Friday, March 27, 2009

Ecuadorian Sucres

You really have to feel sorry for the Republic of Ecuador. The country has gone through its share of coups de etat and other problems. It was the first really poor country I ever visited/lived in. I saw things that I never thought existed anywhere.

Most Americans who know about radio communications know about HCJB, the Voice of the Andes. I spent some time there, mostly getting in missionaries' ways. But, being fluent in Spanish, I could get everyone a bottle of Coke at 3:00 in the afternoon.

When I was there the exchange rate for the sucre (the Ecuadorian former monetary unit) was 100:1. That was 1983. I kept watching that number get higher and higher over the years. This 10,000 sucre note you see on this page, issued in 1988, would probably just buy a bottle of Coke.

In 2001, Ecuador gave up with the sucre and the U.S. dollar (or dolar estadosunidense) became the legal tender. At least you don't have to go to a money changer there now.

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