Meaning of ECUADOR in English

officially Republic of Ecuador, Spanish Repblica del Ecuador, country of northwestern South America. It straddles part of the Andes Mountains and occupies part of the Amazon basin. Lying on the Equator, from which its name derives, it borders Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west; it includes the Pacific island group of the Galpagos Islands, or the Archipilago de Coln. It is a relatively small country by South American standards, with an area of 103,930 square miles (269,178 square kilometres), including 100,844 square miles on the South American continent. The border with Peru, as defined by the Protocol of Rio de Janeiro (1942), is not considered legitimate by Ecuador, and some of the border markers provided for by that treaty have not been placed. The capital, Quito, is located in the Andean highlands in the north-central part of the country. Ecuador is one of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world, and it has contributed notably to the environmental sciences. The first scientific expedition to explore the Amazon basin, led by Charles-Marie de La Condamine, departed from Ecuador; the renowned naturalists Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin used Ecuadoran research to help establish basic theories of modern geography, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ecuador has a deeply ingrained cultural heritage, the first agricultural villages and ceramic production of the Americas being associated with what is now coastal Ecuador. Quito came to be the northern capital of the Inca empire, the largest political unit of pre-Columbian America. Economically, Ecuador has become known for the fabrication of (erroneously named) Panama hats and the production of bananas, cocoa (chocolate), shrimp, oil, and gold. Since 1979 Ecuador has been a relatively stable South American democracy, although it has encountered many of the economic ills typical of the region. This article covers the land and people of continental Ecuador; for information on the Galpagos Islands, see Galapagos Islands. officially Republic of Ecuador, Spanish Repblica del Ecuador South America's fourth smallest country, lying astride the Equator on the Pacific coast. Extending about 450 miles (725 km) from north to south and 400 miles (640 km) from east to west, Ecuador is bordered by Colombia on the north and Peru on the east and south. The capital is Quito. Area (including the Galpagos Islands) 104,505 square miles (270,667 square km). Pop. (1992 est.) 10,607,000. Additional reading Geography Martha Murray Sumwalt, Ecuador in Pictures, rev. ed. (1987), is a short work that contains only minimal text. Edgar Bustamante (comp.), Maravilloso Ecuador (1978), is a collection of well-illustrated essays by several noted Ecuadoran literary figures on the various regions of Ecuador. David Corkill (comp.), Ecuador (1989), provides an annotated bibliography. The country's physical geography is examined by Stefan Hastenrath, The Glaciation of the Ecuadorian Andes (1981); Anne Collin Delavaud (ed.), Atlas del Ecuador (1982); and Luis Caadas Cruz, El Mapa Bioclimtico y Ecolgico del Ecuador (1983). Writings on the plant life of Ecuador include Thomas Harper Goodspeed, Plant Hunters in the Andes, 2nd ed. rev. and enlarged (1961); and Richard Spruce, Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes, 2 vol. (1908, reprinted 1970).Ethnographies of various Indian tribes include John Collier, Jr., and Anbal Buitrn, The Awakening Valley (1949, reissued 1971), combining a comprehensive text on the Indians of the Otavalo Valley with a variety of illustrations; Ralph L. Beals, Community in Transition: Nayn-Ecuador (1966); Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Sacha Runa: Ethnicity and Adaptation of Ecuadorian Jungle Quichua (1976); and Peter Broennimann, Auca on the Cononaco: Indians of the Ecuadorian Rain Forest (1981). Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Class, Kinship, and Power in an Ecuadorian Town: The Negroes of San Lorenzo (1965), analyzes the social structure in a town near the Colombian border. Frank Salomon, Weavers of Otavalo, in Daniel Gross (ed.), Peoples and Cultures of Native South America (1973), pp. 463492, assesses the success in survival of one of Ecuador's largest Indian groups. Mary J. Weismantel, Food, Gender, and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes (1988), focuses on the central highlands. Gregory Knapp, Geografa Quichua de la Sierra del Ecuador (1987), analyzes the sparse census information related to ethnicity. Norman E. Whitten, Jr. (ed.), Cultural Transformations and Ethnicity in Modern Ecuador (1981), is notable for the coverage of Amazonian, highland, and coastal groups.Gregory Knapp, Ecologa Cultural Prehispnica del Ecuador (1988), focuses on traditional highland agriculture. M.R. Redclift, Agrarian Reform and Peasant Organization on the Ecuadorian Coast (1978), studies Ecuador's unique agrarian reform