Ecuador Culture

Ecuador Culture blends the influences of Spanish colonialism with the unique traditions of pre-Columbian Indian people.

The population in Ecuador is ethnically diverse with a mixture of European and American Indians.


The largest ethnic groups are the Mestizos (those of mixed Spanish and Indians) and constitute just over 65 per cent of the current population.

Indians are second in numbers and account for approximately 15%. Whites are mainly Criollos (unmixed descendants of Spanish colonists) and account for 10% of the Ecuadorian population.

A small minority of Black people, constitute the remainder. Although the population was heavily concentrated in the Andes Mountains region a few decades ago, today it is divided about equally between that area and the Coast region.

The Rainforest region to the east of the Andes mountains remains the most shortly populated of Ecuador's three continental regions and contains only about 3% of the population.

The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador and constitute the fourth region.

The various groups of people who have come to settle in Ecuador from Europe, Africa and other countries and Ecuador indigenous groups have all contributed to Ecuadorian culture as it is today.

Ecuador cultures are fantastic to explore due to its rich and varied food traditions, customs for celebrating various holidays and religious festivities. Ecuador culture mirrors the demographics of the country itself, and is a in various influences.

Much like the ancestry of the mestizo majority, the national culture is also a mixture of both European and Indian influences, infused with various other elements inherited through the descendants of the country's African slave past.

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Ecuador Traditions

In addition to Ecuador culture, many of the existing indigenous communities also practice their very own cultures and traditions.

Ecuadorians are gentle people who will welcome you into their homes and traditions. Most Ecuador traditions have a religious touch. Almost every month there is a celebration in honor to a particular Catholic Saint.

Beautiful parades are organized in different towns around Ecuador (mainly the highlands) men and women wear colorful Indian dresses and there's a lot of dancing and drinking coupled with fireworks.

These wonderful celebrations may last for a few days and are part of Ecuador culture. More About Ecuador Traditions

Ecuador has many diverse indigenous groups, many of whom retain their pre-Colombian languages. By far the largest of these groups is the Andean Quichua, who number around 2 million.

Ecuador Culture in the Highlands

There's a wide variety of cultures and groups in the Highlands of Ecuador, some of these Indian groups include: Caranqui, Otavaleños, Cayambi, Panzaleo, Salasacas, Tungurahua, Puruhá, and Saraguros.

Ecuador Culture in the Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is as rich in indigenous culture as the highlands.

Despite increasing pressures from the industrialized world, you can stil find Indian groups like the Huaorani, Zaparo, Cofan, lowland Quichua, Siona, Secoya, Shuar, and Achuar.

Ecuador Languages

The official language in Ecuador is Spanish, though many Indian people speak native languages such as Quichua Shimi, Awapit, Tsafiqui, Paicoca, A'ingae, Huaotirio, Shuar-chichan, and Záparo, which are in areas with large indigenous populations.

Ecuador Religion

In Ecuador the predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, but many Indian communities still preserve their ancient beliefs of worship of the Earth, the mountains, and the sun.

Ecuador's colonial religious architecture is predominantly baroque, and in this style the main buildings (churches and convents) are unequaled in the World. In Ecuador culture you will experience the richness of their traditions and strong family values.

Unaware of the big business that goes on elsewhere in the world, in Ecuador the stock market is far from the cares of the thirteen million Ecuadorians who live far more simply and happier than their First World relatives.

Good conduct and manners are as much a part of the culture of Ecuador, as are the colorful dances and vibrant music that form the basis of so many festivals celebrated here.

This is a polite society of people who care for each other and foster a community spirit. Ecuadorians place great importance on the family, both nuclear and extended.

Unlike in much of the Wester world, where the elderly are often placed in care facilities aimed towards people of advanced age, elderly Ecuadorians will often live with one of their children.

Tourists are welcomed with pleasure and greeted warmly and many have returned to Live in Ecuador for the rest of their lives.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!

See More About Ecuador

City of Riobamba

City of Portoviejo in the Coast

Loja in the Highlands

Cheap Flights to Ecuador

Economic Galapagos Tours

If you have questions about Ecuador Culture, You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Jungle Tours or from our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to visit these Islands, You can Contact us here

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