An Introduction To Ecuador

Ecuador is a South American country bordered by Columbia in the north, Peru in the south and east, and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Ecuador has a land area of 276,840 sq. km. Galapagos Islands also form a part of Ecuador and is famous for their wildlife. Ecuador has a coastline of about 2,237 km. This country has a republican form of government, and Quito is the capital city, located at an altitude of 2,820 meters.

Ecuador has a population of just over 13 million people (July 2005 estimate). The main ethnic groups are mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) at 65 percent and Amerindian at 25 percent of the population. Spanish and others constitute 7 percent of the population while blacks are 3 percent. At least 95 percent of the people of Ecuador are Roman Catholic. Spanish is the official language, and Amerindian languages are also spoken, especially Quechua. Ecuador has a population growth of 1.24 percent and the infant mortality rate is 23.66 deaths to1,000 live births. Ecuador has a life expectancy of 76.21 years and has a literacy rate of 92.5 percent.

Ecuador gained independence from Spain on May 24, 1822. The Independence Day is celebrated on August 10th. For administrative purposes, Ecuador is divided into 22 provinces. The country has a gross domestic product of $49.51 billion. Agriculture occupies 8.7 percent and industry occupies 30.5 percent of the GDP. The service sector occupies 60.9 percent of the GDP. Ecuador has an urban labor force of 4.53 million. The service sector accounts for 68 percent of the work force while industry accounts for 24 percent of the work force. Only 8 percent of the labor force is employed in the agricultural sector. According to 2001 estimates, 45 percent of the population of Ecuador is below the poverty line.

The main industries of Ecuador are petroleum, chemicals, food processing, textiles, timber, and the main agricultural produces include bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, tapioca, plantains, and sugarcane. Livestock includes cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, and pork. The main export commodities of Ecuador are petroleum, bananas, cut flowers and shrimp while the main import commodities include vehicles, medicinal products, telecommunications equipment, and electricity. The main export partners are the U.S., which accounts for 42.9 percent of all exports. The other main export partners are Panama 14.3 percent, Peru 7.9 percent and Italy 4.6 percent. The United States is the main import partner of Ecuador. The other main import partners include Colombia, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Japan, and Mexico.

An Introduction To Commercial Real Estate Agents

Commercial real estate covers a large chunk of the real estate world. It includes office and retail properties like shopping centers, industrial properties, land and investments and hotel /resort properties. There are various agencies involved in this line of business and they aim to provide the entire range of corporate and investment services to the buyer. One important aspect is the errors and omissions insurance for agents dealing in real estate. Since this line is prone to malpractices, this insurance provides some coverage against it. The risk always exists, no matter how well you complete the job. It basically covers payment of claims for a variety of points that may come up against a real estate agent.

Low rates, easy mortgage, loans for a low down payment are some of the factors that have led the investors to believe that there will be a rapid increase in prices of real estate. It shows that housing equity is landing softly while rates are rising and this has given the economy a boost as a whole. A crash in this sector could lead investors into trouble

as they will have little or no equity.

When speaking of real estate, it goes without saying that there are a lot of related agencies at work here. There is a National Exchange Service which is used by property owners to defer taxes in such a way that the property is sold at the maximum value and the net worth is protected. Cushman and Wakefield are into investment brokerage: they represent the tenant and provide an advisory service. There is also an organization of brokerage firms for commercial real estate, privately owned, which endeavors to help clients make the best decisions regarding real estate investment opportunities. Colliers International and The Staubach Company also provide real estate services to their clients. The world’s single integrated service provider worldwide is the Jones Lang LaSalle. New America International covers every conceivable aspect of real estate and its related services.

Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum fishing boats are growing more and more popular these days because of the many advantages they have over those that are made from fiberglass or steel. Aluminum fishing boats are typically more resistant to corrosion, rot and leaks and they are more power-efficient. Aside from that, aluminum fishing boats are also stronger and are easy to fix and repair once they get damaged.

