Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ecuador


Republic of Ecuador


Ecuador image courtsey: dollardaze.org

Ecuador, The knee-cap of Peru and Columbia.


Republica del Ecuador.


Squeezed between Bolivia in the north and Peru in the south-east, this small South American nation has much to offer not only for the biologists who flock to its exclusive animal and plant varieties but also for the historians who do research in the ancient Inca civilization that existed centuries ago. Ecuador is only 256,370 sq. kilo meters and population is about 14 millions. This nation though small in size is endowed with biodiversities no other nation in the world.


Quite a city with a three thousand year old history.


Cotopaxi Volcano image courtsey: wikipedia.org


South America as a whole and Ecuador in particular was seat to a very ancient culture and there are evidences to prove that there existed a rich civilization since 3500 B.C. The Valdivia civilization was confined to the coastal area where as the Quitus and Canari flourished in the inlands. The ‘Quitus’ mentioned is the present capital Quita. This ancient culture has made the City of Quita known as ‘Luz de America’ meaning the light of the American Continent.


The Galapagos Archipelago.


Ecuador itself is endowed with a rich biodiversity but the Galapagos Archipelago islands located about 600 miles away from the mainland is a virtual museum of biodiversity where Charles Darwin stayed and did elaborate research on the rare animals, birds and plants living in this group of islands.


Greed and deceit.


The history of Ecuador is not much different from other third-world nations, where the greed and deceit of heirs to rulers work to their own destruction. The Inca Emperor Huayne Capac had two children (one each in two queens). The emperor divided his kingdom in equal parts, but the problem did not end there, Atahualpa who got the northern portion invaded the other half ruled by his half-brother (Huaskar) and there was war going on between the two.


Spain Cometh.


Monument in Guayaquil image courtsey: wikipedia.org


It was a god-given chance for the Spanish to interfere they acquired some territorial rights from Atahualpa for helping him to kill his brother! Finally as the story goes the Spanish became the rulers and the natives were forced to their servitude. These all had happened in the sixteenth century, and the Spanish were able to rule this land for about three centuries.


August 10, 1809 is a land mark in the history of South America when for the first time call for independence from Spain started to fill the atmosphere (Primer Grito de la independence). The Criollos (people of the pure Spanish descent) like Carlos Mentufar, Eugenio Espejo etc were in the forefront to lead the struggle which lasted until the Spanish were expelled from the land.





In the grips of the clergy.


The Spanish had long gone were but for years Ecuadorians had to live under the clutches of the church which had their iron grip even on all political affairs of the nation, Ecuadorians had to fight yet another battle to get liberation from the clergy. Eloy Alfaro led a revolution and reduced clergy’s power within the church. This movement is known as Julian Revolution (1925) which gave ultimate political freedom the Ecuadorians.


An unfortunate war


Wars between nations are a rarity in South American continent, but Ecuadorians had to fight one with their immediate neighbor; Peru with disastrous consequences. Peru could easily overwhelm the ill-equipped Ecuador. Interference of the regional big brother USA some how saved Ecuador from losing its identity, but in the process it lost almost all the disputed territories like the Amazon basin to Peru to save its face.


A Coup D’etat.


It was in 1972 ‘The Revolutionary Nationalist Junta overthrew the ruling government and came to power adding to the woes of the people. The regime conducted elections in which Jaime Aguilera was elected they remained in power till 1979. It has been a curse for the unfortunate nation that most of the rulers resort to un-abashed populism thereby ruining the economic health of the nation. The present president Raphael Correa is no exception.


Oil rich.


The populist policies keep Ecuador far from the fast track of progress; much of the South American nations never emulate Brazil or Chile for economic policies but follow Cuba as role model. Ecuador’s Amazon basin is endowed with oil deposits and it is the second exporter of oil which transported to the coast through the Trans-Andean pipe line. With a little bit of wisdom this oil money could be harnessed and Ecuador could emerge as one of the riches nation in that continent.


As a nation.


Ecuador Map courtsey: lib.utexas.edu


Ecuador has a population of 14 millions, its literacy is 93% and more than 90% belongs to various churches of Christianity. Its National Anthem is ‘Salve Oh Patria’ (We Salute Our Homeland). Its capital is Quito but the largest city is Guayaquil.


Ecuador Football Team


As it is the case with every South American nations foot-ball is a weakness to the Ecuadorians also; they can live a day without food but at least without a discussion about some foot-ball news life is dreary and dull perhaps not worth living at all!


A tourism hotspot.


Tourism Hotspots in Ecuador - image courtsey: ulyssesguides.com


Its exclusive locations like hot springs ice clad mountains (The Andes Ranges) give it all paraphernalia for attracting tourists all over the world. Galapagos Archipelago alone is capable of giving the visitor a unique thrill. Tourism contributes significantly to the nation’s economy.


Immigrants.


Ecuador is a member of the ‘CAN’ The Andean Community of Nations (it has the role of a mediator in the EU (European Union) deal with South American nations). The CAN is actively engaged in finding solution for the burning issue that is the movement of illegal immigrants between countries in search of greener pastures. They in this process smuggle drugs, as well as create law and order problems to the host nations.


It is hoped that the ‘CAN’ can emerge as a strong bondage that can solve most of the issues raging between the nations in this continent through friendly negotiations. A strong bondage is good either between individuals or among nations let CAN rise to such a level so that the nations can look forward to it as a facilitator for progress.



7 comments:

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Gufo said...

nice post on ecuador. ;-)

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