In 2000, Ecuador proceeded to the dollarization of its currency. The previous currency, the sucre (named after from Venezuelan independence leader Antonio José de Sucre and the French word meaning sugar), had lost 67% of its value in 1999, then another 17% in 1 week. In order to stabilize the country, president Jamil Mahuad adopted the US dollar as Ecuador’s offficial currency. The exchange rate was 25,000 sucres to 1 dollar.
When Ecuador dollarized, the US Federal Reserve sent plane loads of bank notes, but not a single $2 bill, which makes them very rare. Somehow, locals have been associating them with good luck, and are willing to buy them for more than face value.
So next time you go to Ecuador, bring a whole lot of $2 bills, and your trip may end up costing a lot less than expected!