ECUADOR: Healthy Change

"We have a revolution here every Thursday afternoon at half-past 2, and our government is run like a nightclub," cracked Don Juan Palacios, the improbable count in Ludwig Bemelmans' 1941 travel book about Ecuador, The Donkey Inside. If the count (or Bemelmans) were to visit Ecuador this week, he might have to eat those cynical words. One of South America's backward nations has been undergoing a healthy change. Since 1950, Ecuador (pop. 3,200,000) has:

¶ Doubled the government budget (to $70 million a year) and balanced it.

¶Nearly doubled total exports, to $100...

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