It was impossible not to notice it. The colorful Ecuador Pavilion, decorated with 40,000 shining chains that recall the traditional fabrics of the Andean craftswomen, immediately conveyed a sense of joy, the same kind of joy communicated by the Ecuadorian philosophy of “Buen Vivir” or “Sumak Kawsay” (in the Quechua language). Inside, on the first floor, an immersive museum layout enabled visitors to discover the South American Country’s unique landscapes and products. The visit began on the ground floor: one wall displayed examples of the various types of food products cultivated in the Country which, thanks to the particularly favorable climate enjoyed by Ecuador, were available at different altitudes all year round: wheat, coffee, cocoa, bananas, broccoli, strawberries. Gradually reaching the more extreme altitudes, we came across apples, corn, potatoes and typical crops of the South American territory, such as the uchuva (also known as the Peruvian ground cherry).
The coastal region, the Galapagos, the Andes and the Amazon. Four regions with incredible biodiversity
There were five videos present on the first floor and these illustrated in great detail the four geographic and climatic regions into which the Country is divided. The coastal region, characterized by its tropical climate, is famous for its banana production (for which Ecuador is the top exporter in Europe), its shrimp (the country is the top exporter in the world) and tuna fishing (where Ecuador is the top exporter to Europe). The famous archipelago of the Galapagos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1976, is the location that makes the Country one of the most beautiful in the world. It is easy to see why: no less than 24 species of animals found nowhere else in the world make their home on these 13 islands with volcanic origins, including sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and the blue-footed boobie bird, a unique species from the Galapagos islands, which was chosen as the mascot of the Pavilion.
The 2008 Constitution ensures that the rights of nature are protected
The Andean areas are characterized by a colder climate but also by a very fertile soil where various species of fruit, legumes and vegetables are grown. One of the most famous crops is undoubtedly the Ecuadorian rose, distinguished by the height of its stem and the intensity of its scent which makes it unique in the world. The eastern part of the Country is covered by the Amazon forest, the Planet’s lung, characterized by its humid climate and the cultivation of an extremely high quality of cocoa that is exported all over the world. No less than 18 indigenous communities live here, 14 of which speak their own specific language. The importance that Ecuador attributes to protecting nature can be seen if we consider that the Country was the first in the world to include the rights of the environment in its Constitution in 2008. The fifth and last video summed up for visitors the magnificent treasures present in the Country and its technological innovations.
Ecuadorian hand-made products on the ground floor
The visit to the Pavilion ended on the ground floor, with an area dedicated to restaurants and shopping. In the store, visitors could buy the best hand-made Ecuadorian products, including the famous straw hat commonly known as a “Panama” or “Montecristi hat”, made with a complex weaving technique which has even been added to the World Heritage list, while in the restaurant, which was managed by a social cooperative of Ecuadorian women, visitors could taste several of the Country’s typical specialties, including shrimp ceviche, empanadas and delicious quinoa and cheese patties.