Ecuador is one of the smaller countries in South America and is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It has borders with Colombia in the north and Peru in the east and south.
Because of its location at the equator, Ecuador experiences little variation in daylight hours during the course of a year. Both sunrise and sunset occur each day at six o’clock.
Before the arrival of the Incas from Peru, a few civilizations had formed in Ecuador by arrival of people from Central America, Northern and f Southern Parts of South America.
The country’s geography segregated these new settlers in three main areas: The Coast, The Andean Highlands and the Amazonian Jungle.
The environment in these regions established the requirements for their survival and developed their very distinct cultures.
The Incas arrived in Ecuador in the 15 century from Peru and Bolivia and tried to subdue the native Indians. They failed when the natives withdrew to the dense jungle. Some of these groups also resisted the Spanish soldiers and missionaries and kept their language and culture until today.
On October 9, 1820, Guayaquil became the first city in Ecuador to gain its independence from Spain after more than 300 years of colonization, raping and pillaging. During this period, the clergy, as with most of South America was most influential in political affairs.
The largest ethnic group in Ecuador is the Mestizos, the descendants of Spanish colonists and indigenous people, who constitute 71.9% of the population. Amerindians, Afro-Ecuadorians, Mulattos and Zambos, make up the rest.
African slavery was not the workforce of the Spanish colonies in South America as the indigenous people were easily subjugated by the missionaries thus becoming slaves freely. Most African Negroes (not many) arrived as survivors of shipwrecks while transported to British, Dutch and French colonies and their impact in the local culture has been negligible.
Ecuador, the biggest grower and exporter of bananas in the world, is rich both in minerals and oil.