Ecuador lies in South America on the equator, and in fact it gets its name from the Spanish word for “equator.” However, Ecuador straddles more than just two hemispheres. Take a look below to see how it also straddles different cultures, geographies and traditions.
A closer look 說古論今
Ecuador was controlled by Spain for much of its history. As a result, its culture today is heavily influenced by Spanish traditions. Even though much of its native population died during Spanish rule, many native peoples survive today and play a part in Ecuador's politics and culture. Ecuadorian society has also been influenced by slaves brought from Africa and their descendants.
Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Over 38 percent of the country is covered in forests, which are home to a wide variety of animals. While in Ecuador, you can see the snowy peaks of the Andys, the Amazon rain forests and the famous Galapagos Islands.
Each part of Ecuador has its own kind of food. As a result, there isn't a main Ecuadorian cuisine. However, Ecuador has made contributions to the culinary world. Many people in the mountains enjoy eating roasted guinea pig, and the word “jerky” in “beef jerky” comes from one of Ecuador's native languages.
Many of the walls in Ecuador's capital, Quito, are covered in graffiti. However, many people don't think of the graffiti as vandalism. Instead, they think of it as an art, and a part of Quito's urban culture. Much of the graffiti is poetry or political criticism. In fact, some politicians quote the graffiti that they see on the walls in their speeches.
Location: South America
Border countries: Colombia, Peru
Languages: Spanish, Quechua
Currency: Since the year 2000, Ecuador has used the US dollar. US$1 equals NT$32.37
Who knew? 你知道嗎?
Abdala Bucaram was elected Ecuador's president in 1996, but only was in power for about six months. He did some really strange things while in office, and was forced to step down for being “mentally incapacitated.” He nicknamed himself “El loco,” which means “the crazy man” in Spanish, and he lived up to his title. Soon after becoming president, he recorded a CD called The Madman Who Loves and performed concerts with popular Ecuadorian bands to promote the CD. He also shaved his moustache on TV, called a former Ecuadorian president a donkey, and then apologized for insulting donkeys. He was also known to have wild parties at his presidential residence. His son once organized a party at the residence to celebrate making a lot of money through corruption.