Top 5 People Groups
Mestizo Ecuadorian: 11,882,000
White Ecuadorian: 1,508,000
Chimborazo Highland Quichua: 921,000
Otavalo Highland Quichua: 672,000
Roughly the size of Nevada, Ecuador is a small country on the northwestern side of South America that borders Peru, Colombia , and the Pacific Ocean. The Andes Mountains run north-south through the center of Ecuador, while the Amazon rainforest dominates the eastern section of the country. Its breathtaking and diverse natural beauty includes the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, about 620 miles west of the mainland.
When the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro arrived in the early 1500s, the area was controlled by the Incas and other Indian confederacies. The indigenous peoples gradually lost autonomy and Ecuador became a part of Spain´s colonial empire for some 300 years. In 1819 it joined present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and other territories to form the state known as Gran Colombia. Ecuador became independent in 1830, but a carousel of revolts and dictatorships have characterized much of its political history. Today the government is a representative democratic republic.
The primary language is Spanish, but Quichua, Shuar, and other languages are still prevalent in native communities. Ecuador´s population of more than 15 million inhabitants includes 32 distinct people groups. Approximately 80 percent of the country is Catholic and six percent is evangelical.
According to Operation World, Ecuador had the lowest percentage of evangelicals in Latin America in 1960. Fifty years later, that number has increased from 17,000 to over 1.2 million people. Most of that growth is taking place in urban areas and among the Quichua. Due to this growth there is a great need to train local missionaries and pastors.
Christian Aid supports indigenous groups in Ecuador that minister in rural areas to ethnic peoples such as the Chachi Indians and Afro-Ecuadorians. They also host a variety of children´s programs and oversee an expanding ministry to inmates in several prisons across the country.
Recent Prayerline Posts
ECUADOR. Prison Outreach of Ecuador gives thanks for hundreds of prisoners who have received Christ as Savior. These new believers live peacefully, without fighting or drug use, and shine as a witness to other inmates, guards and government officials. ...
ECUADOR. Diego grew up on the streets of Ecuador and ended up in jail, addicted to drugs. But God dwells with the lowly. An indigenous missionary with Prison Outreach of Ecuador invited Diego to Bible study. He finally gave in. “God changed his life,” the ministry leader said. ...
Between 1966 and 1987, Angel Aguirre was in and out of jail for stealing and trafficking drugs. During his last incarceration, a group of visitors arrived at García Moreno. A man smiled as he handed Angel a little book, the New Testament. Angel almost laughed at the thought of reading a Bible, but boredom practically forced him to focus his eyes on the tiny words. Read more.