Ecuador is a small but diverse country boasting craggy mountains, stunning beaches, desolate paramo, and verdant rainforest. It's wide-reaching natural wealth, however, is not reflected in its distribution among the growing poor. Its residents, equally diverse, have felt disenfranchised by the ruling elite for over a decade, considering themselves—in a common phrase—"beggars, sitting atop a sack of gold." In the country's capital of Quito, which sits surrounded by active volcanoes, more than 2 million people were rumbling in disapproval of the corrupt government. In the summer of 2005, the people erupted and overthrew president Lucio Gutierrez.
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