Ecuador

Basic facts


• Children are only required, by law, to remain in education until the age of nine.
• Approximately, 16,013,143 people live in Ecuador.
• It has a population density of 54,49 inhabitants per kilometer squared.
• The national language of Ecuador is Spanish.
• Strangely enough, Ecuador’s currency happens to be the United States dollar.
• Quechua and Shuar are two of Ecuador’s indigenous languages, officially spoken by people living in its many small villages.

 

Reasons to visit Ecuador

 

• Biodiversity — Ecuador is a natural wonder, home to no less than 46 different ecosystems. It’s one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet, with 4,500 varieties of butterflies, 3,000 varieties of orchids and 25,000 species of plants being nothing more than the very tip of the iceberg.

 

• Cultural Diversity — 65% of the population in Ecuador is a mix of Indian and Spanish descen. 25% of the population is indigenous. The final 10% are made up of other ethnic groups, including those with African roots. This makes Ecuador an incredibly rich place to be in terms of cultural diversity and customs.

• Geographic Diversity — Ecuador can be split simply into four separate geographical regions: The Galápagos, coastal regions, The Andes and the Amazonas. Each region has its own climate and, therefore, offers activities for visitors to match.

• It’s small size — Owing to the fact that Ecuador is roughly the same size as the UK and Belgium put together, it’s fairly easy to get around within one long trip. It’s a lot easier to see in one journey than most other countries in Latin America, which is what makes it that much more tempting to visit.

 

Life in Ecuador

 

• The Republic of Ecuador is a constitutional state of rights and social justice. The government manages the country in a decentralised fashion.

• Ecuador’s Constitution states that children are obliged to attend school until they have received what the government believes to be a basic level of education. In layman’s terms, this means until the age of nine. From then on, children are free to seek employment. There are many who have provided research and data which states that Ecuador offers the worst level of education across the whole of Latin America.

• Ecuador’s public health care system was first put in place in 1967. The Ministry of the Public Health is responsible for regulating the system, the health policies and care plans offered to the public. The Ministry of Public Health in Ecuador is most interested in offering a public health care system which provides social support to the most vulnerable. It develops plans around the ideas of communitarian health and focuses on making preventive medicine available.

 

Top destinations

 

Puyo — This city is the capital of the Pastaza province and a very prosperous region, commercially speaking. It’s an important area for the production of sugar cane, tea, coffee and the yukka plant. It’s also beautifully situated close to exotic forest; the perfect starting point for adventurous excursions throughout the year.

Esmeraldas — The beaches of Esmeraldas are why most people visit the region. Try the famous drink, “coco loco” (crazy coconut) when visiting the area and check out some of the artisanal work using black and red coral.

The Galápagos Islands — There really is no other place on earth like The Galápagos Islands. They are completely isolated from the rest of civilisation in Ecuador and the evolution of the flora and fauna present is something to see in itself.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

Passport/ Visa Requirements

 

Is a visa required?: Depending on your country of origin. For more information, please check this website:http://www.projectvisa.com
Allocation of Tourist Visa: Tourist Visa is received at the airport of Quito
• Duration of Tourist visa: Lasts up to 90 days
Tourist Visa Extension: It is possible to extend by leaving the country and flying in again or by paying an extension fee
• Passport validation: Must be valid for at least 6 months
Return/onward flight ticket: Usually not required upon entering the country
Confirmation of Funds: Declaration of sufficient funds will generally not be required

 

Money/Currency

 

Currency: US Dollar; Ecuadorian Sucre
• Inform Banks: Give the dates of travel and destinations to prevent security blocks on your bank and credit cards
Cash: Always take enough cash to cover your expenses for the first week in case there is a problem with your bank cards or access to ATM’s is limited.
Credit Options: Good idea to have at least two different credit/debit card options i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Cirrus.
Travellers Cheques: Will only be able to exchange in major cities and best to take them in Dollars due to several falsification of USD bills in the past, some 50 or 100 USD dollar notes.
Western Union: If at any time you have any problems in accessing money you can use Western Union transfer. Money can be sent from your home country and received in Ecuador the same day.

 

Healthcare

 

• Vaccinations: Yellow Fever Vaccination required, Hepatitis A&B + Typhoid + Rabies + Influenza recommended
Malaria medication: Not necessary
See local GP: If vaccinations or medication is required see the doctor 4-6 weeks before your departure
Less than 4 weeks before you leave: You should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling.
Check the following for up to date information: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

TESTIMONIALS

''My teacher has been so enthusiastic and so energetic. She has such a positive presence and always encourages me to learn and to learn from my mistakes too. These weeks of classes have been incredible. I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Ecuador and have a very high opinion of the language school! It has been a very positive overall experience.'' Spanish course. Candy Wiater

 

''I really believe that the school, the teachers and the staff are excellent. I would very much like to come back again. '' Spanish course. Kurt Bollman

 

''My teacher is very good. The language institution is in a very beautiful building. The girls in administration are very helpful. I’d love to come back in the future to take more classes. Thank you to all of you!'' Spanish course. Ray Sanchez

 

''This month was honestly the best time of my life. My host family taught me so much: between cooking empanadas with my host mom Mari, discussing the immigration policy with my dad Jorge (I think he thought I was more fluent than I was), going out salsa dancing on Chivas with my host cousin or being taught Spanish curse words by my brother, I felt at home right away. The excursions were amazing, too! I'd never ziplined through the forest or milked a cow or swam in a waterfall or rode a horse or bargained at an Indigenous market before, but they were all amazingly fun! Thank you so much for giving me this fantastic experience!'' Spanish course. Suzette Wanninkhof