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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 eight 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.
Taught families how to plant vegetable gardens, increasing their access to nutritious food.
Distributed chickens and alpacas to families, enabling them to diversify their income sources.
Organized activities such as sports camps to encourage active lifestyles and positive use of free time.
Provided learning materials for preschools and childcare centers, strengthening the quality of early childhood education and increasing enrollment.
Facilitated tutoring programs to improve children's math, language, and communication skills.
Worked with community groups to help families develop agricultural businesses and community stores.
Provided vocational training for young people, preparing them for careers in construction, mechanics, weaving, and other trades.
Formed children’s councils and community advocacy groups to teach children about their rights and advocate for their welfare.
Held parenting workshops to strengthen family relationships and improve communication between children and their parents.
Children received gifts such as blankets and a hygiene kit and participated in games and sporting events.
Trained caregivers in the prevention and treatment of childhood illness and parasites.
Coordinated with local health organizations to provide children with essential medical, dental, and psychological care.
Taught schoolchildren about hygiene to promote healthy habits and reduce the spread of illness.
Held workshops to teach caregivers about nutrition and meal preparation, working to improve the health of malnourished children.
Partnered with local churches to provide Sunday schools and Bible studies for children.
Worked with health agencies to provide immunizations for children under age 5 and deworming for schoolchildren.
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.