What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as a sovereign state in 1830. Its 15.2 million people are a legacy of both of these empires and are reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of the people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Amerindian, and African descendants.

Ecuador is a country of great social, cultural, and geographical diversity located between Colombia and Peru. Although the Ecuadorian government has worked hard to reduce poverty in recent years, the country continues to face critical issues such as chronic malnutrition and gender-based violence. In addition, many Ecuadorians continue to be impoverished due to the economic deceleration the country is experiencing as a result of the decline in oil prices since late 2014. Poverty rose from 22.5 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2015.  Approximately 96.4% of Ecuador's indigenous population are Highland Quechuas living in the valleys of the Sierra region.

CHOICE is fortunate to have a highly competent team in Ibarra who are able to navigate the political and social challenges that exist in Ecuador. All members of the Ecuadoran team have many years of experience, are native Ecuadorans who are formally educated, and have a level of professionalism that serves them well and allows them to be extremely effective in implementing the CHOICE Model of Leadership Development and to manage the government and university relationships that are key components to CHOICE programs in Ecuador.

CHOICE Ecuador is partnering with ASEA and the Advancing Life Foundation to raise funds for a new vocational training center in Ecuador. The center will serve over 1500 families that live in the Cotacachi County.  Establishing this training center in this area will help the Intag population gain much needed technical skills to improve access to productive work and to promote technical activities to eliminate poverty.

Message from Our Choice Ecuador Director, Raquel Tuston

Today we live in an era that has resulted from unequal decisions and the lack of solidarity.  A man’s wish to accumulate power and wealth at the expense of human dignity has caused an immense gap between those who have everything and those who do not. Read More

History of CHOICE in Ecuador

To understand the history of CHOICE Humanitarian in Ecuador, we need to make mention of the Benson Institute. The Benson Institute was first created in 1975 at Brigham Young University as the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute. The purpose of this Institute was to raise the quality of life among the people of the world through improved nutrition and enlightened agricultural practices. The institute began by establishing partnerships with local universities in the developing world.  The emphasis was on developmental research in village nutrition and agricultural production directed toward promoting self-reliant traditional families. The institute had university ties with Guatemala, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Their first projects in Ecuador began in 1984. Read More

Meet our staff in Ecuador

Our Impact

# of villages worked in:


# of villagers impacted directly:


# of villagers impacted indirectly:


What We Do

Core Programs

Economic Development

  • Agriculture Program
  • Animal and Livestock Production Program


Leadership and Training


Health Initiatives

  • Nutrition and Food Security Program
  • Family and Community Garden Program


Environment Initiatives

  • Family Clean Stove Program
  • Reforestation Program


Cultural Preservation

  • Gender Equity Program
  • Days for Girls Program


Major Projects 

  • CHOICE Centro Technico: Vocational Training Center, located in “Valle de Intag” Ecuador • Serves 1500 families in the county of Cotacachi, Imbabura province

Where We Work

Click here to see Ecuador's area of focus

Check out some of our Core Partners

View Upcoming Expeditions

Connect with Us


Field Blog 

Contact Us

CHOICE Center Ecuador - Phone / Contact Information

Raquel Tuston
[email protected]
(593) 62585198