Ecuador

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.

  • Population: 15,492,300
  • Life Expectancy: 76 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 92%
  • School Enrollment: 99%
  • Land Mass: 109,483 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 92%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 23/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 5,190

Facts about Ecuador

Economic Development

Ecuador is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The poverty rate is about 32 percent.

Health

In Ecuador, an estimated 37,000 people are currently living with HIV, of which 40 percent are unaware that they are infected.

Food & Agriculture

Malnutrition remains a major concern for children. One in four children are malnourished. About 15 percent of the school population (5-11 years) has not reached the height appropriate for their age.

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Progress in Ecuador

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • We partnered with local churches to teach families about moral values, good communication skills, positive family relationships, and how to nurture children. In addition, children and youth learned about Christian values through Christian music workshops, summer Bible camps, and other spiritual activities.

  • To address high rates of child abuse, we coordinated with local authorities and churches to hold child protection campaigns and workshops on positive parenting methods. Parents, community leaders, and teachers were also trained in child rights and how to identify and refer cases of child abuse.

  • Youth and young adults were trained in reproductive health from a values-based perspective in an effort to reduce teen pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. We also worked with parents and churches to encourage parents to discuss reproductive health issues with their children to protect them from potential abuse and teach them about responsible behavior.

  • Farmers were assisted with new business ventures and equipped with training and supplies to help increase their incomes. Youth and young adults also received training and support to establish businesses such as baking, sewing, and making handicrafts.

  • Through awareness campaigns, parents were encouraged to become more involved in their children's education and learned about the importance of continuing through high school and beyond. Parents were also involved in committees to monitor schools and advocate for improvements in the quality of education.

  • Teachers were trained in innovative teaching methods focused on playful learning activities, good treatment, and gender equity.

  • Adolescents and young adults were supported to remain in school and finish their studies or continue with vocational training, expanding their options for future employment.

  • We helped set up reading spaces and trained teachers on methods for improving children's reading comprehension and motivating them to read more often.

  • Together with the Ministry of Health, we trained and mobilized volunteer mothers and healthcare workers to educate families on disease prevention, nutrition, safe water treatment, and healthy hygiene and sanitation practices. We also partnered with local health centers to monitor children's growth and help them access medical checkups.

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    World Vision in Ecuador Today

    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 15,900 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Ecuador. Highlights include:

    • Preventing child abuse in schools and/or at home by raising awareness about these issues with families, communities, and authorities.
    • Providing medical care to children with illnesses and giving them vaccinations to prevent other sicknesses.
    • Providing nutritional training to help reduce child malnutrition.

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    World Vision History in Ecuador

    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:

    • Digging wells to help communities gain access to safe water in the 1970s.
    • Providing aid to people after two major earthquakes in the 1980s.
    • Training healthcare workers and using water chlorination to help thousands of people affected by cholera during the 1990s.
    • Offering agricultural training to farmers since the 1990s.
    • Assisting people affected by natural disasters during the 1990s and into the beginning of the 21st century.

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    Geography & People

    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.

    History

    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.

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    Prayer Requests for Ecuador

    • Please pray for expanded partnerships with local church networks so more children will receive spiritual nurture.
    • Pray also for national child protection laws to be implemented and enforced at the local level.