Ecuador is a New World country, whose historical trends and current ethnic complexity are intricately linked to European colonialism. In the early 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors brought a hybrid culture (due to Moorish and Berber influences on "white" European culture) to Ecuador. They then, in the name of the queen and of God, tried to superimpose it on an already highly evolved and diverse mix of native cultures. The Incas, after all, were not the only culture present in Ecuador when the conquistadors arrived. To complicate ethnic matters further, "white" Europeans brought to the New World African slaves.
Population Of Ecuador: 12 Million
Population of Afro-Ecuadorians: 1.5 - 2.0 Million
Percentage: 10-15% of the Ecuadorian population
People of African descent first came to Ecuador in 1553. A boat carrying slaves from Panama to Peru was stranded off the coast of what is now Esmeraldas, Ecuador. There, the African slaves revolted and were able to overpower their White captors. It is believed they were the first to start a maroon colony in the area known as Esmeraldas. Esmeraldas became a safe haven for runaway slaves. Slaves from Colombia & Venezuela were either forcibly brought to Ecuador or came as runaways.
In this rich and fertile zone, which was otherwise unknown to them, the first Afro-Ecuadorians founded their villages. The geography of these early settlements was made up of wide beaches, mangrove forests, crystal clear rivers and tropical rain forests. Slowly they migrated all over Ecuador, especially to other cities in the coast such as Guayaquil.
At the dawning of the 21st century, Afro-Ecuadorians make up 10-12% of the Ecuadorian population. The sociopolitical position of Afro-Ecuadorians in Ecuador, however, is not a just and favorable one. Centuries of institutionalized racist and classist policies have rendered their towns bereft of public infrastructure. Poverty is rampant and the chance for economic opportunity remains sparse.
Until the deep-seeded prejudices which exist in Ecuadorian society are overturned, Afro-Ecuadorians will not have the chance to fairly compete. The ostracism of Afro-Ecuadorians and limitation of their potential is unfortunate, as they can greatly contribute to and complement an Ecuadorian culture which, as previously noted, is anything but "pure." In fact, what makes the Ecuadorian people unique is the diversity of its elements, a diversity which needs to be nurtured in a more productive and egalitarian manner...
SIGAN LUCHANDO MIS AFRO-ECUATORIANOS!!
Valle Del Chota-An Andean Black City-
Few African Communities are located high in the Andean Mountains. Most Afro-Latino communities in South America are found in the coast. The large Afro-Ecuadorian community found in the high Sierra of Ecuador is one of the few communities of Afro-Latino`s found in the Andes.
They are found in the north sierra of Ecuador, in the provinces of Imbabura & Carchi, in cities such as Ibarra, Pimampiro, Urcuqum, Cotacachi, Mira y Bolivar, in the Valle del Chota, Cuenca del Rio Mira, Salinas, domain. They differ from Afro-Ecuadorians in the coast because as there counterparts are found from Esmeraldas in the north to Guayas province in the south, there population has been strickly limited to the northern sierra. It is there where a unique blend of Afro-Indian-Spanish culture has come together.
ESMERALDAS-The Mecca of Afro-Ecuadorian Culture-
Esmeraldas is the mecca of Afro-Ecuadorian culture and "la tierra" of the Afro-Ecuadorian Marimba music. Ecuador`s black population resides in the northern coastal regions, particularly in the Esmeraldas province but also heavily situated in Carchi, Imbambura, Manta & Guayas province.