Ecuador History Timeline

Ecuador is a country in the northwestern part of South America. Ecuador is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and borders Colombia to the north and Peru to the south. Ecuador is named after the equator that runs through the country.

The capital is called Quito. However, it is not the largest city in the country, but Guayaquil with 2.1 million residents. The remaining largest cities are: Cuenca, Santa Domingo de los Colorados, Machala, Manta, Portoviejo, Duran, Ambato, Riobamba.

The oldest settlements in the country have been found near Quito and are estimated to be approx. 10,000 years old. On the coast, traces of cultural activity have been found with specialized production and division of labor, which is approx. 5,500 years old.

According to aristmarketing, Ecuador can be divided into three natural regions: the coast, the highlands and the Amazon region. More than half of the population lives in the coastal area, where economic life is dominated by the production of the export crops of bananas, cocoa, rice and coffee. The highlands lie between the two ridges that form part of the Andes mountain range and are characterized by subsistence agriculture.

Ecuador has the highest active volcano in the world. This is called Cotopaxi and is 5,900 m. It was last erupted in the spring of 2006. The highest point in the country is the volcano Chimborazo with 6,267 meters. For many years it was thought that the volcano was the highest mountain in the world, but is in fact unofficially the highest mountain in the world.

There are 9 national parks in Ecuador, where the Galapagos Islands count as one.

Ecuador is considered part of the Inca Empire, as this was the largest, but only the Sierra region was fully integrated, and there were constant new uprisings until the Spanish invasion.


6000 BCE – Researchers reported in 2007 that evidence for the use of chili peppers can be dated back to this time in Ecuador.

1455 – The brutal conquest of Ecuador by the Incas begins and lasts for about 50 years. The Cañari people were the strongest opponents of the Incas.

1531 – Francisco Pizarro lands on the Ecuadorian coast on his way to Peru, where he defeats the Incas.

1534 – After Spanish conquistadors conquer the southern part of the Inca Empire, they embark on a conquest of Ecuador with the assistance of cañari forces, and Quito falls. The area then came under the Viceroyalty of Peru.

1535 – The Galapagos Islands are discovered by chance by Bishop Tomas de Berlanga.

17th century – The country’s economy experienced prosperity by using the natives as labor in the textile industry.

1802 – German explorer Alexander von Humboldt decides to climb Mount Chimborazo while traveling in the area. He and his expedition reached 5,878 meters but then had to turn around as they faced “an insurmountable gap,” as he wrote in his diary entries. The real reason why he had to give up his venture, however, was apparently altitude sickness.

1809 – Ecuadorian middle class begins to push for independence.

1810 – The King of Spain overthrows Napoleon.

1822 – Ecuador is liberated from Spain. It then entered the Federation of Greater Colombia, but this lasted only until 1830. Thereafter, Ecuador became independent. The Battle of Pichincha took place on the slopes up to the Pichincha Volcano, 3,500 meters above sea level, right next to the city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador now.

1941 – Peru occupies large parts of the Oriente area, forcing Ecuador to cede 137,000 km 2 of additional land for peace. A final peace agreement was not reached until 1998.

1945 – Peru, Paraguay, Chile, and Ecuador join the United Nations.

1948 – The growth of the banana trade brings prosperity to the country.

1952 – A US military aid pact is signed.

1959 – About 97% of the Galapagos Islands are turned into national parks.

1963 – Ecuador under military rule.

1967 – New constitution promulgated.

1968 – Former President Jose Maria Velasco is elected president for the fifth time, and two years later, assumes dictatorial power in response to declining support.

1970 – Oil exports become a major economic factor.

1972 – Oil production begins and Ecuador proves to be a significant oil producer; General Guillermo Rodriguez Lara becomes president after overthrowing Velasco. The Ecuadorian military removed him from power in 1976.

1979 – A new constitution restores democracy.

1981 – Border conflict with Peru flares up. It ends with international arbitration.

1982 – A deterioration of the economy due to falling oil prices leads to strikes, demonstrations and a state of emergency.

1987 – President Leon Febres Cordero is kidnapped and beaten for 11 hours by the army in protest of political privatization and cuts in public spending. Cordero died in 2008 of lung cancer, aged 77. He got a statesman funeral.

1992 – Indigenous peoples are entitled to 2.5 million barrels in the Amazon ( Amazon rainforest ).

1995 – New war with Peru over the border conflict in 1941. It ended in 1999.

Vice President Alberto Dahik Garzoni is fleeing and seeking political asylum in Costa Rica, to escape allegations of corruption against him. In 2011, he returned to Ecuador again and the following year, he was acquitted of the charges against him.

1999 – Financial crisis in the country; US dollar became official currency.

2001 – Luis Maldonado is sworn in as Minister of Social Welfare, and is the first Native American to be elected to a cabinet post.

In January, Ecuador declares a state of emergency in the Galapagos Islands after an oil spill from a stranded tanker threatens the islands’ fragile ecological balance. The potential danger is avoided at the last minute.

2002 – Indigenous people in the country protest against oil production; Lucio Gutierrez became president.

2003 – One of the largest police actions in the fight against drug smuggling, resulted in a finding of 3 tons of cocaine that had been smuggled from the Colombian border to this port city, approx. 274 km southeast of Quito.

2004 – Colombia, Ecuador and Peru enter into free trade negotiations with the United States.

2005 – New Supreme Court sworn in.

2006 – Nationwide protest against free trade agreement with US ; Rafael Correa won the presidential election.

2007 – President Correa decides not to renew the 1993 bilateral investment agreement with the United States.

2009 – President Correa wins second term; The government refused to allow the United States to extend the use of air bases for drug surveillance.

2014 – On May 9, Ecuador declares an environmental emergency in the Galapagos Islands after a cargo ship with pollutants runs aground off San Cristobal.

Ecuador History Timeline

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