Ecuadorians like spicy food
Hand on heart: not a week goes by without a new experience that makes me think “You can't be serious”. While I've got used to driving a car here (the horn and the gas pedal are the most important things!), I've learned to love the quirks of eating (who eats popcorn and chips without soup?) And I don't have a staring attack when one Even though the woman has tied four small children around her body and carries a basket on her head, I still have to laugh sometimes. And I really wonder how my roommates would react if they came to Germany. Where cars stop at the zebra crossing. Where you get flashed if you drive too fast. Where no music is playing on public transport.
There are a few interesting facts about the country and funny insights into my everyday life here.
Extra with lots of pictures so that my sister doesn't close the window straight away because she only sees text! 🙂
- Ecuador is only one of two South American countries that do not border Brazil (the other country is Chile).
- The inactive Chimborazo volcano is the highest mountain in the world, measured from the center of the earth.
- Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world (and is just 50 km from the capital Quito). source
- Ecuador is the country with the greatest biodiversity per square kilometer - in the world.
- At 2,850 meters above sea level, Quito is the highest official capital in the world.
- Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has its roots in the Galapog trip he undertook in 1835.source
- The Panama hat comes from Ecuador!
- It is the largest banana exporting country.
- There is compulsory voting for residents between 18-65 years of age. Those who do not vote pay large sums of money in penalties. source
- Ecuador was the first country in 2008 to give nature constitutional rights.
- Since 2000, the official currency in Ecuador has been the US dollar.
- Ecuador was the first country to abolish the death penalty in 1906. source
- 40% of the population do not have a bank account.source
- Water usually boils at 100 degrees. In Quito it boils at 90 degrees, which can be attributed to the height of the city.
- Homosexuality has been unpunished since 1997. Same-sex partnerships have only been legally recognized since 2008.
- Ecuador has the highest diversity of hummingbirds, 131 different species.
- Half of the country is made up of rainforest and is home to 10% of the world's various plant species.
- The greatest dangers in Ecuador come from Mother Nature: it is one of the most earthquake-prone countries and is home to 73 volcanoes, 18 of which are active. The active volcano Tungurahua, which only spat a bit of fire last year, can be clearly seen from my roof terrace and is about 25 km away.
- There is no copyright in Ecuador. That explains why everyone here is dressed in four-stripe Adidas pants.
What else is so different here:
- There is no time change here and sunrise and sunset are always at the same time: in the morning at 6 a.m. and in the evening at 6 p.m. Furthermore there are neither annual nor rainy seasons.
- Three quarters of the population in Ecuador are Roman Catholics. This is evident in their entire lives: there are large writings on the cars with verses from the Bible, the weekend is in the name of the service and in general religion always influences the lives of young and old people. I got big plus points as a former acolyte.
- More than 40% of the total population in the country lives in Quito and Guayaquil.
- The remaining quarter of non-Catholics have a significant number of cultists.
- Football is big here. Every Ecuadorian knows at least one German soccer player by name and when the Ecuadorian soccer team plays, the lessons or lectures are canceled, some shops are closed and you can hear the tension almost everywhere. Commentators on the radio are freaking out.
- Although Ecuador takes up more than half of the area of Germany, only about a sixth of Germany's population lives there.
- Bus stops are everywhere: if you stand on the side of the road and wave, pretty much every bus stops and you can get on. Accordingly, most journeys are delayed because you are still collecting people everywhere along the way. Incidentally, payment is made during the journey.
- Humpback whales like to swim towards Ecucador between July and October to give birth to their offspring. Accordingly, many tours are made during this period to see the large animals. Unfortunately I missed that.
- $ 50 bills are rare here and pretty much never accepted. A goods value of less than $ 10 cannot be paid for even with $ 20. Therefore: always carry a lot of change with you.
- Of course, Ecuadorians love spicy food. What also goes with it: limes. To all!
- Here it is quite normal for the family doctor to call regularly and ask if everything is okay.
- In addition to bananas, the highest export goods also include oil, sugar, shrimp, cotton and coffee.
- The horns for everything on the streets: when turning, driving through the red light, giving way, complimenting, complaining.
- Ecuador is one of the largest cocoa exporters and the best chocolate comes from here. Still, the bar of chocolate usually costs over $ 5. Although the cocoa comes from here, there are no processing factories here and so it is first shipped abroad to be produced and then comes back again.
- The weather is unpredictable. So even the locals don't know what the weather will be like and usually prepare for the worst: umbrella and scarf are usually in their pockets. There are temperature fluctuations of up to 25 degrees a day!
- The Happy Planet Index, which rates countries around the world according to their state of happiness, nominated Ecuador 10th out of 140! By the way, Germany ranks 49th. For your information: The three happiest countries are Costa Rica (no wonder!), Mexico and Colombia.
- It is one of the countries with the highest lottery game rate.
