Ecuador lies on South America’s western coast. It is home to diverse ethnic identities. It was a Spanish colony until the early 19th century. The country has a distinctly uneven distribution of wealth. Rural poverty in Ecuador is caused by a lack of education and employment, poor market integration and little access to land. Ecuador has population of 16.5 million in an total area of 272,045 sq km. Ecuadorians speak mostly Spanish and indigenous languages.