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In Ecuador

Country update

This video was released in July 2022.
If you've been inspired to sponsor a child from Ecuador, visit our sponsorship page.

Pray for Ecuador

Pray with us for:

Safety for children and youth in the face of rising crime and violence

God’s peace and unity for everyone living and working in Ecuador

Protection for the children while their caregivers work long hours

Did you know?

Ecuador is home to the world-famous Galapagos Islands. The islands are known for their unique biodiversity and array of animals, including the world’s only warm-water penguins!

Sponsor a child in Ecuador

Child sponsorship with Compassion is a unique opportunity to provide a child with food, clean water, shelter, clothing and medical care.

Life in Ecuador

Official Country Name: Republic of Ecuador

Capital City: Quito

Population: More than 18 million

Official Languages: Spanish, Quechua

Life expectancy: Male 70 years, female 77 years

Population with access to safe drinking water: 67%

Infant mortality rate: 11 deaths / 1,000 live births

Percentage of children under the age of 5 underweight: 5.2%

Adult literacy rate: Male 95%, female 94%

Religion: Approximately 74.8% of the population are Roman Catholic, 15.2% are Protestant, 10% are of another/unspecified religion or none.

Percentage living on less than $2.15 a day: 3.6%

Source: World Bank and International Religious Freedom Report, released in 2022 by the Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State

The Inca Empire extended into Ecuador during the 15th century, only 50 years before Spanish arrival. The Incans introduced new crops (sweet potato, peanuts, and cocoa), along with a highly organised farming society and extensive road systems. The Incans and Spanish fought for control of Ecuador, until the Spanish eventually won.

Ecuador gained independence from Spain in 1822 as part of Grand Colombia (present day Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela). Ecuador withdrew to become an independent country in 1830. Since gaining independence in 1830, Ecuador has undergone nearly 100 changes in government and 20 constitutions.

Ecuador's traditional art includes sculptures and indigenous handicrafts.

Ecuador is known for a style of music called "Andean Blues," which addresses issues of social justice and poverty in a melodic and beautiful way.

Even though the principal language in Ecuador is Spanish, Quechua is the native language of Ecuador's indigenous people who live in the highlands, the jungle, and some parts of the coast. Spanish: Bienvenidos (Welcome), ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?), Chao/ Hasta luego (Goodbye) Quichua: Alli shamushca kapaichi (Welcome), Imanalla? (How are you?), Kayacama (Goodbye)

Sports and Games
Many Ecuadorians enjoy football, volleyball, tennis, and swimming. In addition, chess, weight lifting, and athletics are also popular sports.

Typical Foods
In Ecuador, dishes are generally not heavily spiced and instead are seasoned only with salt and pepper. Llapingachos are mashed potatoes stuffed with cheese, fritada is fried pork with avocado and corn, and cuy is guinea pig, eaten by indigenous groups in Ecuador.

The school year typically runs from September to July in Ecuador’s mountainous region and from May to February near the coast. Even though students are required to attend school from the age of six until they are 18, public education simply isn’t available in many areas, especially remote rural communities.

There are various universities in the main cities of Ecuador, including the Catholic University of Quito, the State University of Guayaquil, and the State University of Cuenca. In recent years, more educational centres and universities have been opened across the country. However, only one % of children from rural areas can access them and only five % of those in urban areas attend universities.


Source: UNICEF

Approximately 74.8% of the population are Roman Catholic, 15.2% are Protestant, 10% are of another/unspecified religion or none.
The Roman Catholic Church has significant influence in Ecuadorian society, even in political decisions. However, the constitution guarantees everyone the right to practice their chosen faith freely.
Missionary activities and religious events can take place publicly and there are no restrictions on the publishing of religious materials. In public schools, religious education is not permitted, but private schools are free to provide the religious education providing it complies with the Ministry of Education standards.
Some groups, particularly those in the Amazon region, combine indigenous beliefs with Catholicism or Protestantism. Pentecostals draw much of their membership from indigenous persons in the highland provinces.
Statistics from the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom: Ecuador, from the Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State

Providing support in Ecuador

Cristofer from Ecuador dreams of being a mechanical engineer and trains with his father after school. However, after sustaining a head injury, Cristofer spent several days in the hospital. His family would

Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.