezuela (5.7%), Japan (5.7%), and Chile (4.2%) (country reports).


The flag of Ecuador was most recently adopted on 7 November 1900. Its features are three stripes—yellow, blue, and red—with yellow being the largest. An emblem is centered on the flag. Red represents the blood shed by the soldiers and martyrs of the independence battles. Blue represents the color of the sea and sky. Yellow represents the richness of the land and the abundance of crops (national symbol).


Ecuador, like the U.S., also has freedom of religion. However 95% of the people are catholic, but Christianity is also very large and growing fast (culture grams). Most of the traditions and holidays are based on the catholic faith. Baptism, First Communion, and confirmation are celebrated in the community, as well as among family (culture grams).

Social Classes:

There are two main social/regional groups and they are the Serranos (mainly people from the highlands) and the Costenos (people along the coast) (culture grams). The Costenos tend to be the business people. The Serranos are more like government people and bankers and such things (culture grams).


Ecuador is one of the smaller countries within South America. It’s along the west coast and is close to the Equator. It also includes the Galapagos Islands (mongabay). Ecuador is about the size of Colorado and contains a
desert-like southern coast, snowcapped peaks in the Andes Mountains and plains in the Amazon River Basin. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, above it is Columbia, and to the east and south is Peru. Ecuador is divided into 3 regions: the Coasta, Sierra, and the Oriente (mongabay).
Some of the main rivers are the Amazon River runs through. Other major rivers include the Pastaza, Napo, and Putumayo. Almost all rivers start up in the Sierra region and run east to the Amazon or west to the Pacific Ocean. A lot of the water from the rivers comes from melted snow (mongabay).
The climate tends to vary depending on where you are at. In the Costa, the
climate tends to be more tropical. Temperatures remain pretty constant throughout the year. Differences in temperature and rainfall in the Costa are caused by the Peruvian Current and periodic appearances of El Niño (mongabay).

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History of Ecuador

In the year of 1830 Ecuador was officially an independent country breaking off from Spain (Country Reports). There first president in 1930 was Juan José Flores was Ecuador’s first president, his first term ended in 1834 (

In the past 170 years Ecuador has been an independent country, they have had more then 86 changes of governments (Country Reports). Switching between civilian rule, military rule, and dictator ships (Country Reports). There longest civilian government rule was 1912 to 1925 and was also in 1948 to 1961 (Country Reports). During the first civilian government, their economy boomed with cocoa beans sales which helped there civilian government to last so long. They had a military rule in 1925 to 1966 followed by a dictatorship of Velasco in 1970 (Country Reports). Most of there political instability is created by Costa’s and Sierra’s power struggle (Country Reports)

Before eastern colonization Ecuador has found to have hosted a civilization. One of them was the Valdivia which appeared way back in 3500 B.C. to 1500B.C. ( In 1463 Ecuador became part of the Incan Empire (Wikipedia), and by 1535 the Spanish Conquistadors overthrew the Incan Empire, and there rule ended in 1822 (Country Reports).


Arts and Entertainment:

Tradition is very important to the people of Ecuador, history and culture are entwined in various entertainment venues. Many forms of entertainment can be found throughout the country. If visiting a major city, such as Quito and Guayaquil, there is a vibrant nightlife, numerous museums, sporting events, as well as theaters. The more rural areas contain mountainous regions, as well as low lands and the pacific coastline. Entertainment opportunities in the less populated regions include water sports, hiking, local festivals, and historical expeditions. The Incan ruins, Andes Mountains, and Galapagos Islands are popular destinations with rich history and cultural events that offer something for everyone. Many famous artists, actors, musicians, authors, and athletes call Ecuador home. From the unique Tigua art styles, started in the 1970’s by Julio Toaquisa (Ecuador Travel Guide - Art & Culture), to the first Ecuadorian gold medal, won by Jefferson Perez in 1996 (Culture of Ecuador - Sports and Entertainment), the country has produced successful countrymen spanning all forms of entertainment.


