Ecuador, officially the Republic of 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 kilometres (621 mi) west of the mainland. The capital and largest city is Quito. The legacy of both empires [Inca Empire and Spain] is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 17.1 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Amerindian, and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. The sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic and a developing country that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.
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