The Ecuadorian Culture
Ecuador is a multiethnic and pluricultural nation. It has a
population of more than 12.6 million. Of these, five and a half
million live in the highlands. Six and a half million of Ecuador’s
inhabitants live on the Pacific coast. The Amazon region is home to
more than six hundred thousand inhabitants and nearly seventeen
thousand live in the Galapagos Islands. More than 14 indigenous
groups live on the Ecuadorian mainland, maintaining their own
traditions and ways of life. The following are the principal
indigenous groups of the Amazon region: Huaoranis, Achuar, Shuar,
Cofán, Siona-Secoya, Shiwiar and Záparo.
Los Tagaeri, related to the Huaorani, are another group from this
area. The Tageri were declared “intangible” by the State, in order
to respect their wish to live far from civilization.
The principle indigenous groups of the highlands are the Quichua,
Cañaris, and Saraguros. In northern Ecuador, live the Awa community.
On the Pacific coast, live the Chachis, Cayapas, Tsáchilas, and
The provinces with the greatest number of immigrants
are Pichincha and Guayas. Migration abroad has also grown in recent
years due to the economic crisis. The are sizable communities of
Ecuadorians in the USA, Spain, and Italy. The official language of
the country is Spanish, but other languages, such as Quichua Shimi,
Awapit, Cha´palachi, Tsafiqui, Paicoca, A´ingae, Huaotirio,
Shuar-chichan, and Záparo, are widely spoken in areas with large
indigenous populations. The predominant religion is Catholicism but
many communities still preserve their ancient beliefs of worship of
the earth, the mountains, and the sun.
For an in-depth look at the
distinct cultural past, present, and future of each of Ecuador's regions,
please read the following pages:
In these sections, information
is provided with respect to the diferences between the various ethnic groups
of each area as well as information related to cultural activities unique to
each area, museums, indigenous markets, and more.