The Panama hat is of Ecuadorean origin, and is known there as "Sombrero de paja toquilla", or a Jipijapa. It is made principally in Montecristi (Pile, Pampas, Cruces) in the Province of Manabi. Its manufacture (particularly that of the Montecristi superfino) is considered a great craft.
Ecuador's history exists from c. 3500 B.C. Many civilizations rose throughout Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus (near present day Quito) and the Cañari (in present day Cuenca).
Today Ecuador has an array of vibrant indigenous cultures, well-preserved colonial architecture, otherworldly volcanic landscapes, dense rainforest and sublime islands - all in a nation no bigger than the US state of Nevada.
Notable people born in Ecuador include painters Tábara, Guayasamín, Kingman, Rendón, Arauz, Constanté, Viteri, Molinari, Maldonado, Gutierrez, Endara Crow, Villacís, Egas, Villafuerte and Faini; animator Mike Judge; poet and statesman José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri, scholar Benjamín Urrutia, and tennis player Pancho Segura.
The most popular sport in Ecuador, as in most South American countries, is soccer (football). Its best known professional teams include Barcelona S.C. and C.S. Emelec, from Guayaquil, Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, Deportivo Quito and El Nacional (the Ecuadorian Armed Forces team) from Quito, Olmedo from Riobamba, and Deportivo Cuenca, from Cuenca.
The food in Ecuador is diverse, varying with altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, beef, and “cuy” (guinea pig) are popular in the mountain regions and are served with a variety of grains (especially rice and corn) or potatoes. A popular street food in mountain regions of Ecuador consists of potatoes served with roasted pig (hornado). Fanesca, a fish soup including several types of bean, is often eaten during Lent and Easter. During the week before the conmemoration of the deceased or "día de los muertos", the fruit beverage "Colada Morada", is typical accompanied by "Guaguas de Pan", stuffed bread shaped like children.
Ecuador's art is unigue. There are many contemporary Ecuadorean writers, such as the novelist Jorge Enrique. Ecuador has produced many world renowned master painters including: Oswaldo Guayasamín.