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Sitting on the equator, Ecuador is located on the northern Pacific coast of South America. Ecuador shares a border with Colombia to the north and Peru to the south and east.
Ecuador is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Over 8 percent of workers are unemployed, and about 35 percent live below the poverty line.
Despite free education for children, schools operate on a very limited budget. Parents often must pay for teaching supplies, books, and utilities.
According to UNICEF, children from indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian families are more likely to grow up in poverty and lack access to education.
Malnutrition remains a major concern for children. The World Food Program estimates that one in four children under the age of 5 suffer from stunting.
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Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.
Educated youth about child rights and leadership development so they could be better equipped for decision making in the community.
Trained youth in livestock care, potato farming, and business management to provide them with income-earning opportunities.
Improved education by forming parent committees to teach others about the value of education, and by providing extra help for children studying language and math.
Provided teaching supplies to preschools and trained mothers on early childhood development stages, in order to boost early childhood education.
Reduced cases of respiratory disease and diarrhea among young children by training their families on effective hygiene practices, such as hand-washing and drinking safe water.
Cultivated community gardens and trained mothers on childhood nutrition, in order to reduce malnutrition in the community.
Educated young people on reproductive health in order to prevent disease and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Ecuador to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 17,900 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Ecuador. Highlights include:
World Vision became involved in Ecuador in 1973 by conducting a pastors conference in Quito. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:
Geography and people
Sitting on the equator, Ecuador is located on the northern Pacific coast of South America. Ecuador shares a border with Colombia to the north and Peru to the south and east. More than 600 miles west of the mainland are the Galápagos Islands, a province of Ecuador and home to the largest species of tortoises in the world.
The Andes Mountains run through the heart of the country, and the climate varies from tropical along the coast to cool in the mountains. Natural resources include petroleum, fish, timber, and hydropower.
About two-thirds of the population is mestizo, a mixture of European and Amerindian ancestry. Spanish is the country’s official language, although Ecuadorians also speak Quechua and other Amerindian languages.
Families tend to be close-knit and several generations may live together. Many women now work outside the home and, as a result, more men are sharing household responsibilities.
Ecuador was a part of the Inca Empire until the Spanish claimed the area in the early 1530s. In 1822, Ecuador joined Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama in a confederation known as Greater Colombia. When that union failed in 1830, Ecuador declared its independence.
Many revolts and dictatorships followed—there were over 60 leaders in the first 118 years of the republic.
In recent decades, government officials have battled sluggish economic growth and corruption in the country’s legislative and judicial systems. Voters approved a new constitution in 2008. Although political debate and instability have marked recent years, democratic elections still continue.