Ecuador – slightly larger than the United Kingdom – is nevertheless the smallest of the Andean Nations and has the highest population density in South America. The country can be divided geographically into four regions, namely: a) the Andean range, home to 48% of the population; b) the western coastal lowlands with 46% of the population; the eastern jungles of the upper Amazon river with only 6% of the population; and d) the insular Galapagos archipelago. Over 40% of the population is Native American (mostly Quichua speakers). Another 40 % is classified as Mestizo (a mixture of Native American and Spanish) with the remaining 20% being Whites, Blacks and Asians. Of particular interest to the BLAC FOUNDATION are the Black populations of the Chota Valley and of the Pacific Coast of Esmeraldas. Afro-Hispanic culture includes cuisine and a number of musical traditions such as: a) currulaos (musical presentations); b) décimas (a form of poetry); c) arrullos, alabados, loas, novenas, rosarias (different types of songs or chants associated with wakes and funerals); d)   bailes negroides (Black dances); and e) cuentos (stories and tales). For more about Black Ecuadorian culture, see Dr. E. Powe’s The Black & Indigenous Lore of Bolivia, Perú and Ecuador.


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