General Information
Political System
Teacher's Page

Ecuador's Beginning

The first inhabitants of Ecuador are estimated to have arrived in the area around 10,000 B.C. In 1460 A.D., the Incas invaded the area that is now known as Ecuador. At that time, there were already three major tribes living there: the Canari, the Quitu, and the Caras. The Inca Empire expanded to include not only modern day Ecuador, but also Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Quito, the current capital city of Ecuador, was once the capital of the Northern Inca Empire. When the Incas settled an area, they developed highways to connect their cities together; these highways were paved with stones and trees lined the sides of the roads so that weary messengers could rest in their shade. Ecuador was a part of the wealthy Incan Empire until the early 1500's when Francisco Pizarro conquered the area for Spain. Pizarro's arrival in the Inca Empire was well timed; the two brothers in control of the Empire had just entered into a civil war to gain full control. Because of the war, the Empire was weak and easily conquered by the Spanish. Because of their lust for gold, the Spanish treated the Incas harshly. After 300 years of Spanish rule, Simon Bolivar and his armies defeated the Spanish army in 1822 (Historia de Ecuador, n.d.).
To learn more about the history of Ecuador and the vast Incan Empire that once existed there, go to this website.
For a time line of Ecuador's history, click here.
There are many legends that stem from the Ancient Inca Empire. This legend tells of a vast amount of gold that was hidden, and then lost somewhere in the Andes of Ecuador.

Francisco Pizarro

Click on the picture above to learn more about the life of Fransisco Pizarro.

Inca Ruins in Ecuador

May 24, 1822 (from Spain)

Native People
Incas, Quechua

Today there are many traditions of the ancient Inca Indians that can still be found in the Ecuadorian culture. The Spanish culture has been mixed in with the Inca culture, however, and many of the people claim Roman Catholicism as their religion and Spanish as their native language.