todo es posible en ecuador


Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Esmeraldas, a town along Ecuador's Pacific coast, is one of the poorest regions in the country.
Almost 80% of the people living there are Afro-Ecuadorian, a population that has been historically, politically,
socially, and economically marginalized by Ecuadorian society as a whole.

Afro-Ecuadorians are living in a vicious cycle of poverty. Racism deeply ingrained from the Spanish colonial era is still found throughout Ecuador, which exacerbates the population's marginalization. Atacames, the touristy beach town a few miles south of Esmeraldas, is where Quitenos spend their vacations. In theory, Esmeraldas could really benefit from this tourist industry. However, even labor for condominium and resort construction is contracted from Quito, because of the general view that "Afro-Esmeraldians are lazy untrustworthy thieves" (Rahier, American Anthropologist).
Sadly, it is this mindset and view that is fueling the cycle of poverty in Esmeraldas.

Typical Housing in Esmeraldas
Charango and shakers at seaside residence in Esmeraldas

Despite their day to day struggles with structural injustices, Afro-Ecuadorians have maintained their culture and traditions.
One of the most prided traditions in Esmeraldas is the Marimba –
a vivacious musical tradition with West-African roots, using marimbas and drums.

Click here to see a
video of the traditional music of Esmeraldas -- the Marimba.