Ecuador is located on the west coast of South America, on the equator. It is a small country of 14.7 million inhabitants. It is divided into four principal regions: coast, highlands, jungle, and the Galapagos Islands. It has a huge variety of microclimates, from glacial Andean peaks to high paramo grasslands to subtropical valleys to the hot, humid coast.
Spanish is the principal language, but Quichua, the Inca language, is still spoken by approximately one million Ecuadorians. Other native languages such as Shuar, Achuar, Cayapa, Tsachila, Waorani, Cofan and Siona-Secoya are also used.