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Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, which literally translates to the Republic of the Equator) is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border with Brazil. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland.
The main spoken language in Ecuador is Spanish. Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name, and has an area of 272,046 km2 (105,038 sq mi). Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America. The country's largest city is Guayaquil. The historic center of Cuenca, the third largest city in the country, was also declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, for being an outstanding example of a planned inland Spanish style colonial city in the Americas. Ecuador is also home—despite its size—to a great variety of species, many of them endemic, like those of the Galápagos islands. This species diversity makes Ecuador one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.
Ecuador is a presidential republic and became independent in 1830, after having been part of the Spanish colonial empire and the republic of Gran Colombia. It is a medium-income country with an HDI score of 0.695 (2010), and about 35.1% of its population lives below the poverty line.
Ecuador is governed by a democratically elected President, for a four year term. The current president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, exercises his power from the presidential Palacio de Carondelet in Quito. The current constitution was written by the Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly elected in 2007, and was approved by referendum in 2008.
The executive branch includes 25 ministries. Provincial governors and councilors (mayors, aldermen, and parish boards) are directly elected. The National Assembly of Ecuador meets throughout the year except for recesses in July and December. There are thirteen permanent committees. Justices of the National Court are appointed by the Council of Social Participation, for nine year terms.
Ecuador has often placed great emphasis on multilateral approaches to international issues. Ecuador is a member of the United Nations (and most of its specialized agencies) and a member of many regional groups, including the Rio Group, the Latin American Economic System, the Latin American Energy Organization, the Latin American Integration Association, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, the Andean Community of Nations and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
Ecuadorean Domain Country Information Ecuadorean Domain Registrar Ecuadorean World Wide Domain Registration Ecuadorean Country Code Top Level Domain .org.ec Domain Information Ecuadorean Country Information Ecuador Country Information