South & Latin America » Ecuador
Gay Guide Ecuador
Homosexuality was considered in Ecuador a criminal offence until 1997. Article 23(3) of the Second Constitution now calls for tolerance for people of any sexual orientation. Nevertheless, the mentality of Ecuador's citizens remains strictly Catholic conservative. In everyday life gays and lesbians shy away from their outing, since homosexuality is still regarded as "perverse and sick". Homosexual partnerships are legally recognised since 2008, and six years later the rights of these partnerships were extended. But there is still a lot of work to be done: various associations are taking a variety of steps at present to achieve recognition and tolerance for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. At the end of August 2007, the Minister of Defence, Lorena Escudero, announced that the constitutional article prohibiting sexual discrimination would be incorporated into the regulations of the Ecuadorian military. This prohibits the dismissal of soldiers from military service for homosexual acts. There is an LGBT scene in the capital Quito. The scene in Ecuador is small, friendly, humorous and like the country itself made up of different cultures. Tourists find a great variety of climates and landscapes: There is tropical vegetation, snowy mountains, beaches, forests, old and modern cities. The old town of the capital Quito was the first to be declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, even before Cuenca and the Galapagos Islands. A visit to Lojas is especially worthwhile for the eco-loving tourist.
Cities in Ecuador
Location: Northwestern South America
International country code: 593 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: Spanish, Quechua
Currency: 1 US$ = 100 Cents
Religions: 85% Roman Catholic
Climate: Tropical climate along the coast that becomes cooler inland. The best time for the Galápagos Islands is from Jan-Apr (ideal time for snorkeling).