Ecuador is a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multicultural nation.
The population of Ecuador, 12.7 million inhabitants, is distributed in three continental regions and an insular region or Galapagos. More than five and a half of the total population of Ecuador lives in the Sierra; in the Coastal Region the population number exceeds six millions; while the other segment of the population, approximately 600,000 inhabitants, inhabit the Amazon and Galapagos.
This population makes up the Ecuadorian culture, which must not be understood from a single approach since it is the result of a mixture between European influences-which started with the conquest- and the indigenous Ancestral culture of the Afro, coastal, Andean and Amazonian people. This is the people of the current Ecuador, with different languages, cultures and regions.
The Ecuadorian can not be pigeonholed into a single culture or a common ancestor. What distinguishes us is our ethnic diversity represented in the indigenous nationalities and ethnic groups of the Ecuador which inhabit the national territory and have specific characteristics in every single region.
It is undeniable that the largest and numerous ethnic group along all of the Ecuador is the mestizo (mixed race), with Spaniard and indigenous origin. The mestizo culture also is the dominant culture in education, art, communication, etc. But this population is not the single national expression, neither the richest cultural one.
The indigenous population is the one that has the greatest cultural diversity in Ecuador. It includes mulattos and zambos, as well as a variety of indigenous nationalities of the Sierra and the Amazon Region. These cultures kept alive many of their traditions and customs. Both the indigenous communities of the Ecuador and the Afro-American, and mestizo culture kept alive many myths and rituals, especially in religion.