Ecuador might not have gained a lot of international attention for its inventions and products, however, its people have made a difference throughout the world. Here are 11 awesome things you didn’t realize Ecuador gave the world.
What, you thought the Panama hat actually came from Panama? Well, you’re not too far off. Ecuadorian hatmaker Manuel Alfaro first made the hat in his homeland before moving on to Panama, where he made a fortune off the design. In 1904, US President Theodore Roosevelt was photographed in Panama wearing the hat, forever branding it (with the wrong country).
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Theory of Evolution
If not for Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands, his groundbreaking theory that species adapt to their environment to be able to survive may never have developed. His observation of Galapagos’ tortoises and finches were key in his famous thesis, The Origin of Species.
Ecuavoley (similar to volleyball) was invented in Ecuadorian neighborhoods sometime in the early 20th century, and boomed in popularity in the 1950s, and is played today in countries like Colombia, Spain, and the United States.
Collapsible hammock stands
Ecuadorian inventor Graciela V.O. de Cuadros was granted US patents (in 1980 and 1991) for her collapsible hammock support, a design that has spread all over the world to make chilling anywhere that much easier. Not everyone two conveniently planted trees in their garden.
Cacao (and Pacari)
While cacao, the crop behind chocolate, is found in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, some studies show that cacao trees originated in the high Amazon and have been used by people in the area for more than 5,000 years! Notably, Ecuador produces 63% of the world’s fine arriba cacao flavor, famous for its and purity and use in manufacturing chocolate. Multiple International Chocolate Award-winning Pacari chocolate (meaning “nature” in Quechua) is 100% organic, Fair Trade, and kosher, as well as the first chocolate manufacturer to receive biodynamic certification.
In order to keep its readers during Ecuador’s rainy season, street newspaper EXTRA started printing issues with a plastic, waterproof front page, which could then be used as a shield against the rain. Needless to say, using a newspaper as an umbrella meant that EXTRA sales skyrocketed.
Invented by Ecuadorians Álex Aldás, Diego Aguinsaca, Carlos Canacuán, and Fabricio, HandEyes is an electronic aid for blind people that prevents accidents and stumbles. Using a sensor to determine the distance of nearby objects, the device vibrates or sounds to warn the user of their surroundings.
After 10 years of research and study, Ecuadorian Fabian Ayala Córdova invented the FAYAC Sphere, a three-dimensional puzzle constructed on Fibonacci’s, Facioli’s, Kepler’s, and da Vinci’s mathematical theories. The award-winning was also used in the 2011 movie I Am Julia.
Hand of Hope
Invented by robotics students Verónica Barros and Cristian Ramírez at the Technical University of Loja, Hand of Hope is a robotic prosthetic that mimics arm movement with six different positions and grips. Barros and Ramírez collaborated with artist Gabriela Punín, who developed a synthetic skin to emulate a real arm.
Formulated by indigenous organizations living alternatively, buen vivir (meaning “good living” in English) is an ecological lifestyle promoting peace and harmony with nature instead of a need for economic growth, and the principle has inspired environmentalist movements around the world.
Worldwide attention to domestic violence
Ecuadorian woman Lorena Bobbitt became world famous after a 1993 incident in which she cut off her husband’s penis; in the trial, she justified her actions as a result of his abusive behavior. Bobbitt’s case brought worldwide attention to domestic violence, creating a new feminist movement.
They may not have originated in Ecuador, but orchids, roses, and bananas certainly have strong ties to the country. With over 4,000 species of orchids endemic to Ecuador alone (out of 30,000 worldwide), it’s no wonder it’s called the country of orchids. Similarly, Ecuador’s climate is great for growing roses, so the 60+ different species growing here are exported all over the world. Finally, Ecuador is top producer of bananas, exporting more than 4 million tons annually.
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