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Ecuador

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Country information - Ecuador
Country name - conventional long form : Republic of Ecuador
Country name - conventional short form : Ecuador
Country name - local long form : Republica del Ecuador
Country name - local short form : Ecuador
Government type : republic
Capital - name : Quito
Capital - time difference : UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
Population : 13,927,650 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Ecuadorian(s)
Nationality - adjective : Ecuadorian
Languages : Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Currency (code) : US dollar (USD)
Currency code : USD
Major infectious diseases - degree of risk : high

Ecuador is located Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru. The climate is tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands. The terrain is coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente).

Background

This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito have contributed to the mid-term ouster of Ecuador's last three democratically elected Presidents. In 2007, a Constituent Assembly was elected to draft a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence.



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