The Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador [*]), or Ecuador (Spanish: Ecuador Ecuador [*]), is a country in northwestern South America. It borders Colombia to the north and Peru to the south. Ecuador means "equator" in Spanish. It includes the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 965 km from the mainland.
It is one of the countries in South America that does not border Brazil along with Chile. The capital is Quito and the largest city is Guayaquil.
Geographically, Ecuador has three mainland regions and an island region in the Pacific Ocean.
Coast (La Costa): Ecuador's western lowland and Pacific coast region.
La Sierra: The Andean alpine region stretching from north to south in central Ecuador.
La Amazonia (or El Oriente): The Amazon rainforest region of eastern Ecuador, covering half of the country but less than 5% of the total population.
Región Insular: The Galapagos Islands, about 965 km from Ecuador mainland to the Pacific Ocean. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is located in the mountainous Pichincha Province. The largest city in the country is Guayaquil, located in the province of Guayas. Located just south of Quito, Mount Cotopaxi is the world's highest active volcano. The Earth is not a perfect sphere, but rather an egg-shaped equatorial bulge, so the top of Mount Chimborazo at 6,263 m above sea level is the most distant surface point from the Earth's core.
Although Ecuador is not a very large country, the climate varies with altitude. The Pacific coast has a tropical climate, with heavy rainfall during the rainy season. The Andean highlands have a temperate temperate climate, and the Amazon Basin to the east of the Andes is a tropical zone.
Ecuador is one of 17 biodiversity-rich countries in the world. More than 1,600 species, or 15% of the world's bird species, inhabit the continental region, and more than 38 endemic species live in the Galapagos Islands. There are 25,000 species of plants and Ecuador has 106 species of reptiles, 138 species of amphibians and 6,000 species of butterflies. The Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique fauna, the birthplace of Darwin's theory of evolution and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it has been designated by UNESCO, its negative environmental effects threaten the exotic ecosystems of the Galapagos, and billions of gallons of wastewater, gas and crude oil from oil extraction in the Amazon rainforest contaminate the ecosystem and threaten the health of indigenous people.
Ecuador is a presidential representative democracy, and the president is the head of the executive branch and head of state, and adopts a multi-party system. The executive branch is organized on the basis of the separation of powers, and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches are separated. According to Ecuador's constitution, the president, vice president and members of the parliament serve a four-year term. The president is not re-elected, but may be re-elected and the parliament may be re-elected. General suffrage is held and citizens aged 18 to 65 are subject to compulsory voting and the right to be elected.
There are 25 ministries in the executive branch. Local officials, including governors, mayors, and city council members, are elected directly through a direct system. Parliament is held year-round, with the exception of the July and December recesses.
In the field of diplomacy, Ecuador places great emphasis on a multifaceted approach to international affairs. Ecuador is a member of several international organizations, including the United Nations, and is also a member of several regional organizations, including the Andean Community, the Latin American Coalition for Integration, and the Latin American Energy Organization.