While in many countries, art is reserved for stuffy museums and galleries, Ecuadorian art can also be found in craft markets all over the country. Tourists and locals alike view Ecuadorian art as beautiful yet practical (The Best of Art in Ecuador embodies the countries rich history and heritage and has been passed down from generation to generation. Woodcarvings first became popular in Ecuador as religious symbols and other church themed art pieces (The Best of Subsequently, would carvings became popular with a broad upper-class group and has since gained broad appeal with all Ecuadorians. Today, Ecuadorians produce replicas of older woodcarvings more often then creating new works. This is a tribute to the long tradition of woodcarving in the country, as well as in recognition of their respect for their heritage (Ecuador). Additionally, numerous other art forms can be found in Ecuador. Private institutions, such as banks and separate entities, created art museums and libraries for the benefit of art lovers. These museums are popular in cities, like the capital Quito, and display the cultural and photographical art of Ecuador (Descalzi).

A particularly unique type of Ecuadorian art originated in the Andes Mountains. While the Quichea people have adopted many modern ways, their customs and paintings still reflect their long heritage of sheep and lama herding honed on the slopes of the Andes Mountains. Tigua art, originally inspired by traditional festivals, included beautiful paintings on ceremonial drums. The more modern Tigua art is often done on sheep hides stretched over frames. Tigua paintings depict dreams of Ecuador’s indigenous people, while also incorporating local customs, festivals, and myths. The popularity of this art form spread from the peaks of the Andes to the streets of Quito and other major cities. In urban settings, Tigua art often depicts political themes and artists voice their beliefs through this medium (Ecuador Travel Guide - Art & Culture). Recently, Tigua art has gained worldwide exposure, with exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.


Famous artists of Ecuador have unique styles and forms of art. Contemporary artists, like Oswaldo Guayasmin, have impacted Ecuador and beyond with unique pieces of art (Ecuador Travel Guide - Art & Culture). Many modern Ecuadorian artists base their work on urban themes and modern trends of their home country. Case in point, Ramiro Jacome voiced his views on city life, via ironic statements, in his paintings (Descalzi). As mentioned above, Tigua art is possibly the most unique Ecuadorian form of art and Julio Toaquisa is responsible for bringing this obscure art to life.


Music is changing all the time in Ecuador. However, as new generations create unique musical styles, they also incorporate traditional elements of past Ecuadorian music. Today the most popular music in Ecuador is Pasillo. Always a crowd pleaser, Pasillo originated along the Ecuadorian coast and the elegant rhythms captivate people of all ages (Ecuador Music). The Pasillo style often makes reference to past love, or other sadness, the composer has experienced. Pasillo often talks of beauty, giving this popular genre its soft and peaceful tone (Ecuador, I & II: Art and Music). Another popular musical style in Ecuador is Rockola. This genre of music represents the social realism found in Ecuadorian life. People easily relate to Ecuador Rockola because of the artists sensitive views on love, family, and life. A more traditional Ecuadorian song, La Condor Pasa, was composed in the 18-th century when the last Incan emperor died. La Condo Pasa is played in the form of Cantu and remains popular at festivals throughout the country. Cantu is a form of music normally played at festivals using old wind instruments and percussion (Mexico and Latin America).


A goal of musicians in Ecuador is to stay true to the culture and tone of their country. Musicians, like Gerado Guevara, are dedicated to reintroducing and recovering lost music (Gerardo Guervara). As more modern forms of music gain popularity in Ecuador, artists like Caceria de Laartos and Gabriela Vallalba , strive to to incorporate the tones of past music into a modern version of the lost tone.


Theater and movies are not nearly as popular in Ecuador as they are in other countries around the world. The film industry boomed in 1924, when Ecuador entered its Cinematic Golden age. The Ecuador Film Company was founded in Guayaquil and had some success in the 1920’s. In the mid-1930’s, however, production of motion pictures in Ecuador declined when sound was introduced (Wikipedia). The Ecuadorian Film Company rebounded years later and continues to thrive, as even more film companies have entered the movie scene.

Theater has been in existence in Ecuador longer than the film industry. Popular venues, like Teatro National Sucre and Teatro Bolivar, are currently undergoing renovations, and represent two of the oldest theaters in Quito. With the goal of bringing theater in Ecuador to all ages and social classes, activities and programs have recently been promoted to increase attendance (Quito Theatres). Theaters in Ecuador put on a variety of plays and ballets, including the prestigious Jacchigua Ballet at the Casa de la Cultura and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Teatro Poltecnico (Smith).


