15 Million Inhabitants … Only 6% Evangelical Church Members
Located in northwest South America, Ecuador is bordered by the Amazon forest in the east, the Andean mountain range in the center, and the fertile plains on the Pacific coast.
Ecuador has an ethnically diverse population, the largest group being descendants of Spanish colonists who mixed with indigenous Amerindians. Quechua Indians account for more than 40% of the population. Spanish is the official language with another 22 spoken languages. The past 25 years of civilian governance has been marred by political and economic instability.
70% of the population lives below the poverty level. 41% are considered to be in extreme poverty. More than 3 million children live in families lacking basic necessities such as housing, nutrition, healthcare and education.
60% of the children in Ecuador under the age of five are malnourished.
A third of the population has not completed the first part of their education, and three quarters have not completed the second.(Source: SIISE) The principal reason for children not being registered in school is because of the cost of tuition.(Source: INEC 1999) The cost of registration is 10 to 30 USD per year.
In Ecuador, which has 3.7 million children, nearly 900,000 children are believed to be working – about half of those are in Quito, where they shine shoes and sell newspapers for pocket change. Many live on the streets – some with their mothers, other have left home or been abandoned. The majority of these children are simply working to help supplement their family’s meager income to help provide their basic needs.