Recent years have been characterised by the frequent changes of presidents as populist leaders are challenged by parliaments and the structures of state. The recent leftist programme promotes links with similarly minded regimes that has left many Ecuadorians concerned, and has an expansive vision for health and education progress that has been affected by lower oil prices. Substantial numbers of people move to the cities in the search for better education and employment prospects. Tourism is important and exports include flowers, bananas and tuna.
The Galapagos islands with their rich bio-diversity are world famous. The mainland divides into tropical coast, Andean ranges, and eastern jungle regions.
Ecuadorean native peoples are numerous particularly in the jungle regions. The Quichua are highland people traditionally working the land.
A strongly Catholic country Ecuador has opened up to other religious influences. Evangelical churches of many flavours have grown, particularly Pentecostal and independent streams, with a favouring of large events over individual discipleship. Small social action projects, often in immediate response to needs rather than strategically planned, and schools run by churches, are on the increase, along with other larger schemes attached to international aid agencies.
Team members cover Christian television engineering, children’s work in schools and deprived communities, with Sunday School materials and children’s clubs, church leadership and youth development, worship leader training, community dentistry and church based pastoral work including care for AIDS orphans.
The training of church leaders is a considerable need as many churches come into existence and grow without trained leadership and a depth of theological understanding. Schools work has many possibilities in various cities, alongside youth discipleship in churches and improved Sunday school material usage.