The Republic of Ecuador is a small country located in the Northwest side of America. Ecuador is bounded on the north by Colombia, on the south and east by Peru, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador’s territory is 109,483 sq mi with an estimated population of 13,755,680 habitants as of 2007. The capital is Quito and the largest city and main commercial port is Guayaquil Most of the population lives in the highlands. About 65% of the people are mestizo, and quarters are indigenous. Spanish is the official language, but many natives speak Quechua or Jarvo. European-descended residents, who account for about 7% of the population, are mostly landholders and historically have played a dominant role in Ecuador's unstable political life. Some 3% of the country's inhabitants are of African descent. Roman-Catholicism is the main religion. Economic and Political Overview
Discovery of large oil deposits in the Amazon region in the 1970's transformed Ecuador's economy from an agrarian one based on the export of commodities, such as bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp., to one reliant on Maldonado 2
petroleum. Ecuador’s major partners: U.S., Peru, Italy, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Panama (2006). After a brief period of economic prosperity brought on by its new oil wealth, Ecuador experienced its first post "oil boom" economic slowdown. The beginning as a slowdown ended in a near economic collapse with the decline in world oil prices in 1986, followed by the destruction of a large stretch of Ecuador's sole oil pipeline by an earthquake in 1987. The depression of the late 80's emphasized the country's over-dependence on oil and, likewise, pushed the government in the direction of liberalization and diversification. An increase in oil export prices in the late 80's allowed Ecuador to recover, and from 1988 to 1992, the Ecuadorian...
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