Ecuador Culture and Society
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 Ecuadors 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,
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.