The Ecuadorian currency is the US dollar, ever since an economic reform carried out in 2000. The previous currency was called the Sucre, in homage to a Venezuelan marshal. Sucre is also the name of the future, common currency that the following countries want to adopt: Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and four Central American and Caribbean countries. These countries created and joined an economic bloc called ALBA – the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. In addition to free trade and economic interests, these countries are also hoping to boost social well-being and provide mutual support.
Colonial Center of Quito
The colonial Center of Quito was the first architectural site declared a Global Heritage Site in the 1970s. It has a lot of fantastic buildings that are from the same period (and even look like) some of the colonial cities in Brazil: Ouro Preto, Tiradentes, or Paraty.
Guayaquil, economic capital
They say that Quito is the political capital of Ecuador, but Guayaquil is the economic capital – maybe because of the port and because it has the biggest population, around 3 million people. Cuenca and Manta are also economically important to the country.
The line of the equator passes through a city to the north of Quito which is called Pichincha. A landmark was built where the imaginary line dividing the earth into two parts passes. The city that arose around it is called La Mitad del Mundo (Halfway Around the World).
A curious fact about Cuenca: This is where they produce Panama hats – “El Fino”, as they are known in Ecuador. It is a major economic activity in the city.
More on the Latin American tour next week!