Jo Barrett with a family in EcuadorThe Wajuyata family in Chiwitayo, province of Pastaza. Photo: Santiago Serrano/Progressio

portrait of Luis CamachoMy name is Luis Camacho. I was Progressio’s country representative in Ecuador. Progressio phased out its direct involvement in Ecuador at the end of 2010.

Progressio first started working in Ecuador in 1974 – and I was with Progressio for 18 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes in that time!

About 70% of Ecuador’s population live below the poverty line, and most are people of indigenous or African descent. They’ve had a hard battle to overcome marginalisation and discrimination.

That’s why Progressio has worked so hard to strengthen local organisations that give ordinary people greater involvement in decision-making on issues that affect their lives.

Our development workers have also played a key role in helping local organisations to make farming more sustainable and improve environmentally-friendly practices including saving seeds and preserving natural resources. These are things that make a big difference to people’s day-to-day lives.

In its 36 years in Ecuador, Progressio has really added value to the people’s struggle to improve their lives. Ecuador’s people are now in a better position to continue and build on this work.