Monday, January 6, 2014

The Peasants of Ecuador

Ecuadorans as one may assume, are diverse.  As a modern people, they have been shaped by the land, and specifically, which area of Ecuador they live in.  They have also been affected by conquest of the Spanish in the early 16th century.  Until the early 1970's, Ecuador was primarily a rural society, however the discovery of oil has prompted an urban explosion.

Campesinos (peasants) are commonly found in the Sierra region, and they work very hard to eek out a meager living in the rocky, volcanic, mountainous soil.  The Campesions work the harsh land, that is usually owned by rich landowners.

image taken from: Campesinos 
Mountain-dwelling people called "the serrano" live in the harsh mountain areas.  They have been described as rugged, hearty, and they are known to have a love for their Andean music.

image taken from: Serrano

Coastal peasants live in close harmony with nature in the fertile and verdant lowlands of the coastal region.  These are the costenos (coastal dwellers).  Life is much easier for these peasants, and it is reflected in their reported dispositions- easy going, not too concerned abut "manana", but quick tempered.

Image taken from  Costenos

The indigents of the Oriente are the ones that I find the most interesting.    These people comprise only 4% of the population.  For centuries, they have lived isolated, and therefore, they have changed relatively little.  Fascinating.  These people have been described as light-hearted, self-confident, and accustomed to living from a generous bounty of nature.  Sadly, this is threatened with logging oil exploitation.  These are people that I really want to meet and get to spend time with.

Image taken from:  Oriente

I will blog more about Ecuador soon.  Stay tuned.  I just discovered some interesting "stuff" about the coast, so that will be on deck soon.  However, there are many, many, many, more, peoples of Ecuador who are "civilized", and it is important to present a well rounded picture of this South American gem.

Copyright ©2014, Scott E. Kasden, M.D., all rights reserved.