Let’s start off with the usual suspects for a bit of background on Ecuador. Here’s our old friends at Geography Now! with an overview.
Ecuador was part of (and a breakaway product of) Simon Bolivar’s failed Gran Colombia project, a product of the fight for independence from Spain:
For some more on Ecuador’s history, here’s a very detailed political overview (with a bit of a left-wing partisan slant) by Latin American political science professor Luis Jiménez. It’s a lot to take in, as it goes through the many coups, revolutions, and changes in government Ecuador has seen in its history.