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   Due to the fact that during the XVIII century a French scientific mission traveled to the country to determine, with the concourse of local scientists, the measurement of the arch of the terrestrial meridian the name Ecuador was divulged and the country was later named for this imaginary line that divides the Earth in two halves and crosses a few kilometers from the capital city of Quito. For the Spanish Crown, that territory was known as the Presidency of Quito.*

1. Area: 256,370 square km*

2. Population: 12.879.000 (estimated 1999 INEC)*

3. Capital: Quito*

4. Population of Quito: 1,487,000*

5. Languages: Spanish*

6. Other languages: Quichua Shimi, Awapit, Cha'palachi,
   Tsafiqui, Paicoca, A'ingae, Huaotirio, Shuar-Chichan and      Záparo*

7. Date of OAS Membership: 1948*

8. National Heroes: Rumiñahui, Eugenio Espejo, José Mejía Lequerica, Manuelita Sáenz, Abdón Calderón*

9. Description of Ecuador*:
   
Ecuador is characterized by a great geographical, economic and ethnic diversity. The Andean highland, where the capital city of Quito is located, has a large population of mestizos and Indians and small-scale farming and services dominate its economic activity. The coastal area, and its major port city of Guayaquil, has thrived on commerce and exports. Finally, the sparsely populated Amazon region contains most of the country's main natural resource, petroleum. Ecuador's population is essentially divided among the coastal and highland regions.

10. History*

11. Photographs

12. Government

13. Economy


* Source: Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the OAS. 

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Updated: 9 April 2008