Photo © 2007 - Salasaca, Ecuador

Early in the morning, the men and women of Salasaca, an indigenous community in the central Andes of Ecuador, head for the fields. There, they cut fresh grass and alfalfa to bring back to their sheep, cows, and guinea pigs. Caring for their animals is an important part of daily life, and the job of carrying the heavy loads back is shared by the people and their donkeys. Here a colt trots alongside his mother as they make their way home along a dirt path.
Lisa Benitez


Ecuador/Republica del Ecuador
In Western South America. Coastal plain, inter-Andean central highlands, and flat to rolling eastern jungle. 283,561 km2 (slightly > NV), 5.7% arable.

Capital Quito (1.6M)
Population 15M (53/km2)
Life expectancy 76 years
Literacy 91%
Lang(s) Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Religions Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Ethnic Groups mestizo (mixed Amerindian & white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and other 7%, black 3%
Gov’t Republic
GDP/cap $8,000
PCVs 1962 - present; health, agriculture, youth development, and habitat conservation (Volunteers in country: 118; total to date: 5912)
Nat’l holiday Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)


Focus word for 2012 - "Freedom"

Quechua: qispikuy (cuh-speak-we)



Stories from Ecuador: A Collection by Tyrel Nelson
by Tyrel Nelson
Book Description
A collection of honest, first-hand accounts of the most memorable people, places, and moments from a young man's year-long journey. A colorful mix of tales incorporating levity, beauty and even boredom, in an unexpected and refreshing way.


Kids' Books

The Queen of Water
by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango
Publisher: Delacorte Press, p2011, c2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-385-73897-2
Interest Level: YA
Ages 13 & up



Carlos Bonilla Chávez
Music from Ecuador



End of Spear, Jim Hanon (2005)



Locro de papas/Creamy potato soup with cheese
Llapingachos/Stuffed potato patties