Pre-Hispanic Era, Discovery and Conquest, Spanish Colonial Era, Society, Economy, Government, Politics. History and Culture Information and Travel Guide. Vacation packages Book store. History of Ecuador. Throughout its history, Ecuador has displayed a continuity in traditional cultural and economic patterns as well as in social and political interaction among the country's highly heterogeneous social groupings. Modern patterns overlay the traditional, making present-day Ecuador a veritable living museum of its varied, rich heritage. Pre-Columbian Ecuador is reflected in the persistence of native languages, customs, and economic activities among a considerable, though diminishing, number of communities in the Sierra (Andean highlands) and the Oriente (eastern region). The legacy of three centuries of Spanish colonial rule is also pervasive and includes a social inequality that largely coincides with race, rural land tenure patterns, and the nation's dominant European cultural expressions.