Rainforest and the tropical vegetation of the Amazon is located on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador. The rainforest in Ecuador is home to the indigenous people who work in agriculture, livestock breeding, hunting, fishing, and wood harvesting. The rainforest ecosystem has lush vegetation and is noted for its wide variety of trees and medicinal plants, as well as gold, silver and oil.


Amazon Region

  • Hunting animals and gathering fruit are typical activities of families like this one from the Huaorani tribe. Tribe members
  • Children enjoy program activity days at their Compassion centers. Children gathered outside of the center
  • The Compassion curriculum enables tutors to provide the learning activities children need to overcome poverty and achieve a brighter future. Children reading in a classroom
  • Games, contests and handicrafts are fun activities that enable children to develop their creativity, as well as their social skills. Children playing a game outside
  • Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to experience God's love firsthand. Children praying before a meal
  • In the thick of Ecuador's Amazonian jungle, there is no electricity, running water or modern appliances. A family at home
  • Houses in the jungle are small structures, typically made of wood, with corrugated zinc roofs. A girl in front of her home




Roman Catholic


A Glimpse of Poverty in Ecuador's Amazon Region

Ecuador’s Amazon region has long been neglected by the government. Basic services are scarce and the infrastructure inadequate.

Group of children playing

Only one university exists, and technical and vocational training opportunities are limited. As a result, young people have few opportunities to learn skills for becoming self-sufficient.

In the thick of Ecuador’s Amazonian jungle, there is no electricity, running water or modern appliances. Cooking meager meals over wood fires is the norm. Malnutrition is a serious issue among the children here, with diets consisting primarily of corn and cassava. When meat or vegetables are available, they are given to men in the family first. Women and children eat the leftovers.

Issues and Concerns

Oil production represents more than half of Ecuador’s exports, and much of that production occurs in the Amazon region.

  • As oil production facilities have grown, indigenous people have been forced to evacuate their homes and have seen their habitat and health destroyed.
  • The oil production pollutes the water, soil and air, causing skin and respiratory tract infections, anemia, amnesia, congenital malformations and cancer.
  • Improper use of pesticides has caused skin and stomach infections and even is linked to a significant number of suicides related to a high rate of depression.
  • Nearly three-fourths of the region’s population lives in poverty, earning less than the minimum wage of $7 a day.
  • Social problems include violence, prostitution and alcoholism.
Local Needs and Challenges

Substance abuse

Alcohol abuse is rising at an alarming rate among people in the Amazon region. Many children in Compassion’s child development centers live with alcoholic parents.

Child abuse

Some children have suffered physical abuse at their parents’ hands; all have suffered neglect.

Their parents’ addiction means they do not receive the food, clothing and education they need at home.


The lack of amenities such as running water and sewage systems contributes to serious health problems. Many children here suffer from chronic illnesses.