South & Latin America » Ecuador
Gay Guide Ecuador
Up until 1997 homosexuality was considered a prosecutable offence in Ecuador. Nowadays the constitution sanctions non-discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, according to Ecuador's constitution § 2, Article 23, Number 3. Nevertheless, the mentality of Ecuadorian society remains very catholic-conservative. Gay men and lesbians are not evident in everyday society, since homosexuality is still considered "perverse and insane". At the end of August, 2007 the Secretary of Defense, Lorena Escudero, announced that the applicable constitutional articles regarding the prohibition of sexual discrimination in military were to be introduced. With this new law it is forbidden to dismiss soldiers from the army because of homosexual acts. At present many groups are taking on different measures in order to obtain recognition and tolerance for the GLBT community rights. The small and somewhat secluded gay scene in Ecuador is friendly and amusing, a mixture of different cultures like the country itself. Tourists will find a vast diversity of climates and landscapes in Ecuador: jungle, snowy mountains, beaches, forests, old towns and modern cities. The capital city, Quito, was the first city in the world to be declared cultural heritage of the humanity by UNESCO. Since then Cuenca has been also declared a city of cultural heritage and is worth a visit. Loja is particular interesting for the ecological tourist and of course the Galápo Islands, also declared a natural heritage area.
Cities in Ecuador
Location: Northwestern South America
International country code: 593 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: Spanish, Quechua
Area: 256,370 km² / 98,985 sq mi.
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).