Thursday, March 10, 2011

This and That, a few things about Ecuador

The Virgin of Quito

The flag of Ecuador.

Here is a map so you can see some of the places we visit.

I thought you might be interested in a few things we are learning about Ecuador.

1. The Incas called Quito, the capitol of Ecuador, the naval of the world. They were not to far off. Quito is about 25 Km from the equator and is surrounded by mountains (which makes it look like a belly button). It was going to be the northern capitol of the Inca Empire but the Spanish came before it was completed. Royal Chambers were being built by the Inca called Quitos; this is where the city got its name.

2. Quichua (key-chu-wha) was the official Inca language and is still spoken by many in Ecuador.

3. The Inca had 3 moral codes or commandments: ama sua, ama llulla, and ama chella Do Not Steal, Do Not Lie, Do Not be Lazy.

4. Quito is the second highest National Capitol in the world. Can you figure out which capitol is higher?

5. Ecuador is the most mega-diverse country in the world. In relation to its surface, Ecuador holds the greatest amount of species of plants and animals on the planet.

6. Ecuador is the largest producer of bananas in the world. The second largest shrimp producer in the world, and the second largest producer of roses in Latin America.

7. Ecuador is the only site on the planet where the equator crosses over highlands. Did you know you weigh less on the equator?

8. The statue of the Virgin of Quito, El Panecillo Mirador, is the 3rd most visited statue in the world after the Statue of Liberty and the Corcovado in Brazil (I find this hard to believe after seeing the Buddha’s in Japan but that is what it said on the internet). It is made of over 7,000 pieces of aluminum and is the only statue in the world of the Virgin Mary to have wings. She is considered an apocalypse statue as she is standing on a dragon referring to the Book of Revelations.

9. The Inca believed that gold was the sweat of the Sun, and that silver was the tears of the moon.

10. The flag of Ecuador has three colors. Red represents the blood shed by soldiers and martyrs in battles for freedom. The blue represents the sky and the sea. The yellow, which is double the width of the other 2 colors, represents the abundance and fertility of the nation´s crops and land. It was adopted on September 26, 1860, making it one of the oldest flags in the world. It is very similar to the flags of Colombia and Venezuela; see if you can find out why. In the center of the flag is Ecuador´s coat-of-arms. The bird is the Andean Condor and this bird is also in the coat-of-arms of Bolivia, Chile and Columbia. See if you can find out what the other pictures in the coat-of-arms represent. For example the mountain is Chimborazo the highest volcano in Ecuador. When you are on the top of this mountain you are the closest to the sun you can get on earth.

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