Republic of Ecuador
República del Ecuador  (Spanish)
Location of Ecuador (dark green)
Location of Ecuador (dark green)
ISO 3166 codeEC

Ecuador (/ˈɛkwədɔːr/ EK-wə-dor; Spanish pronunciation: [ekwaˈðoɾ] ; Quechua: Ikwayur; Shuar: Ecuador or Ekuatur), officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechua: Ikwayur Ripuwlika; Shuar: Ekuatur Nunka), is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) west of the mainland. The country's capital is Quito, but its largest city is Guayaquil.

The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of indigenous peoples that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spanish Empire during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as a sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 17.8 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of Europeans, Native American, African, and Asian descendants. Spanish is the official language spoken by a majority of the population, although 13 native languages are also recognized, including Quechua and Shuar.

Ecuador is a representative democratic presidential republic and a developing country whose economy is highly dependent on exports of commodities, primarily petroleum and agricultural products. The country is a founding member of the United Nations, Organization of American States, Mercosur, PROSUR, and the Non-Aligned Movement. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, between 2006 and 2016, poverty decreased from 36.7% to 22.5% and annual per capita GDP growth was 1.5 percent (as compared to 0.6 percent over the prior two decades). At the same time, the country's Gini index of economic inequality improved from 0.55 to 0.47.

One of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable rights of nature. (Full article...)

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Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán (29 October 1832 – 8 December 1869) was an Ecuadorian Catholic virgin. Martillo was known for her charitable giving and strict devotion to Jesus Christ while living a virginal and austere life of prayer and penance. The death of her parents prompted her to relocate in order to work as a seamstress while caring for the sick and poor. But her devotion to prayer and the mortification of the flesh was strong and it led her to the decision to live as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic in Patrocínio, (Peru) in June 1868, where she died on 8 December 1869.

Her cause for sainthood commenced on 27 September 1975, under Pope Paul VI, and she became titled as a Servant of God; while the confirmation of her life of heroic virtue allowed for Pope John Paul II to name her as Venerable on 23 October 1987. Martillo was beatified on 25 October 1992, after the approval of a 1967 miracle. After the confirmation of a miracle attributed to her, Pope Benedict XVI canonised her on 12 October 2008 in Saint Peter's Square. (Full article...)
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Ecuador Articles

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  • ... that Ana Lucía Armijos, president of the Ecuadorian Monetary Board, went into hiding for a year after the Supreme Court of Ecuador called for her arrest in the case of a $200 million bank bailout?
  • ... that the fastest-growing cities, receiving the least media attention, Esmeraldas, Manta, Salinas, and Machala all being port cities have doubled their growth, and have the most stable economies in the country, leaving Nueva Loja, the only inland city to have equalled that growth?
  • ... that Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) became the first intelligent city in incorporating a global free internet access at the hot spots of the city?
  • ... that Ecuador is the only place in the world where you can actually visualize that you are standing on the northern hemisphere as well as on the southern hemisphere?
  • ... that on January 8 1956, five Evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States were speared to death after attempting to reach the Huaorani people of Ecuador in "Operation Auca"?

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