Many Ecuadorian actors begin their careers after signing with agencies in larger cities like Quito. Some actors, however, become lucky enough to appear in the United States, as was the case with Albert Paulsen (Albert Paulsen). Also becoming a big star in South America was filmmaker Camilo Caba. Caba was born in Quito, Ecuador and went on to become outstanding in film and presently teaches others in his home country. His students are reaping the benefits of Cabas 40+ years of experience in film (Camilo Caba).


Not unlike its Latin America neighbors, Ecuadorians are ardent, if not fanatic, futbol fans. Over the past few years, the Ecuadorian national team has had great success in international play against countries like Mexico and Japan. In 2002, Ecuador earned a place at the World Cup Tournament for the first time in the countries history (Culture of Ecuador - Sports and Entertainment). Ecuadorians also embrace Volleyball and the always exciting, Bullfighting (Ecuador). Some athletes, like Jefferson Perez, have excelled on the world stage. Perez won Ecuador’s first ever-Gold Medal in the 1996 Olympics.
One would be remiss in discussing Ecuadorian sports without mentioning the Outdoor activities associated with the mountains and coastlines of the country. In the mountains, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding are all popular sporting activities. In 2007, Ecuador became the first country, outside of Asia or Europe, to host the Youth World Rock Climbing Championships (Wikipedia). Near the coastline, surfing, snorkeling, diving, rafting, and horseback riding are examples of the active sporting life in Ecuador (Greenspan).


Ecuadorians enjoy spending leisure time reading, attending cultural festivals, and participating in Outdoor sporting activities. Children can often be found playing marbles, hopscotch, and skipping rope. Adults, meanwhile, enjoy playing darts and a variety of card games (Culture of Ecuador - Sports and Entertainment). A very family oriented society, Ecuadorian shops and businesses traditionally close on Saturday afternoons and Sundays to allow families to go to the beach or have picnics with friends. Avid readers, whether it is their well-known periodical El Comercio or the popular magazine Vistazo, Ecuadorians stay current with local news and culture (Ecuador). No matter what, Ecuadorians always have something to do.


Ecuadorians are avid readers, so it stands to reason that there are many Ecuadorian born authors. Jorge Icaza wrote the novel Huaspipungo in 1934 and has since become infamous for his stand against repressors of Ecuadorian Indians (Ecuador Education and Cultural Life). Many novelists and poets, like Luis Martinez and Jorge Carrera Andrade, write and publish books to enlighten socially minded Ecuadorians (Ecuador).

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Food and Cuisine Customs:

Much like here in America the eating patterns in Ecuador consist of eating three meals daily. However our big meal is usually dinner eating around 6 pm or 7p.m. But in the Southern American Countries they have two daily big meals, one at normal lunchtime and another later at night. They eat big meals at Lunch Time and then usually take a short nap or “Siesta ”. This allows the people to kind of recover from there big filling meal. This time is also allotted to help save workers from the intense heat at that time of day. Ecuador people also eat large meals at nighttime. They partake in this feast around 9 pm at night. This is much later than America’s Average dinner time. This is because of the size of the lunch feast. They also have to have time to work after their “siesta”.

The Food available and the preparation styles depend on location. The type of food more readily available at a certain location depends on what will be served. So like if your chilling up in the more mountainous region of the country your food available will be much more in the style of meat and potatoes, and near the coast your selection will have much more seafood. But lately because of the tourism and the ease of transportation this is changing and more region wide foods are showing up.

Ecuador has much great cultural food available. They eat lots of rice and meat. And there selection of exotic fruits is great. Around the coastal region they have tons of fresh and delicious fish and other seafood that can be prepared. They have a very delectable lemon marinated shrimp. And they also have some popular dishes for the more “adventurous” taste buds out there. You can try some roasted “cuy” or Guinea pig. Or the instant classic, bull penis soup or “Tronquito”. They mostly don’t drink milk unless it is in coffee or mixed into fruit drinks. And even though Ecuador has a good coffee production the availability of high-grade coffee is very low. Most of the good stuff gets exported. But if you search you should be able to find a decent cup of Joe.

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