Size: 103,930 square miles, similar to the state of Colorado.
Population: About 12 million people. Ecuadorians are the result of an attractive mixture of European and Indigenous people. The population is divided in the following ethnic groups: 43% Indigenous; 41% Mestizos; 19% White; 5% Black or mulato; 5% others.
Language: Spanish (official). Quichua is spoken along with several indigenous dialects.
Location: Ecuador is located in Northwestern South America. It is bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Currency: In the summer of 2000 the US Dollar became the official currency of Ecuador, replacing the Sucre.
Electricity: 110 volts (same as U.S.).
Religion: Freedom of worship, predominantly Catholic (95%)
NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Easter Week: Apr 9-16, 2006
Religious processions and an endless supply of fanesca (typical stew) mark the week. Although Holy Saturday is technically the only official holiday, many stores close for most of the week.
May 1: Labor Day
May 24: Battle of Pichincha
Marks the anniversary of the most important battle in the war for independence from Spain (1822). It is celebrated with military and civilian parades.
Jun: Corpus Christi (Exact dates vary yearly)
Jul 24: Simon Bolivar’s Birthday
Aug 10: Independence Day
Oct 12: Columbus Day / Dia de la Raza
This day is an effort to celebrate the Hispanic heritage of the Americas and, by extension, the multicultural heritage of all those races and cultures, which contributed to it.
Nov 2: All Saints' Day
Primarily a religious celebration (similar to Memorial Day) the day of the dead is observed with family visits to cemeteries to place flowers on loved ones' graves.
It is customary on this day to eat masamora morada, a gelatin made from black corn, with bread dolls.