Moving to Ecuador



Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Colombia and Peru. It is known as the Galapagos Islands, which is home to several endemic species. People moving to Ecuador will find that the cost of living in the country is quite cheap, ranking 274th out of 282 countries when it comes to cost of living for foreign nationals.

Ecuador is a Spanish speaking country of some 15 million people, situated on the Pacific Ocean in South America. It gets its name from the Equator of the Earth which runs right through the country.

"The people are friendly and like to laugh at your bad Spanish, however, they are eager to help."-David Sheeshka, Expat in Mirador San Jose, Ecuador

Ecuador was ruled by the Inca Empire when the Spanish arrived and conquered it around 1530. The Ecuadorians revolted from Spain in 1822 and joined Simon Bolivar's "Republic of Great Columbia", but split off into their republic in the year 1830. Ecuador fought a short border war with neighbouring Peru in the year 1941, and again as recently as 1995.

There are many different types of animals that are native to Ecuador and especially the Galapagos islands, such as the famed Galapagos turtle. Ecuador exports agricultural products such as Coffee, Cacao, Bananas and Sugar. Most of the people of Ecuador are of mixed native Indian and Spanish descent, or "Mestizo", and nearly all are of the Roman Catholic faith. Favorite ingredients used in Ecuadorian cooking include shrimp, meat, rice, beans, potatoes, plantain, peanut, and yucca. The most popular sport among Ecuadorians is soccer football. Ecuadorian musicians play South American genres like pasillo, cumbia and salsa. Woven Panama hats, despite their name, are made and worn in Ecuador, where they are called Jipijapas. They received the name of 'Panama hat' because they were shipped to Panama for export to North America.

"I have traveled to the Galapagos Islands, Cuenca, Quito and all along the West coast, and have not had one bad experience with any of the locals." - Shawn Berry, Expat in Ecuador

There are several expatriates living in Ecuador, notably those from the US, who number 100 thousand, and from Europe, who account for another 30 thousand. Ecuador has been using the United States dollar as a fiat currency since the year 2000 when it did away with the former national currency, which had been called the Sucre.

Many Ecuadorians also know some Quechua. The Quechua Indians paint the Cotopaxi volcano on drums and sheepskins for sale to tourists Most Quechua and native women in Ecuador wear the bowler hat, a style introduced to them by English railway workers in the 1920s. Quechuas in Ecuador also wears the knitted hat with ear flaps, known as a chullo. There is also a large population of over a million of African descent living in Ecuador. These Afro-Ecuadorians are mostly descended from the escapees of shipwrecked slave ships in the 1500s. The Afro-Ecuadorian communities have their unique styles of music, like Marimba and Bomba.

Ecuador has been a democracy since the year 1979. It was under the military government for several years before that. A new constitution was adopted by Ecuador in the year 2008. It is the 20th time Ecuador has adopted a new Constitution in its history.


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