When those descended from indigenous or Afro–Ecuadorian parents or ancestors are added to these statistics, people who from an elite and upper–middle–class perspective carry the "taint" of ethnicity become the majority.
The Quichua– speaking people constitute the largest indigenous population of about two million, followed by the Jivaroans who number between 50,000 and 70,000. Spanish, called castellano , is the official Ecuadorian language.
The Amazonian topography is highly varied, ranging from mountainous regions that tower well over 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) to Amazonian biotopes. The population of Ecuador is estimated as approaching fourteen million and is under–enumerated.
It is divided almost evenly between the Coast and the Sierra.
Quichua includes the northern dialects of Quechua, the language of the imperial Inca.
In Quichua and Quechua people identify as Runa ("fully human"), and their language as runa shimi ("human speech").
The citizens take great pride in being Ecuadorian and refer to themselves as ecuatorianos(-as) and gente (people).
A third fairly low cordillera runs intermittently along the coastal strip.The elites and those in the upper–middle classes are oriented toward education, personal achievement, and the modern consumerism of Euro–North America.People in these classes regard themselves as muy culto ("very cultured"), and while they may learn English, French, or German as part of their formal education, most disavow knowledge of any indigenous language.The smallest group, the Zaparoans, number only a handful of actual speakers. According to the 1998 constitution, the state guarantees the system of bilingual, intercultural education that uses the principal language of a particular culture and Spanish as the idiom of intercultural relations.The indigenous nationalities speak various languages that belong to different linguistic families.