Situated in Central America, Ecuador is a country with a young demographic where 38% of the population is under 20 years of age. Ecuadorian planning instruments, as well as central and local government programmes and projects, focus on children (0-11 years) and youth (18-29 years), leaving the adolescent population (12-17 years) unprotected. In addition, Ecuador has had setbacks in the system meant to promote and guarantee the rights of children and adolescents. The main problems affecting adolescents in Ecuador are:

  • Ecuador has the second highest adolescent pregnancy rate in Latin America.
  • 55% of hospital discharges and 14% of deaths in adolescent women correspond to pregnancy-related reasons.
  • Suicide rates for adolescents 10-19 years and 15-24 years in Ecuador were 7.5% and 13.6% per 100,000, respectively.
  • After traffic accidents and suicides, homicides are the third leading cause of death among adolescents.
  • The average age for the beginning of drug use is between 14 and 15.

HCA identified Ecuador as a new priority country for Phase II (2022−2026). In November 2022, HCA conducted a scoping study to determine priority cities and potential partners. Led by Ecuadorian research and action centre Grupo Faro, the study prioritised the intermediary cities of Quevedo and Riobamba.

In May 2023, the Ecuadorian innovation lab Lab XXI was selected to lead a future project. As part of a new approach in Ecuador, HCA is giving a seed fund grant to support a process for needs assessment and co-design in conjunction with adolescents and diverse city stakeholders in the priority cities.

Grupo Faro continues to support HCA work in Ecuador, assuming the role of In-Country Advisor.

Start date:

Active Adolescents for Change