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 are involved in a variety of different social action projects which aim to share the compassion of Christ. Some of these are with disadvantaged groups, such as children with learning disabilities, and children and adults affected by HIV/Aids. Others are providing medical care in rural areas of the country. Many members are also involved with pastoral or youth work and discipleship in their local church context.
There are many opportunities to support Christian social action projects within the country with, for example, children at risk, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Schools work also has many possibilities in various cities. In the local church context, there is a strong need for discipleship training.
For more information, please see the opportunities page.