It is true that you need more bucks in purchasing an aluminum boat but it will pay off in the long run with much savings in fuel, repairs and upkeep and maintenance and towing. Aluminum fishing boats are ideal not only for fishing but also for your recreational activities. They can be used if you want to cruise with your family, whether in fresh or salt waters.

Aluminum fishing boats are good for individual fishermen because they are really easy to manage. This type of fishing boat has a high strength-to-weight ratio making it easy to carry by just one person. It is also easy to load on an ordinary vehicle and set into the water when you are ready to use it. Another factor that adds to the aluminum fishing boatx92s versatility is that it is easy to upgrade. This boat allows you to install some features that you may want.

Also, you canx92t question the durability of an aluminum fishing boat. They sport a solid construction with metal pieces welded along the boatx92s seams which prevents water from getting inside and makes joint disconnection less likely to happen. Unlike fiberglass fishing boats that usually shatter, aluminum fishing boats withstand impacts by means of deforming into dents or dings which can simply be hammered out.

An aluminum fishing boat is undoubtedly a good investment. Because it is lighter, it requires a smaller motor that require less fuel to operate. Talking about maintenance, an aluminum fishing boat just needs regular cleaning and not routine maintenance like waxing. With its many advantages, an aluminum fishing boat is truly of great value.

All Inclusive Orlando Vacations

Orlando, which is the favored destination for a growing numbers of travelers, has plenty to offer in terms of excitement and pleasure. Spending a holiday in this tourist hot spot with family and friends can be an experience worth remembering.

Many people visit Orlando to have a glimpse of the renowned Disney World, which offers plenty of amusement to both the young and the old. But in order to enjoy a vacation without bothering too much about the mundane aspects of travel like hotel bookings and arranging cars for sightseeing, vacationers would do well to go for an all-inclusive Orlando vacations.

All-inclusive Orlando vacations offer travelers the luxury of an unperturbed vacation. In general terms, it implies a single price for all the services that one would like to enjoy during the course of their holiday in Orlando.

These may entail the costs of every meal, beverages and other pleasure activities like water sports and entertainment. While opting for an all-inclusive vacation, the concerned individuals and families can be assured of several services for which a single payment is all that is required to be made.

Usually, all-inclusive services cover all meals, breakfasts and dinners, together with snacks that are offered at night, and all non-alcoholic drinks. Charges for trips to the famed Disney World and the renowned theme parks are also included.

The single cost also includes sporting activities which one prefers to indulge in. It should be also borne in mind that charges for all hotel taxes and airport transfers are included in the all-inclusive Orlando vacation.

All-inclusive Orlando vacations are ideal for tourists on a limited budget. All-inclusive Orlando vacations are also suitable for those who want to minimize the efforts required to organize a planned holiday.

All Inclusive Honeymoon Vacations

All-inclusive honeymoon packages are extremely popular with couples who wish to spend their honeymoon vacation in luxury, style, and comfort. All-inclusive honeymoon vacation packages are compact service offers made by renowned resorts from all around the world. The uniqueness of all-inclusive packages lies in the fact that a single payment is all that is needed to obtain the varied services offered by different resorts and hotels. Some of the all-inclusive honeymoon vacation packages focus on particular activities like sports, recreation, or physical well being in the form of specialized exercises.

A typical all-inclusive honeymoon vacation in Jamaica with emphasis on physical conditioning would include accommodations in an oceanfront suite overlooking the Caribbean Sea, breakfast, afternoon tea, gourmet dinners, yoga sessions in the morning and meditation at sunset each day, private transfers from the Montego Bay International Airport, kayaking, sun fish sailing, and snorkeling, a welcome gift bag, various services, and taxes.

There are many types of all-inclusive honeymoon vacation packages, and some of them include accommodations, all taxes and services, airport transfers both ways, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, all drinks including house wine (but not bottled wines and champagne), welcome cocktails, tours to places of interest, drinks package in room fridge, use of tennis courts and equipment, bottle of French champagne and a Swedish massage.

