Ecuador, formally the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: Repblica del Ecuador; Quechua: Ikwadur Ripuwlika), is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered on the north by Colombia, on the east and south by Peru, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands, which are located in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of the continent.
What is occurring today Ecuador was home to a number of Amerindian tribes that were eventually absorbed by the Inca Empire in the 15th century. Spain occupied the area in the sixteenth century, and it gained independence in 1820 as a member of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as an independent state in 1830. Ecuador’s ethnically varied population reflects the heritage of both empires, with the majority of its 15.2 million inhabitants being mestizos, followed by sizable minority of European, Amerindian, and African ancestors.
Spanish is the official language and is spoken by the majority of the population, although 13 Amerindian languages, including Quichua and Shuar, are officially recognized. Quito is the capital, but Guayaquil is the biggest city. In 1978, the historical core of Quito was designated a UNESCO World History Site, reflecting the country’s rich cultural heritage. Cuenca, Peru’s third-largest city, was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 as an exceptional example of an inland Spanish-style colonial city in the Americas.
Ecuador’s economy is in the process of development and is heavily reliant on commodities, particularly petroleum and agricultural goods. The nation is categorized as having a medium level of income. Ecuador is a presidential republic governed by a democratically elected president. The 2008 new constitution is the world’s first to establish legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecological rights. Ecuador is also renowned for its diverse ecosystem, which is home to many unique plants and animals, including those found in the Galápagos Islands. It is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse nations.