Feb., 2016-Ecuador is a poor country and life there is strenuous. You can see this in the city, in the mountains, and in the jungle. People carry heavy loads on their backs. Many family farms are on steep hillsides. With no tractors or animals to pull plows, soil is prepared by manual labor, facing uphill to make the job easier. We started our trip in Quito at just under 10,000 feet, went trekking in the Andes at 12,000 feet, and ended in the Amazon jungle at about sea level.