Ecuador, on the north-west coast of South America, bounded by Colombia on the north-east and Peru on the east and south with the area of 269,178 km2 (103,930 sq. mi.).
The coast and the inland are rich in tropical fruit and vegetation and cocoa and coffee are grown in the higher valleys extending into the foothills of the Andes, where the cinchona and great mahogany trees grow.
The Andes run north to south through the middle of the country, with many high peaks, like the Cotopaxi, at 5,897 m (19,347 feet), being the highest active volcano in the world.
Between the peaks are high but fertile valleys where the climate is temperate.
Ecuador has plentiful supplies of natural gas and hydroelectric power to meet domestic energy requirements, and also mineral deposits of lignite, gold, and silver.
The Incas conquered the central valley in the 15th century, and their communications network included a road from Cusco to Quito, which they set up as their regional capital.
In 1535 the Spanish Francisco Pizarro united the region to his Peruvian conquests and made his brother, Gonzalo, as governor.
In 1830 Ecuador became a republic.
The main religion is Roman Catholic (93.5% ).
Population over 12 million. Ethnicity, Quechua 49.9%, Mestizo 40.0%, Spanish or other European origin 8.5%.
Official language; Spanish.
For more information about Ecuador see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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