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If chasing the sun is your dream, there’s no better place to visit than the middle of the world. Ecuador sees more sunlight than most areas of the globe, which is ideal as there’s so much beauty to behold. The country gets its name from the fact that it straddles the Equatorial line and is the Spanish translation of Equator. Ecuador has four main geographical regions, each with their own charm and beauty: the Pacific Coastal Area, the Andean Highlands, the Amazon rainforest and the Galápagos Islands. It’s home to 16.6 million (2017, World Bank) people, split between Mestizo (65%, mixed ancestry), Indigenous (25%), Black (7%) and European ethnicities. Spanish is the official language but most of the Indigenous population speak a native language called Kichwa.
Out of the entire population of Ecuador, 21.5 percent live in poverty (UNdata, 2017). Although progress has been made, the Indigenous people still remain the ethnic group most affected by poverty. These communities have little access to education, clean water, economic opportunities, health care and the resources needed to maintain a nutritious food supply, thus preventing them from escaping the grip of poverty.
In 1999, we began working in the province of Chimborazo and in 2013 expanded our presence to the Amazon region. Both Chimborazo and the Amazon have some of the largest Indigenous populations in the country and also some of the highest poverty rates. Through WE Villages, we work in partnership with these communities to eliminate barriers that prevent children from accessing education, to improve health care and to open up income opportunities. We’ve worked hard to established long-standing partnerships with the local government, school principals and local community leaders, impacting over 40,000 people since 1999. To date, we have:
In every country where WE Villages operates, we tailor our programs to meet the unique needs of the communities we work with, through our sustainable development model and our five Pillars of Impact. Read how they’ve been implemented in Ecuador.