program. Other works on agriculture include William M. Denevan, Kent Mathewson, and Gregory Knapp, Pre-Hispanic Agricultural Fields in the Andean Region, 2 vol. (1987); and David Giovanni Basile, Tillers of the Andes: Farmers and Farming in the Quito Basin (1974). David W. Schodt, Ecuador: An Andean Enigma (1987), studies the correlation of economic fluctuation and political stability. Charles R. Gibson, Foreign Trade in the Economic Development of Small Nations: The Case of Ecuador (1971), is a helpful though dated study. R.J. Bromley, Development and Planning in Ecuador (1977), is an overview of the topic. Marco A. Encalada Reyes, Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo en el Ecuador (1983), is an illustrated discussion of the quandaries of reconciling development and environmental protection. Ecuador: An Agenda for Recovery and Sustained Growth (1985), is an assessment by the World Bank. Jean Paul Deler, Gense de l'espace quatorien (1981), also available in a Spanish trans., Ecuador: Del Espacio al Estado Nacional (1987), is a study of the evolution of Ecuadoran spatial organization. History Albert William Bork and Georg Maier, Historical Dictionary of Ecuador (1973), is a convenient reference manual. Betty J. Meggers, Ecuador (1966), is a broad archaeological survey. Alfredo Pareja y Dez Canseco, Historia del Ecuador, 2nd ed. rev., 2 vol. (1958), is a standard history. Pablo Cuvi, Velasco Ibarra (1977), contains essays on the great caudillo and his times. George I. Blanksten, Ecuador: Constitutions and Caudillos (1951, reissued 1964), analyzes political developments of the early 1900s; it can be supplemented by the more recent John D. Martz, Ecuador: Conflicting Political Culture and the Quest for Progress (1972); and Frank MacDonald Spindler, Nineteenth Century Ecuador: A Historical Introduction (1987). John Samuel Fitch, The Military Coup d'tat as a Political Process: Ecuador, 19481966 (1977), is a detailed study of four postwar coups, with an epilogue to 1976. Frederick B. Pike, The United States and the Andean Republics: Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador (1977), treats diplomatic relations. Osvaldo Hurtado, Political Power in Ecuador (1981; originally published in Spanish, 1977), is a perceptive historical analysis of economic and political power. David Corkill and David Cubitt, Ecuador: Fragile Democracy (1988), studies recent politics and problems. Gregory W. Knapp Murdo J. MacLeod Administration and social conditions Government Ecuador is a sovereign democratic republic. The president and vice president are elected for four-year terms by popular, direct, and secret voting; the president may not be reelected to a second term. The chief executive is aided by a cabinet. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Chamber of Representatives (also called National Congress). Twelve of its members are popularly elected to four-year terms at the national level; the remaining 59 are elected to two-year terms at the provincial level. The chief executive appoints as his representatives the provincial governors, the political chiefs in each of Ecuador's 20 provincias, which are divided into cantones (regions); these in turn are divided into parroquias (parishes). The chief executive also appoints the political chief in each cantn and a political lieutenant in each parochial district. Every province also has a provincial council presided over by the provincial prefect. Each cantn constitutes a municipality, the governing of which is in the hands of a cantn council. The council of each provincial capital is headed by a mayor. An array of Ecuadoran political parties draws strength from various regions, classes, ethnic groups, and professions. No party is strong throughout the country, so that alliances must be established to attain victory at the national level. Among the prominent parties is the Democratic Left party, with strength among teachers, government workers, and professionals in the more prosperous parts of the Sierra. The communist parties include the Democratic Popular Movement and the Left Broad Front, with strength in Quito and Loja, while the Ecuadoran Socialist Party has shown strength in the poorer northern and central highlands. The Popular Democracy party is a moderate party with strength in the Quito area. Centrist coastal political parties are often populist in character, associated with charismatic personalities and grass-roots political organizations. Centrist parties with strength on the coast include the Alfarista Radical Front, the Concentration of Popular Forces, and the Ecuadoran Roldosist Party. The Social Christian Party is more conservative. Supreme Court justices are elected for terms of four years. The 16 justices are elected in theory by the National Congress, but in 1984 they were chosen by the government. There are 10 higher courts. Education The network of public education has been greatly expanded to promote the goal of universal