Religion: Like most South American countries, in Ecuador the most common religion is Roman Catholicism, brought by the Spaniards when the area was colonized. In more recent years the country has developed a more diverse population religiously and now possesses groups of people who are Jewish, Protestant, and Mormon. Sadly though, these people can be discriminated against by family after conversion. People who are ostracized from family members and communities often form their own communities to be with people of similar faith and beliefs. For those who don't know, I'll give a brief explanation on each of these religions. Judaism is the oldest of these religions, and is the basis for the other three. Catholicism and Protestantism focus on a second testament to the Jewish book called the Torah. The difference is that Protestants do not believe in the Virgin Mary or the Pope. Mormonism is based on the belief that a third and final testament to the Torah was found.
Climate: Ecuador's climate is affected most by its placement on the equator. The country also borders the Pacific Ocean and possesses the Galapagos Islands. The wildlife is very diverse with several species of birds, fish, and reptiles. The Galapagos Islands add even more to the biodiversity of Ecuador with many completely unique species. The temperature is consistently warm and it is humid almost year round.
Food: The official dish of Ecuador is Fanesca, a mix of foods from areas all over Ecuador. It contains ingredients such as corn, fish, beans, squash, peanuts, etc. In the highlands common foods are stews made from corn, potatoes, squash, and rice. In the coastal areas food usually is based on fish, rice, and plantains, which are fruits similar to bananas.
Social/Political Organization: Ecuador is a constitutional republic that gained its independence from Spain in 1822 and became a part of Gran Columbia. Ecuador became a completely independent country in the year 1830. In the year 2008, Ecuadorian voters approved a new constitution which was the country's 20th. The constitution mentions protection for the environment as it had been an issue for many years on whether or not oil and gas companies should have free reign or all of the environment should be protected. The new constitution also mentions greater spending on healthcare and education. The president is elected through popular vote, has a four year term, and cannot be reelected. The law in Ecuador also states that all literate citizens from 18 to 65 are required to vote. Ecuador consists of 24 provinces and those provinces are further divided into 199 cantons.
Citations: "Ecuador: Landforms & Climate." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
"Ecuador: Country Overview." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
"Ecuador: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
"Ecuador: Government." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
Baletti, Brenda. "Ecuador: People." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.