ECUADOR - SOUTH AMERICA
Ecuador borders the Pacific Ocean at the equator
(hence its name "Ecuador" which means equator in Spanish) and is situated
between Colombia and Peru.
Almost two-fifths of the land is forested, with tropical rain forests in the east. Its climate varies from tropical in the lowlands to temperate in the highlands. . Principal exports include crude petroleum, bananas, and shrimp.
Spanish is the official language, but many natives speak Quechua or Jarvo. European-descended residents, who account for about 10% of the population, are mostly landholders
Before the great Inca empire began its conquest of this land called Ecuador in 1463, it was populated by a number of indigenous Indian tribes that were often at war with one another. Once part of the Incan Empire, it was conquered by the Spanish in 1534 and later became subject to Peru and New Granada. In the early 16th century the Spanish conquered Ecuador. For the next two centuries Spanish Colonial rule continued. The Spanish, however, unintentionally brought with them smallpox and measles, diseases that, over time, all but wiped out much of the indigenous Indian population. The area achieved independence from Spain in 1822 and in 1830 became a separate country.
Quito Mt. Chimborazo
Quito, is the capital & its population is 1.4 million. Quito is over (9,200 ft.) in elevation; its highest temperatures are in August and September, where daily highs approach 72° F. The balance of the year high temperatures are generally in the low 60s. The months of June and July are the coldest, with highs in the 40s. Guayaquil is the largest city. Population: 13,300,000
Mt. Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest peak at 6310m: Is translated: "Woman in Ice" or "Icy Home of the Gods" or "Sacred Winds of the Moon" & figured prominently into the religious beliefs of the early indigenous people, many of whose beliefs have continued to this day. Till the early 19th century, Chimborazo was thought to be the earth's highest mountain and if measured from the earth's center, it still holds true as the Himalayas are farther away from the equator and lose therefore due to earth's equatorial bulge.
HISTORY - HOW THE GOOD NEWS
CAME TO ECUADOR
"It was first in 1935 that at least some people in Ecuador heard the good news of God’s Kingdom. That year, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses en route to Chile...spent ten months preaching here. Then, in 1946, missionaries from Gilead School assigned to Ecuador arrived in the port city of Guayaquil..." begins the detailed article about the preaching work and experiences of the early missionaries sent into Ecuador. For a complete history, read: 1989 Yearbook of Jehovah's witnesses, Pages 198-250.THE PEOPLE
The Ecuadorian people are every bit as varied as the country in which they live. Among the dozens of Indian tribes, perhaps the most widely known are the Otavalo Indians. Usually with their hair twisted in a pigtail, the men are dressed in a dark felt hat and a navy-blue poncho over white pants and shirt. On the other hand, the Colorado Indians wear very little. Their men are identified by a bowl-shaped haircut, plastered down with a bright-orange paste.
A major aspect of Indian identity in Ecuador is dress. People familiar with native dress can often tell roughly where an Indian is from based on what they wear. Otavalenos, most often seen in the Quito area, are very distinctive. For men, dress consists of a blue poncho, a fedora, or felt hat, and white calf-length knickers. A shimba -- a long braid that hangs down nearly to the man's waist -- which dates back to pre-Inca times, and is deeply rooted in tradition.
The women's dress is the closest to Inca costume worn anywhere in the Andes. Women dress in a white blouses, a blue skirt and shawl. Jewelry is important -- layers of necklaces of predominantly gold beads, and red coral bracelets are the most common form of jewelry worn by the Otavalo women. Although visitors to the area view their dressing styles as quaint or cute, to the Otavaleno, their dress is a way to outwardly express their ethnicity.
Another important segment of the population, the blacks, can trace their roots directly to Jamaica and Africa. Spain, too, left its mark on both facial features and architecture as a result of the influence of the conquistadores who came in search of gold. Now, add large groups of Oriental, Jewish, Arab, and European merchants, and you have the Ecuador of today. These are a hospitable people who usually greet others with a handshake and a warm smile. That friendliness has helped many of them to embrace the message of the Truth that has greatly enriched their lives.
