The “Republic of Ecuador” is one of the three states that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territory in a series of conflicts with its neighbours. A border war with Peru, which broke out in 1995, was settled in 1999.
Ecuador’s dominant culture is defined by its Hispanic mestizo majority and, like its ancestors, is traditionally Spanish, influenced to varying degrees by Amerindian traditions and African elements.
Tropical along the coast, becoming cooler inland at higher altitudes; tropical in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle.
Ecuador has a total area of 283,520 km2 and is crossed by the equator, from which it takes its name.
Ecuador is a major exporter of bananas and oil and is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
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