Posted by John Ester on Apr 10, 2018
Today Sunrise Rotarian Roger Perry gave us a guided tour of Ecuador.
There are four regions in Ecuador: The Galapagos Islands, the Coastal Plain, the Andes and the Amazon Basin.  Roger and Heather spent time in each.
They began in a tributary of the Amazon, where they saw everything from families in motorized dugouts to oil tankers to boats resembling the African Queen. They stayed in one of a number of eco-lodges in the area. At a community center they were entertained by school kids singing and dancing.
Ecuador has two chains of mountains that are 50-60 miles apart. There are 22 active volcanoes in the mountains, including one over 21,000 feet in height. In the plunging valleys between the mountains farming is conducted.
Guayaquil in the Coastal Plain is the banking and commercial center of the country. Ecuador's exports include oil, bananas and roses. The country's economy has stabilized since 2001, when Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its currency. Ecuador is the first country to enact enforceable "Rights of Nature" ecosystem rights, and some groups have banned oil extraction on their large Amazon basin reservations and have turned to ecotourism.
Quito at 9,300 feet is the country's capital. It has a population of 3 million and has hot houses everywhere. Cuenca is a city of 800,000 and is known for its grand colonial architecture.
The Galapagos Islands are on the equator, 600 miles west of Ecuador. Despite its arid climate it is a huge tourist attraction, with the country limiting the number and size of boats that visit. The country is equally strict about immigration. The accommodations in the area could not be described as spartan.