ECUADOR AT A GLANCE

Where is Ecuador?

Straddling the equator, the Ecuadorian coast rushes up to snow-capped volcanoes then falls away to hot Amazon jungle--all in a country the size of the State of Colorado! It shares a long-contested border with Peru to the south and east, and is bounded by Colombia to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

What is the capital of Ecuador?

Quito is the capital city of Ecuador.

What is the currency of Ecuador?

The United States Dollar is the currency of Ecuador.

Which is the largest city of Ecuador?

Guayaquil, the capital of Guayas Province, is the largest and most populous city in Ecuador with a population of about 2,278,691. Quito is the second largest and populous city with a population of about 1,607,734

What is the official language of Ecuador?

In all of Ecuador’s major cities, Spanish is the official language. Especially in cities where tourism is not a booming business, like Guayaquil and other smaller towns, it can actually be hard to find people who speak English.

What is the religion of Ecuador?

The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, but there is a scattering of other Christian faiths. Indigenous Ecuadorians, however, have blended Catholicism and their traditional beliefs. An example is the near synonymous association of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and the Virgin Mary.

What is the literacy rate of Ecuador?

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write - total population: 91.6%. Male: 93.1%. Female: 90.2%

What is the economy of Ecuador like?

The economy of Ecuador is based mostly on exports of oil, bananas, shrimp, gold, other primary agricultural products and money transfers from nearly a million Ecuadorian emigrants employed abroad. In 2002, oil accounted for about one-third of public-sector revenue and 40% of export earnings.


OTHER FACTS ABOUT ECUADOR

WEATHER

In Guayaquil, Ecuador average high temperature in late July is 84. Low will be 68.

In San Vicente, Ecuador average high temperature in late July is 68. Low will be 48.

Food

In Ecuador, no matter where you go, rice is a staple part of the diet, and soups and stews are very popular. Potatoes and yuca, are also an essential part of the Ecuadorian diet, and plantains also generally accompany most plates. Since we will be working near the ocean, we will be served seafood (shellfish and fish specifically). Breakfasts will be eggs, tropical fruit, rice, yogurt, juice and coffee. Lunches will be large as they are in most Latin countries. Dinners will be consistent in size with what will be served at lunch. There will be snacks served.

Cultural Do’s and Don’ts

Ecuador (as is generally true of all of Latin America) is a NIGHT culture, especially true among young adults. Be prepared to have the evening go well into the night. Ecuadorians, by in large, are event oriented as opposed to time oriented. The person with whom you are with, and the moments you are therefore sharing, are what is MOST significant. Time is therefore a general marker, not a fixed point – except when it comes to public transportation.

Safety

Don’t be alone at night. It would be preferable to have a group of 3, one being a male. Don’t be in an isolated place alone with a national or with minors. When traveling on public transportation, stay close to teammates taking care not to get separated from your group. Be on guard. Always be aware of what is going on around you. Look like you know what you’re doing. Be aware of your belongings at all times. Hold your backpack in front of you on public transportation. Don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself.

Don’t carry a lot of valuables on you (expensive watches, jewelry, phones, computers, cameras, etc.) Put money in several places on you (in a pocket, in a backpack, in a money belt). Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times. You don’t need to carry your passport every day, but make sure to put it in a safe place. Use common sense. If you’re not sure what is allowed, ask your team leader(s), missionaries, or national leaders.

Misc.

Currency: U.S. Dollar

Time Zone: In June, Ecuador is 2 hours ahead of PST.

Electrical Outlets: 110V for Ecuador.

CLOTHING GUIDELINES

With regard to clothing, MODESTY is of EXTREME importance.  Neither underwear nor midriffs may be shown. And nothing form fitting, guys or gals. No scoop neck/ low necklines for gals. Take your cues from the nationals in the varying situations you find yourself.

Work Clothing: Jeans, “scrubs,” or active wear. Yoga pants are permitted if worn with a long shirt to completely cover the rear. Closed toed, sturdy shoes. T-shirts or basic crew necks. No shorts or sleeveless/tank tops for women. Men may wear shorts. Any writing on shirts should not contain anything offensive, crude, provocative, political or inflammatory.

Casual Clothing: Nicer outfit for outings and excursions, like jeans or capris and a polo shirt or nicer crew neck.

Church/Dining Out: Church: Clean jeans with nice t-shirt or polo shirt and tennis, skate or deck shoes for men. Below knee dress/skirt with t-shirt and flip flops or sandals. Note: we don’t want to “out dress” the locals.