Coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Population: 15,439,429 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (Castillian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%; note: Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit)
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately two-fifths of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar.
OPEC OIL EXPORTERS (1:05)
The major cities of Ecuador—Quito and Guayaquil—are modern cities with contemporary offices and apartment buildings. However, the style of housing in these two cities differs as a result of their histories and locations. Quito, in the dry Andean highlands, is characterized by beautiful colonial architecture. The city remains relatively small as a result of its isolated, high-altitude location. Guayaquil is a more modern city of over two million people.
US Military Presence/Support