Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: Ecuador or República del Ecuador, IPA[re'puβlika ðel ekwa'ðoɾ]) is a country in northwestern South America, bounded by Colombia on the north, by Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean on the west. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón) in the Pacific, about 965 kilometers (600 miles) west of the mainland. Named after the Spanish word for equator, Ecuador straddles the equator and has an area of 256,370 square kilometers (98,985 mi²). Its capital city is Quito.
The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. De Berlanga eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The group of islands was shown and named in Abraham Ortelius's atlas published in 1570. The first crude map of the islands was made in 1684 by the buccaneerAmbrose Cowley, who named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after British royalty and noblemen. These names were used in the authoritative navigation charts of the islands prepared during the Beagle survey under captain Robert FitzRoy, and in Darwin's popular book The Voyage of the Beagle. The new Republic of Ecuador took the islands from Spanish ownership in 1832, and subsequently gave them official Spanish names. The older names remained in use in English-language publications, including Herman Melville's The Encantadas of 1854.
Indigenous peoples in Ecuador are the groups of people who were present in what became the South American nation of Ecuador when Europeans arrived. The term also includes their descendants from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. Their history, which encompasses the last 11,000 years, reaches into the present; 25 percent of Ecuador's population is of indigenous heritage, while another 65 percent is of mixed indigenous and European heritage. Black people, people of Spanish descent, and others make up the remaining 10 percent.
While archaeologists have proposed different temporal models at different times, the schematic currently in use divides prehistoric Ecuador into five major time periods: Lithic, Archaic, Formative, Regional Development, and Integration. These time periods are determined by the cultural development of groups being studied, and are not directly linked to specific dates, e.g. through carbon dating.
The Lithic period encompasses the earliest stages of development, beginning with the culture that migrated into the American continents and continuing until the Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene. The people of this culture are known as Paleo-Indians, and the end of their era is marked by the extinction of the megafauna they hunted.
The Archaic period is defined as "the stage of migratory hunting and gathering cultures continuing into the environmental conditions approximating those of the present." During this period, hunters began to subsist on a wider variety of smaller game and increased their gathering activities. They also began domesticating plants such as maize and squash, probably at "dooryard gardens." In the Andean highlands, this period lasted from 3500-7000 BP.
...that the fastest-growing cities, receiving the least media attention, Esmeraldas, Manta, Salinas, and Machala all being port cities have doubled their growth, and have the most stable economies in the country, leaving Nueva Loja, the only inland city to have equalled that growth.
...that Quito (the capital of Ecuador) has the highest cable car in the world.
...that Quito (the capital of Ecuador) has the most extensive colonial district of Latin America.
...that Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) has the most modern airport of the Latin American region... (see municipalidad de guayaquil in red)
...that Panama hats are not actually made in Panama but in Ecuador.
...that Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) became the first intelligent city in incorporating a global free internet access at the hot spots of the city.
...that it is the only place in the world where you can actually visualize that you are standing on the northern hemisphere as well as on the southern hemisphere.
^Willey, Gordon R.; Philip Phillips (2001) . R. Lee Lyman (ed.). Method and theory in American archaeology. Classics in Southeastern Archaeology. Michael J. O'Brien (2nd ed.). Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. pp. 104–139. ISBN0-8173-1088-6.
^ abMarcos, Jorge G. (2003). "A Reassessment of the Ecuadorian Formative". In J. Scott Raymond (ed.). Archaeology of Formative Ecuador(PDF). Richard L. Burger. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University. p. 13. ISBN0-88402-292-7. The initial cultivation of corn probably took place around 6000 B.C.1 on the Santa Elena peninsula and at around 4300 B.C.2 at Lake Ayauchi in the southeastern Oriente of Ecuador (Pearsall 1995: 127–128; Piperno 1988: 203–224, 1990, 1995).