Ecuador in briefEcuador in brief
Major cities: Guayaquil, Cuenca, Santo Domingo
Official language: Spanish
Population: 15 million
Religion: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 11%
Area: 109,484 square miles
Number of Korean expats: About 1,200
Half-century of ties
The two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2012 and have signed a wide range of memorandums of understanding, aiming for mutual cooperation and development in trade, customs, environment, energy, knowledge transfer, technology and innovation.
In the area of commerce and investment, Ecuador is hoping to achieve a Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement with Korea, which would deepen the areas of technology transfer and knowledge sharing.
Korea annually exports $1 billion worth of products, including vehicles and electronics. Ecuador exports to Korea $55 million worth of goods each year, with the key item being shrimp. Other exports include bananas, coffee and cocoa.
As part of its social responsibility, the Ecuadorian Embassy in Seoul has devoted a great amount of time and effort towards the development of close cooperation with Korean institutions dedicated to the care of people with special needs, such as the National Institute of Korea Special Education.
Maria Roura De Herrera
Born on Sept. 11, 1981, in Guayaquil, Eucador, Herrera has a Bachelor’s degree in special education for children with learning disabilities and worked at related facilities in Ecuador after graduation. Having learned from those past experiences, Herrera continues to be involved in a variety of charity work in Korea as the wife of the Ecuadorian ambassador. Herrera and her husband live in Seoul with their 16-year-old daughter, Fiorella. Herrera enjoys sports.
Oscar Herrera Gilbert
Ecuadorian ambassador to Korea
Born on March 23, 1963, in Guayaquil, Gilbert earned his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil, where one of his classmates was the current Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa. A man who has his roots in business, rather than foreign services, Gilbert owns a farm in his home country and has several different companies in the service sector, including those in repair and insurance. Gilbert enjoys all outdoor sports, especially tennis and soccer.