Did you know that in Ecuador there are 14 nationalities and 18 indigenous peoples descendants of the original groups that populated Ecuador! For thousands of years the historical presence has determined the pluricultural and multiethnic character of the country.
The historical reality demonstrates irrefutably that the American continent was inhabited by different peoples from the Arctic pole in the north to the lands of fire in the south and the Amazon jungles.
These peoples had cultures and civilizations, some more structured than others but different as the Aztec, Maya, Incas to mention the most renowned and known in the world, most of these peoples had and have their own languages; the economic production was internal subsistence and trade with the barter system between the different peoples especially with the products of agriculture, livestock, hunting, fishing and gathering, each people was different in its socio-political organization, within peoples or between peoples there were conflicts and wars as experienced by all peoples of the world.
Indigenous peoples are heirs and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. Indigenous peoples have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, different groups of indigenous peoples around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.
Indigenous peoples around the world have been seeking recognition of their identities, their ways of life and their right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources for years; however, throughout history, their rights have always been violated. Indigenous peoples are arguably one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world today. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect the rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.