Ecuador has substantial petroleum resources, which have accounted for 40% of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of central government budget revenues in recent years. Consequently, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered its worst economic crisis, with natural disasters and sharp declines in world petroleum prices driving Ecuador's economy into free fall in 1999. Real GDP contracted by more than 6%, with poverty worsening significantly. The banking system also collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year. The currency depreciated by some 70% in 1999, and, on the brink of hyperinflation, the MAHAUD government announced it would dollarize the economy. A coup, however, ousted MAHAUD from office in January 2000, and after a short-lived junta failed to garner military support, Vice President Gustavo NOBOA took over the presidency. In March 2000, Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided the framework for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and growth returned to its pre-crisis levels in the years that followed. Under the administration of Lucio GUTIERREZ, who took office in January 2003, Ecuador has benefited from higher world petroleum prices, but the government has made little progress on economic reforms necessary to reduce Ecuador's vulnerability to petroleum price swings and financial crises. What is next for this country? Hopefully the road to recovery, as it is a peaceful and quite nation. They are not a threat to anyone. Articles coming hopefully tomorrow. Pictures are coming too.