A typical Mexico all-inclusive package intended for honeymoon couples includes luxurious accommodation in a spacious room with a private balcony (three night minimum stay required), welcome cocktail, a daily breakfast buffet, and one round of golf per adult.

All-inclusive honeymoon vacation packages have gained widespread popularity among honeymoon couples, and are suitable for those who do not have the time to organize and plan their vacation to dream destinations around the globe.

All Inclusive Family Vacations

A family vacation is one of the things that most families look forward to after a long strenuous workweek or a hectic school year. For some families, planning a vacation like this is a daunting task. But for those who take their time to do their research, this is not a difficult task at all since there are lots of all-inclusive family vacations that are offered by different travel agencies.

Advantages of All-Inclusive Family Vacations

All-inclusive family vacations are not just fun ways to spend a holiday with your family. These are also more convenient ways since you will not have to worry about the different concerns of your vacation anymore. Schedules, planning, transportation, food, accommodations, and all other travel costs are already included in these packages so what you do is pay once and enjoy the rest. These, therefore, save you more time and effort when planning your vacation because everything is already taken care of in the package.

Popular All-Inclusive Family Vacation Destinations

Before you visit the travel agency, you and your family should have already come up with your list of popular all-inclusive family vacation destinations. Your list can include Hawaii, Florida, California, Colorado, Mexico, Caribbean and Alaska. These destinations offer you different activities and places that you will sure love to explore.

But since these family vacation destinations offer different programs and activities, you have to come up with a choice that will please all family members. If all of you love skiing, you can always go for all-inclusive outdoor family vacations like a Rocky Mountain ski vacation.

All-inclusive family vacations are indeed great ways to spend a quality time with your family and at the same time enjoy and explore different places and activities without so much hassle in planning. These cover most of your basic vacation needs, from departure to return, so these allow you to budget in advance and enjoy peace of mind during your vacation.

All Inclusive Beach Vacations

If you are looking for an all inclusive beach vacation, the best spots to look into to are Mexico and the Caribbean. These locations are popular for families because they offer fabulous beaches and water sports, lots of swimming pools, adult and kid’s programs, meals and drinks, babysitting services and activities for adults.

Although most all inclusive beach vacations can be costly, there are ways to save money. If you have a computer, you can look for special all-inclusive deals including special savings during the summer, and some places charge very low rates for children. In some places, kids stay for free. Sites that are popular for advertising all-inclusive vacations include,, and

All inclusive beach vacations include travel, and resort hotel accommodations. Most hotels include entertainment, activities and dining for all family members. If you do have children, hotels usually offer activities for them as well including children’s clubs and activities for all ages from infants to teenagers. Some even offer daycare and babysitting. All inclusive beach vacation packages also offer a safety factor because for the most part families are in an enclosed environment in countries where crime rates and the social conditions are less than perfect. The environment provided allows older kids to meet new friends and take part in activities on their own.

Another location to consider that has reasonably priced all inclusive beach packages is the Dominican Republic resorts. On the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic Punta Cana have several beautiful beaches and resorts that are great for families. Puerto Plata is another popular spot with well-known resorts and fantastic beaches. The capital of Santo Domingo located on the south coast is the home of the exclusive Casa de Campo resort.

Tourists are drawn to the Dominican Republic because it is very inexpensive for families, but there are some drawbacks including water supplies and food preparation. Don’t drink any tap water and be wary of any raw fruits and vegetables.


Alcatraz is an old prison, which was used as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, a total of 29 years. It is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California and when it was opened to the public from 1972, it has become a very famous historic and tourist site. The National Park Service, as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, now maintains the abandoned prison.

