Official Peace Corps Inforamtion on Ecuador Programs

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : Peace Corps in Ecuador: Official Peace Corps Inforamtion on Ecuador Programs

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 2:10 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Programs in Ecuador



Peace Corps Programs in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country the size of Colorado with majestic mountains, pristine beaches, tropical forests and islands that are home to species that can be found nowhere else on Earth. Named after the equatorial line that runs through the country's heart, Ecuador is found on South America's Pacific Coast. Colombia borders it to the north and Peru to the east and south.

For its small size, Ecuador is a country of amazing diversity. Each of its four regions is a world in and of itself. The sierra, formed by the Andes mountains that split the country down its middle, beckons tourists with its array of beautiful snow-capped peaks, comfortable year-round temperatures and the country's capital and cultural center, Quito. The Amazon region boasts virgin tropical rain forests, home to innumerable species of plant and animal life and the country's chief export oil. The coast's fertile soil and warm climate create the ideal environment to grow bananas. About 600 miles offshore are the islands that Charles Darwin made famous with The Origin of Species. The Galapagos Islands are a living testament to the evolutionary process. Giant turtles, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas are just some of the strange and beautiful species that call the Galapagos home.

Since 1962, Peace Corps Volunteers have worked at the grass-roots level to assist Ecuadorian communities with a range of development needs. Large sectors of the population suffer from problems such as nutritional deficiencies and a high infant mortality rate. Poor urban youth face problems such as elevated school dropout rates, illiteracy, and high unemployment. Ecuador suffers from large-scale environmental degradation as it loses 200,000 hectares of forest per year. In 1999, Ecuador experienced a major economic and banking crisis that has exacerbated these problems and contributed to political instability.

In response to these challenges, there are approximately 146 Volunteers focusing their efforts in the areas of agriculture and animal production, health, youth, and the environment. To better help poor communities face this critical economic situation, the Peace Corps has been integrating income generation into all five projects. Through an innovative community bank program, community members save and manage their finances, as well as loaning available funds to rural families, in the midst of a national banking crisis.



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Story Source: Peace Corps

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador

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