Ecuador's geographical and ethnic diversity
has given rise to a wealth of cultures with widely
differing traditions and origins. Traces of the Inca
culture live on, the Spanish colonization brought
European traditions and the black coastal population
contributed African influences.
You don't know much about the Andean culture in Quito
before the Inca period, but the textile handicraft that
the indigenous people otavalo are known for has roots
from the Inca era. Spain's colonization of Ecuador, from
the 16th century onwards, brought with it Baroque
architecture. The African elements are mainly noticed in
dance and music.
Latest population statistics of Ecuador, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Ecuador's Andean music is played with string and
percussion instruments as well as with different types
of pan flute. With the Spaniards also came a western
music tradition to the country. A legend in more modern
popular music is Julio Jaramillo ("JJ"), who became
famous throughout Latin America. When he died in 1978
after a hard life at only 42 years old, he was followed
to the grave by several hundred thousand people. Also
well known is "Ecuador's Bob Dylan", Jaime Guevara. In
the 2010s, a lively music scene with many rock bands has
emerged mainly in Guayaquil, and at the same time a
domestic film production has begun to sprout: an example
is Iván Mora's film from 2012, Sin otoño, his
primavera (Without autumn, without ours), which
trades about young people of today's middle class.
Art is prominent in cultural life. Internationally
renowned artists are Oswaldo Guayasamín and Oswaldo
Viteri. Famous authors include Jorge Icaza, who in his
book Huasipungo has portrayed the difficult
living conditions of the indigenous people, and Enrique
Gil Gilbert who was part of the so-called Guayaquil
group with writers who portrayed life on the coast from
the 1930s onwards. Benjamín Carrión is best known for
the Ecuadorian cultural house he created in Quito, which
bears his name. Poets include Jorge Carrera Andrade and
Jorge Enrique Adoum.
Parliament approves constitutional amendments
The National Assembly votes for a total of 15 amendments to the constitution.
The opposition that requested a referendum on the changes boycotted the session.
The changes mean that the president will be able to be re-elected as many times
as possible. That change, which also applies to other political items, will not
come into force until 2021; Correa has said that he does not intend to set up
himself in 2017. Other constitutional amendments include the defense, the media
and labor law. After the vote, unrest erupts outside the parliament building,
where protesters clash with police.
Continued protests against Correa
Extensive demonstrations against the government are being held for the sixth
time during the year, organized by a loose association of non-profit
organizations and groups representing workers and indigenous peoples. The
protests include, among other things, a planned constitutional change that they
fear would allow Correa to stand for re-election.
Ecuador is ordered to pay billion in damages
An arbitration panel at the World Bank, ICSID, is said to have ordered
Ecuador to pay $ 1 billion in compensation to the US oil company Occidental, for
canceling a contract in 2006. This is a reduction compared to a ruling in 2012,
when ICSID (International Center for Mediation in investment disputes) ordered
Ecuador to pay $ 1.7 billion. Correa promises to continue to fight to further
reduce the amount.
Growing protests against Correa
The organization Conaie calls for "an uprising" against the president and
says he no longer represents the indigenous peoples. The national organization
FUT announces a general strike, which partly cripples the country.
The Pope visits Ecuador
Pope Francis comes to Quito and begins an eight-day tour of South America. It
is the first time in three decades that a pope is visiting Ecuador. Nearly one
million people attend when the pope holds a mass outdoor in Quito.
Changed inheritance tax creates concern
Large demonstrations are held several nights in a row in Quito, Guayaquil and
Cuenca - for and against Correa. The reason is the president's proposal to halve
the limit on when inheritance tax is to be paid, to the equivalent of about SEK
285,000. In their places, the protesters clash with each other. After a week of
protests, Correa temporarily withdraws the proposal, to prevent opponents from
"causing more violence".
Protests against changed labor law
Thousands of protesters around the country are protesting, among other
things, planned changes in labor law. Organizers are the national organization
FUT and the indigenous peoples' organization Conaie.