- The national specialty Ecuador is guinea pigs and is called "Cuy" - after the sound that guinea pigs make.
- Smoking is very rare here. For one thing, there are strict laws. For example, you are sometimes not allowed to smoke even on pedestrian paths. Furthermore, cigarettes are very expensive here (the box costs about $ 5).
- Alcoholism is a big issue here. 30% of traffic accidents can be traced back to alcohol consumption. 7% of the population over the age of 15 are alcoholic.
- 90% of the people here have a dog. What is absolutely not typical: Go for a walk (NEVER seen it!). The dogs only have a watch function and take care of the house. Sad side effect: there are an unbelievable number of street dogs and that really everywhere!
- Beer is usually not drunk normally here, but geexted and drunk like shots in one go. Accordingly, it is served in cups and small sips.
- While it is hardly possible to come to Ecuador without knowing Spanish, English has been learned here since primary school. With the effect that pretty much nobody speaks the language. Even small talk in English is not possible in Ecuador.
- Prices are generally quoted without tax. So you have to add 10% in restaurants and the prices are advertised separately in supermarkets.
- There are no second hand shops in Ecuador. There is no real explanation for this either.
- In the shopping center in Ambato there is an ice room with artificial snow where you can borrow winter jackets and sit in the freezing cold for $ 5 entry.
- The average population density is 50 people per km², making Ecuador the highest population density in South America.
- Wine is almost unaffordable here: the Tetrapack costs $ 9, the average price is $ 35 per liter.
What I also encounter every day is poverty. Fellow students who travel several hours by bus and walk to attend university, small children working in the city center, crime and homeless people on the street. It's cruel and it makes me think when I think about my very privileged life.
A few years ago, Ecuador was an emerging country. However, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union changed this assessment again and therefore Ecuador is viewed as a developing country.
- In Ecuador, 15% of the population live on less than a dollar a day. Because:
- In terms of GDP, Ecuador is the second poorest country in South America. Around 10 million people live here in poverty, which is around 79% of the population.
- In Ecuador, 15% of the population live on less than a dollar a day.
- Child labor is visible and widespread. In Ambato, for example, it is toddlers, estimated at primary school age, who shine their shoes. 1.5 million children work (that is almost 40% of all children).
- The average age in Ecuador is 23 years (for comparison: in Germany it is 42 years)
- Corruption is also an issue. The organization Transparency International ranked Ecuador 107th out of 167. I didn't notice it myself, but rumors say that above all police checks and university notes are for sale.
- The minimum pension in Ecuador is $ 177 / month.
- The official illiteracy rate is 11% of all residents over the age of 15 (aid organizations assume a considerably higher number).
- One of the reasons for this is that rural regions in particular do not have the opportunity to go to school, as the children have to help with work or educational institutions are too far away.
- The killing rate (number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants) is 12.4 with 1,924 murders per year. In comparison: Germany has a rate of 0.8 and 662 murders. Both for 2012. Incidentally, the number of homicides fell in Ecuador. What rose, however, was the number of feminicides, which rose from 8.5% to 12% in the same year.
A final comparison. Would you live in Ecuador ...
- 20.75% are more likely to have a job.
(The unemployment rate is 4.20% in Ecuador and 5.30% in Germany)
- there are six times as many cases of HIV / AIDS
(Still the rate is low: 0.6% of adults in Ecuador live with HIV / AIDS. In Germany it is 0.10%).
- the birth rate is 2.2 times higher
(The birth rate for 100,000 people is 18.87 in Ecuador and 8.42 in Germany)
- 39.53% less oil is consumed
(While Ecuador consumes 0.7518 galions of oil a day, Germany consumes 1.2432.)
- is killed 17.7 times more
(12.40 out of 100,000 people are killed in Ecuador. In Germany the number is 0.70)
- 5.2 times more children under one year die.
(The number of children who die under the age of one is 17.93 per 1,000 children in one year. In Germany it is 3.46.)
- you earn 73.16% less money.
(The GDP per capita in Ecuador is 10.600 $ and in Germany 39,500 $).
- you die 4.08 years earlier.
(Life expectancy in Ecuador is 76.36 years and in Germany 80.44 years.)
- you are 2.1x more likely to be in jail.
(162 people out of 100,000 are in prison in Ecuador. 76 in Germany out of 100,000.)
- one would use 82.6% less electricity.
(The per capita consumption of electricity is 1.237 kHw in Ecuador and 7.191 kHw in Germany.)
But this comparison is also utter nonsense, since Ecuador - with 15 million inhabitants * and Germany - with 81 million inhabitants * - cannot be compared in any way.
Of course, I didn't have most of the data in my head, but researched it on the Internet. And according to the rule "Do not trust any statistics that you have not falsified yourself", I do not take any responsibility for the correctness of the data. This internet doesn't always tell the truth either.
But there should be a little something to it and there is sure to be a rough idea of the country and explain a lot.
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