Although small in size, Ecuador is a picture of diversity. The Andes run through it north to south bringing with them a spectacular variety of climatic conditions. Ecuador’s people and culture are equally diverse, with nearly as many Indians as mestizos and nearly as many blacks as whites.The largest cities are sophisticated, while dozens of rural communities struggle for survival without the basic necessities. Presiding over this is a fragile government run by the tenth president since 1996, searching for solutions to the
country’s economic problems — large and small.