Of Ecuador’s approximately 16 million citizens, around 25 percent live below the poverty line. Although this number has decreased in recent years, that’s still a large number of Ecuadorian citizens. You will probably see some evidence of poverty during your visit.
In the Andes, many Ecuadorians get by as subsistence farmers. These types of farmers are known as campesinos. The peasant class is a long-standing part of Ecuadorian culture, ever since the Spanish colonizers created a system of enforced agricultural labor.
Although rural areas technically have a higher level of poverty, plenty of urban Ecuadorians live beneath the poverty line. Starting in the 1970s, oil extraction meant more jobs became available in the cities. Over two decades, a quarter of Ecuador’s population moved from rural farms to crowded cities. This created a huge shortage of housing and a lower quality of life for many hardworking Ecuadorians.
With Ecuador’s growing economy, many Ecuadorian cities have seen enormous improvements. Many of the attractions that you will visit in Ecuadorian cities are located in well-maintained historic districts.
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