Latest update

One in four Ecuadorians live below the national poverty line, with indigenous and rural populations most affected. The greatest challenges faced by Ecuadorian children in poverty include natural disasters, malnutrition, child labour and difficulty accessing education.

Our dedicated local church partners in Ecuador have nearly five decades of experience delivering Compassion's holistic child development programs to children in poverty. With your support, they are bringing hope and generational transformation to the most vulnerable families in their communities.

Please join us in praying for the restoration of security in Ecuador. Due to the recent increase in armed conflicts in some areas, Compassion Ecuador has provided guidance to our local church partners to adapt their program delivery (for example, by providing virtual learning options) as they deem necessary to ensure as best as possible the safety and wellbeing of all children, their families, volunteers, and church partners.

Watch the latest update from Ecuador below to learn more.

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Country update

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, churches, children and families in Ecuador.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for Ecuadorian children who are experiencing hunger and malnutrition.
  • Pray for guidance and strength for our church partners, especially those in indigenous or rural communities, as they continue caring for families.
  • Pray for safety and protection for children vulnerable to the impacts of crime, drugs and violence.
  • Pray for wisdom for the country’s leaders as they make decisions.
  • Pray for the protection of children, families and staff amid an increase in armed conflict in some parts of Ecuador.
  • Pray that God would bring peace, unity and stability to the people of Ecuador.
Toilets transforming a community in Ecuador

Toilets transforming a community in Ecuador

In Puchachicta, Ecuador, a lack of adequate toilets was causing many problems, including the exposure of children to harassment or animal attacks, and increased illness from contaminated water sources. Yet in partnership with the local church, Compassion was able to provide toilets and safe drinking water facilities. Read how it has transformed the lives of children in Puchachicta.   Read more open_in_new

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Ecuador

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the child development centre for six hours a week.
  • Children aged 12 and older attend the centre for four hours a week.

Compassion Program Activities in Ecuador

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Compassion assisted children in Ecuador typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Ecuador.

Devotional time - Children are taught to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

Break and snack time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - Children usually receive lunch each day they visit the Compassion centre at the local church. A typical lunch generally consists of soup or vegetables and meat, and a main dish containing carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. Some centres offer snacks to the children before they go home—it is common to provide additional food to children under the age of five.

Health lessons - Children are taught practical health and hygiene tips.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, setting realistic goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, children have opportunities to participate in activities including football, art, music and dance. Some centres also organise trips and camps. Compassion Ecuador has an additional certified curriculum for teenagers called ‘More Than Conquerors’ which covers vocational training, including 17 different workshop topics. Parents and caregivers are offered parenting classes once a month.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Ecuador


of people live in extreme poverty


of rural households lack access to basic sanitation


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Ecuador made big economic gains in the second half of the 20th century and many people benefitted. Yet millions still live in extreme poverty, with indigenous and minority groups the most disadvantaged.

Since 2015, Ecuador has received more than 1.2 million refugees from Venezuela, as well as some from neighbouring Colombia. The UNHCR estimates that up to 5,000 people arrive at the border daily, most hungry, vulnerable and desperate. Many of them pass through the country on their way to Peru, but a rising proportion are choosing to stay. Despite its reputation as Latin America’s top recipient of refugees, Ecuador is struggling to cope with the demand.

For children, access to education and medical treatment continue to be major hurdles, particularly in rural areas where incomes are lowest and services are not available. The public education system provides free schooling for all children, but the additional costs associated with education—including providing books and other learning materials, transport and food—mean that many children miss out.

This problem gets worse as the children get older, with many high school students dropping out of school to look for work instead. While this decision can increase their family’s income in the short-term, it can limit the children’s opportunities for higher-paid work later—and even put them in situations where they can be vulnerable to exploitation.

Hunger and malnutrition still affect many children, particularly in rural areas, where ongoing drought and soil degradation are resulting in smaller harvests. Farmers are finding it more difficult to feed their families.

Through all these challenges, the local church is a pillar of strength. Families find strong support to meet their practical, emotional and spiritual needs and look to the future with hope for their children.

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