Most of the population live in the highlands. Over half of the people are mestizo, and a quarter are indigenous.Some 10% of the country's inhabitants are of African descent. The indigenous populations mixed with those of European descent give Ecuador a unique cultural texture. It's a very friendly country, known for warm, welcoming hospitality.In addition to the numerous native cultures, Ecuador is home to a Mestizo culture, and a sizable Afro-Ecuadorian culture (approximately a half-million), the descendants of African slaves who worked on coastal sugar plantations in the sixteenth century.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION OF ECUADOR & ITS CULTURE: Amazing Discoveries at Earth's Equator, Awake! 2005, Dec. 22nd, Pages 22-25; The True Equator, Awake! 1998, Feb. 8th, pages 25-28.
With the coming of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century, accompanied by Catholic missionaries and African slaves, additional musical languages were introduced. Today, three principal racial and cultural strains - Indigenous, Spanish, and African - have evolved into distinctive musical styles.
Today's Afro-Ecuadorians are famous for their marimba music and dance festivals. Long before the Spanish conquest, and even much before the Inca civilization, the diverse native cultures of the region had rich musical traditions. Ancient flutes, trumpets, drums, and other musical artifacts have been found in tombs. Music was obviously important in the human and supernatural worlds of ancient Andean people
= venders cooking on the street
Ecuador food is well-known for its vast array of exotic fruit, numerous vegetables (most notably its potatoes), and superb quality seafood. The traditional foods of Ecuador consist of a broad spectrum of national dishes. The favorite national food consists of rice, potatoes and meat - known locally as "churrasco". Usually the meat will be beef or chicken, but in some parts of Ecuador you may find this is pork. Among the other selections of national foods of Ecuador:
* ceviche - marinated seafood
* corvina - sea bass
* cuy - guinea pig
* Fritada - roast pork, corn, cheese, avocado, potatoes and plantains
* locro - a combined cheese, avocado and potatoes soup
* humitas - cornmeal tamales
* trucha - trout
However, whilst soups are undoubtedly Ecuador's specialty food, every Ecuadorian gets involved with making their own "aji". Aji is the hot sauce that accompanies most foods of Ecuador and some can be quite spicy! The following are the terms that foods in Ecuador are known by (with their English language equivalent):
* battered (fried) = Apanado
* deep-fried = Brosterizado
* grilled = A la brasa
* pan-fried = Frito
* steamed = Al vapor
* stewed (meat) = Seco
Ecuadorian specialties: Humitas (a steamed cornbread), Llapingachos (fried mashed potato patties with fresh cheese), Locro (a chowder made with potatoes, fresh cheese and avocado
ANIMALS OF ECUADOR
The variety of climates produces a wealth of fauna & flora. Ecuador is home to 4,500 species of butterflies, 345 species of reptiles, 358 species of amphibians, 369 species of mammals and has over 1,600 species of birds. There are some 120 species of tiny hummingbirds, alone, in Ecuador. Ecuador is one of the planet's top 17 nations with respect to biodiversity. In fact, scientists are hoping to find better painkillers through a tiny Ecuadorian frog.The skin of this poison-dart frog exudes an analgesic said to be 200 times more powerful than morphine.
Unidentified species of Parrot have also been discovered in Ecuador: See Awake! 1986, Sept. 22nd, Page 30.
Other animals found in various parts of Ecuador:
For further research on Ecuador's culture & history, the following articles in Society's Publications will be helpful:
Panama hats made in Ecuador.................. Awake!
2001, May 8th, Pages 26-27.
Shrimp farms............................................ Awake! 1996, Dec. 22nd, Pages 24-25
A Tree That Will Stop You in Your Tracks. Awake! 2001, March 8th, Page 31
Article re: Archaeology & Ancient Astronomy. Awake! 2005, Dec. 22nd, Pgs 22-25
Cemetery in Ecuador with paintings from Watch Tower publications: Awake! 2000,March 8th, Page 31