Ecuador facts National Geographic
Ecuador is located in the western corner at the top of the South American continent. Ecuador, the smallest country in South America, is named after the Equator, the imaginary line around the Earth that splits the country in two. Most of the country is in the Southern Hemisphere.
Ecuador is roughly the size of Colorado and is bordered by Colombia and Peru. The high Andes Mountains form the backbone of the country. Cotopaxi in the Andes is the highest active volcano in the world.
The Galápagos Islands, 596 miles (960 kilometers) west of the mainland of Ecuador are part of Ecuador and are home to unique reptiles, birds, and plants. The Costa, or coastal plain region is where many of the world’s bananas are grown. The Sierra is also made up of farmland. The Oriente is east of the Andes and is rich in oil.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
About 10 percent of the population is of European descent. Another 25 percent belong to indigenous or native cultures and the remainder are of mostly mixed ethnicity. Many of the native people are subsistence farmers and only grow enough food for their family.