Alcatraz Island was also the first long-term Army prison. During the 1800s, Civil War and Spanish American War Prisoners were the first inmates to arrive on the Island. Later on, due to its isolated location and the freezing San Francisco Bay waters, the authorities considered Alcatraz as an ideal place for holding dangerous prisoners.

Initially, Alcatraz was just another Federal institution but the prison started gaining fame after it began housing notorious criminals like George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Robert Franklin Stroud, Alvin Karpis, Henry Young and Al Capone. Criminals who could not be controlled by other Federal institutions were also incarcerated here.

The average number of inmates in Alcazar was around 260 and approximately 1545 total men imprisoned here during the 29 years of its operation. There were escape attempts but there is no official record if any of them had been successful. A few prisoners disappeared but were all presumed drowned in the San Francisco Bay waters.

After the prison was closed down in 1963, some Native Indians from 1969 to 1971 occupied it. Alcatraz is now a National Historic Landmark, opened to tours. Visitors to this place can also explore the oldest lighthouse in the west coast, remnants of early military fortifications and natural features such as rock pools.

Alcatraz Souvenirs

A souvenir is a product or an item bought from a particular place to serve as a reminder of that place. It helps relive the experience of the visit to the place. The Alcatraz prison off the coast of San-Francisco is one of America’s major tourist destinations. One can commemorate the experience of going there by buying souvenirs, either from the prison or from the various other places in the city.

Inside the prison complex, there are many shops that sell souvenirs to the visiting public. Ranging from key-rings to coffee mugs, a lot of different products are sold. One of the most popular souvenirs is the striped t-shirt. However, this seems to be a bit ironical, as the inmates of the island prison never wore striped clothes. Picture post cards and miniature models of the prison are also preferred by visiting tourists.

After a tour of the prison, when the visitors reach the gift shops, they usually intend to buy replicas or reminders of the highlights that they were most moved by. A pair of fake handcuffs or a book about the history of the island is some of the most popular souvenir items.

These souvenirs not only serve as a remembrance but can also be used to give as gifts. The different books available narrate the island’s history, and they serve as ideal gifts for history students. The picture postcards, on the other hand, are an interesting way of letting your near ones share your experiences. The fake handcuffs and guns are a special favorite among kids, who love to fancy themselves as guards and convicts after the tour.

With prices ranging from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars, the souvenir shops at Alcatraz have something to suit everyone’s pocket. Almost every tourist wishes to take a part of history back home. This is the main force behind the sale of these souvenirs.

Alcatraz Lighthouse

Alcatraz islands off the cost of San-Francisco have only two lighthouses. The foundation of the first was laid in 1852, and the entire structure became operational in 1854.

The first lighthouse was a two storey structure with a tower at the center. The fifty-foot structure was black and white and used a fixed third order lens. The need for this lighthouse can be attributed to the 1849 gold rush, which made west coast lighthouses a priority. By 1856, it was found that the San-Francisco fog often rendered the lighthouse ineffective. This led to the installation of a fog-bell. The bell was first rung by hand and later, thanks to a clockwork mechanism, the bell would ring automatically at prescribed intervals. Due to the growth of the city, a flashing fourth order lens had to be installed later, to help mariners distinguish the lighthouse from the city lights. This lighthouse was badly damaged in the 1906 San-Francisco earthquake, which cracked the lighthouse tower and toppled one of its chimneys.

The military prison on the island rendered the old lighthouse ineffective and by 1909, work started on a new lighthouse. With an eighty four feet tall tower and fog sirens at the front and back of the island, the new light house ran on electricity. In 1963, when the Alcatraz prison was finally closed due to the high maintenance cost, the lighthouse was automated.

The lighthouse stopped working for a short while in 1969, when electricity to the island was cut because it was being occupied by the natives. Power was restored after a while, with the help of a generator smuggled in by prominent San-Francisco citizens who were worried about maritime safety.

By 1972, the natives were driven out and Alcatraz became a national reserve. Today a 200,000 candle power lens is used in the old lighthouse.