Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) west of the mainland. The capital is Quito.
The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador’s ethnically diverse population, with most of its 17.1 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Native American, and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by most of the population, though 13 Native languages are also recognized, including Quechua and Shuar.
One of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.
Ecuadorian represents 150 individuals born and living in Ecuador who were sampled in 2002 by the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics in Quito.
Source publication: Population Data of Ecuador for Fifteen STR Loci Using the PowerPlex™16 method, Journal of Forensic Science, January 2002