Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro invaded Ecuador, home of
the Inca empire, in 1532 and controlled it within two years. In
1822, the colonists revolted, and Ecuador gained freedom as part
of Gran Colombia, eight years later, it realized sole independence
Ecuador is a country of contrasting cultural patterns. The Native
Americans of the highlands, the descendants of tribes conquered
by the Inca, still play traditional Native American songs on ancient-style
flutes and panpipes.