Ecuador is located on the west coast of South America, bordering Colombia and Peru. The total area of the Republic of Ecuador is 109,483 sq. miles, making it slightly smaller than the state of Nevada. The official language is Spanish, but Quichua is also a popular native language. Many indigenous groups speak both Spanish and Quichua, or only Quichua. This language originated from the conquering Incas in the 15th century. Other native languages are also spoken among tribes in the oriente (Amazon) region. As a result of the Spanish conquistadors’ influence, the dominant religion in Ecuador is Roman Catholicism. Approximately 95% of the population identifies as Roman Catholic!
Ecuador is the world’s leading exporter of bananas, and the country is also a major exporter of coffee, flowers, cocoa, and seafood. They use the American dollar as their form of currency.
Ecuador is comprised of 4 regions: the Sierra (the Andean mountain region), the Costa (the Pacific coastal region), the Oriente (the Amazon rainforest region), and the Galapagos Islands (offshore in the Pacific Ocean). Each region has its own unique characteristics.