Pre-Hispanic Era, Discovery and Conquest, Spanish Colonial Era, Society, Economy, Government, Politics More
History of Ecuador. Throughout its history, Ecuador has displayed a continuity in traditional cultural and economic patterns as well as in social and political interaction among the country's highly heterogeneous social groupings. Modern patterns overlay the traditional, making present-day Ecuador a veritable living museum of its varied, rich heritage. Pre-Columbian Ecuador is reflected in the persistence of native languages, customs, and economic activities among a considerable, though diminishing, number of communities in the Sierra (Andean highlands) and the Oriente (eastern region). The legacy of three centuries of Spanish colonial rule is also pervasive and includes a social inequality that largely coincides with race, rural land tenure patterns, and the nation's dominant European cultural expressions.