literacy. Primary education is free and compulsory for six years beginning at age six. Ecuador has made progress in making education available to disadvantaged classes and ethnic groups and to women. Religious and nondenominational private schools also play a significant role. Population growth and limited funding have placed great strains on the educational system, however. Efforts are under way as well to adapt the curriculum to Ecuador's cultural diversity. Secondary education varies from seriously overcrowded public institutions to elite private institutions emphasizing bilingualism in English, French, or German. The premier university is the Pontifical Catholic University in Quito, noted for its research programs in fields such as botany, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology. The Polytechnic School in Quito has good programs in the sciences. There are numerous other universities with special strengths in particular areas, although the university system in general has suffered from uncertain funding and political turmoil. Many Ecuadorans seek training abroad, especially in technical fields and in business. Much research takes place outside the universities. Geographic and environmental research and postgraduate training are conducted by the Panamerican Centre for Geographic Studies and Investigation at the Military Geographical Institute in Quito. That same building houses other environmental institutes, libraries, and laboratories. Social science institutes are also numerous, especially in Quito; they include the Andean Centre of Popular Action and a local unit of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. Agricultural research is concentrated in the laboratories of the National Institute of Agricultural Investigations. Major research establishments are maintained by French and U.S. foreign assistance organizations. Cultural life Ecuador, as discussed above, is a country of great ethnic diversity and great contrasts of wealth and poverty. People identify more with their region or village than with the country as a whole, although the government has attempted to nourish a sense of pan-Ecuadoran national identity. At a minimum the country may be divided into a dozen or so major folk-cultural regions: norteo mestizo, northern Quechua, central highland mestizo, Quiteo urban, central Quechua, Cuencano mestizo, Lojano mestizo, southern Quechua, Esmeraldeo black, coastal mestizo-mulatto, Shuar (Jivaro), and Amazonian Quechua. Numerous smaller or more localized cultures also exist, and there are two culturally mixed areas in the Santo Domingo and northeastern Oriente frontiers. The most prominent and representative groups are the central highland mestizos and coastal mestizo-mulatto mixed culture. Daily life Most Ecuadorans place great emphasis on the family, and they also create fictive kinship, which is established by the choice of godparents at baptism. Apart from baptism, important occasions in the life cycle include the 15th birthday of girls, marriage, and funerals. Many Ecuadorans make pilgrimages or dedicate themselves to the service of a particular saint. During the year, numerous religious festivals provide opportunities for parades, special food, and music and dance. Often particular holidays are associated with particular cities, such as the Day of the Dead in Ambato or Carnival in Guaranda, and they attract people from various parts of the country. The Festival of San Juan Bautista is especially important for the Indian populations of the northern highlands, who regard the holidays as an occasion for dance and music. Easter is an opportunity to eat fanesca, a soup that is close to being the Ecuadoran national dish. The soupmade of onions, peanuts, fish, rice, squash, broad beans, chochos (lupine), corn, lentils, beans, peas, and melloco (a highland tuber)combines highland and lowland ingredients and is a culinary model of the union of diverse national characteristics. Chili sauce (aj) is part of most meals. Empanadas are deep-fried and stuffed savoury pastries. Typical of the coast is ceviche, made with shrimp or shellfish or even mushrooms pickled with lemon juice, cilantro (coriander), and onions. Coastal cuisine also includes deep-fried plantains and various rice dishes. Highland cuisine is based on soups and stews, including quinoa soup and barley soup, and on complex soups and stews mixing various combinations of corn, potatoes, oca, quinoa, melloco, beans, barley, broad beans, and squash. Highland Indian males may wear coloured ponchosfor instance, blue in the Otavalo area and red in western Chimborazo. Traditional footwear is the sandal, and a variety of traditional hats may be worn; in some locations hair is still worn long, gathered in a ponytail. Highland Indian women may wear embroidered blouses, wrapped skirts of woolen cloth, shawls attached with a pin in front, sandals, and locally common hats or headgear.

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