Ecuador Beaches

Ecuador Beaches

Ecuador beaches are popular attractions - especially those in Esmereldes, Guayas and Manabi provinces - for drawing tourists and cruise ship passengers with their markets and handmade crafts, jewelry and coral. Ecuador beaches span 18,000 square miles along the coast of Ecuador, with the fishing industry dominating Esmereldas province, while the Manabi area includes fishing villages, mangrove forests, beaches and archaeological sites.


Coastal Region

  • Homes of poor families on the coast are typically made of bamboo and wood. They are built on stilts to help protect them from flooding. Children playing in their neighborhood
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Girls praying
  • Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future. Children coloring in the classroom
  • It is common to see children picking through the refuse of this region's many garbage dumps in search of anything that can be sold or reused. Small boy and puppy in a garbage dump
  • Poor coastal communities are typically crowded and rarely have recreational spaces for children. Boys playing soccer
  • To ensure that children's physical development is on track, they are provided regular nutritious meals and snacks at their Compassion centers. Children enjoying a meal
  • At a Compassion center in Esmeraldas, a northern coastal city, children especially enjoy songs with hand motions. Children singing songs




Roman Catholic


A Glimpse of Poverty in Ecuador's Coastal Region

Growing up healthy and happy is filled with challenges for children in need in Ecuador’s coastal region.

Children singing songs
  • Torrential rains can destroy highways, bring down bridges and houses, contaminate water sources, and intensify diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
  • Often in the aftermath of these disasters, families endure weeks in isolation, without shelter, food or water.

Other serious issues in this region are domestic violence, sexual abuse and drug abuse.

  • In Guayaquil, the region’s largest city, 30 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls have suffered at least one incidence of sexual abuse.
  • Abuse of women and children is fostered by the prevalent, distorted view of gender roles and male supremacy.
  • Drug use in the coastal region is increasing.
  • It is not uncommon to find 12-year-old children consuming or distributing drugs in their schools.
Issues and Concerns

Because of the humidity and proximity to water, coastal residents regularly battle common tropical diseases. 

  • Each winter, more than half the population is prone to outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever and skin infections, all caused by the mosquitoes that thrive in stagnant pools of water that remain after winter flooding.
  • Families also struggle with unemployment
  • Many residents who have jobs must find ways to care for their families on an average income of about $7 a day.
  • Those who can find work labor in the fields harvesting rice and corn; others work on fishing boats or cattle ranches.
  • Informal markets are crowded with vendors selling fruits, vegetables and handmade crafts.
  • Many families are uneducated about nutrition.
  • About one-fifth of the residents of the region’s rural areas are malnourished.
Local Needs and Challenges

Child neglect

A third of the region’s children age 4 and younger are left with relatives, friends or neighbors each day while their parents work. This lack of parental oversight has resulted in a startling increase in:

  • child abuse
  • malnutrition
  • teen pregnancy
  • learning disorders
  • delinquency

Kids who do not receive nurturing and guidance at home are looking for it elsewhere – and finding very poor substitutes. Compassion is working to fill that void in these young lives.

Schools and Education

In Ecuador, nearly all children between ages 6 and 18 have access to a free public education.

  • While about three-fourths of all students finish elementary school, only a little less than a third will complete high school.
  • Classrooms are crowded, with a ratio of 50 students to one teacher in rural, one-teacher schools.
At the Compassion Child Development Center

Child development centers provide registered children with a place to learn, grow and study.

Children whose families have never been able to offer then clean water, health care or an education now have access to these necessities.

Compassion-assisted children attend health classes, tutoring sessions and Bible studies at the center. They also spend time writing to and praying for their sponsors.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

Child development centers in the coastal region of Ecuador provide registered children with a place to learn and grow. While their parents spend their days fishing and selling in the markets, Compassion-assisted children attend or receive:

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • Bible study
  • good hygiene instruction to prevent spread of disease

In partnership with the Peace and Hope Foundation, centers are also working to address the legal, spiritual and psychological issues related to family violence and sexual abuse. Center staff also participate in awareness workshops that help keep them alert and ready to respond to situations of abuse that arise.