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-nt^- f/ /^^-^z/ ///^^UL^ 

Phe Republic of Ecuador 

Social, Intellectual and Religious 
Conditions Today 


Webster E. Browning, Ph. D. 

Bducational Secraury 

of the 

Committee on Co>operation 

in Latin America 


Committee on Co-operation in Latin America 

i5 Mailison Av«nu« 

19 2 





The Republic of Ecuador fronts on the Pacific Ocean, and 
lies south of Colombia and north of Peru. Its acknowledg^ed 
area is 116,000 square miles, but there are large territories in 
dispute with its neighbors, which, should Ecuador be success- 
ful in its contentions, would bring the total area to a little over 
276,000 square miles. 

This enormous extension of territory may best be under- 
stood if compared with other better known areas, such as some 
of the States of the .Xmerican Union. To create in the United 
States an area e(iual to that claimed by Ecuador, we would 
have to include the great states of Ohio. Illinois, Indiana, 
Michigan, Wisconsin and West X'irginia, with Hawaii and the 
District of Columbia thrown in for good measure, while the 
Galapagos Island.^ (tl the coast, and not included in the above 
continental area, are almost as large as Porto Rico. Or, if 
reduced even to the smaller area, this would still be equal to 
the combined artas of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. 
Massachu.setts, Connecticut. Rhode Island and the District of 
Columbia, with nearly 2,000 square miles to spare. 

The Republic is roughly triangular in shape, with its base 
lying along the Pacific coast. The apex of the triangle crosses 
the Andes mountains and extends to the sources of the Amazon 
rivrr. The Galapagos group of islands alr(a<ly referred to, lie 
580 miles ofT the coast directly on the Equator. The group is 
compftsed of thirteen large, and a numbt-r of small islands, but 
at present has no economic value. The strategic iini)ortance, 
however, is great, since these islanrls lie in the direct path o{ 
vessels coming across the Pacific from New Zealand and .Aus- 
tralia to the Panama Canal, and the United States has been 
quoted as trying to gain possession of them for the purpose of 
establishing a naval base. The Emperor of Germany also 
made Ecuador an offer of purchase at one time, l)Ut the popular 
sentiment is strong against the sale of any part of the national 
territory, and all such suggestions have been refused, although 


{Ur need oi mo«jr> li.i> itc ti ^ttai Moirovcr thr Constitution 
ilctlaicN that tijc territory of the Kepul>lic is "one and ind« 
vi»jble.** and no ConRrcs? <h political party has dared take 
contrary action, such as wonM ATi-^e (rotn the sale of any part 
oC the national domain 

There arc tlircc distinct /.i.ii< > i-l tlitnale in Mcuador. The 
first IS the coast zone which is tropical, and whose principal 
products «T. cotTce, rubber, sugar, tubaccu, ivory nuts, 

and niaiiv k luits. cNpccnlly oian^es. bananas, alligator 

pears, melons, etc. The second is the intcr-andcan region 
which embraces the slopes. tablr-Iaiuls an<l peaks of the 
Cordillera de los Andes, amonj^' these last the two well known 
summits. Chimborazo, which rises 21.000 feet above the sea. 
and Cotopaxi. a volcano, which is 19.613 feet in height. The 
climate of this zone is temperate, and the products include 
wheat, corn. oats, beans aiul pcilatoes, and the valleys and 
plains afford pasturage f<'r cattle. hf»rses. goats and slieep. 
The third z(»ne is an uncultivated, unexplored region that 
slopes down from the Andes to the Amazon, inhabited only 
by tribes of wild Indians, among them the Jibaros, or head 
hunters, whose very name is a terror to their enemies. 

The total population of the Republic is estimated at 2.000,- 
000. but there are no utVicial figures, and some writers place it 
as low as 1.500,000. Guayaquil, the principal port, is the sec- 
ond largest city, with 90.UU0 inhabitants, and the population 
of the other sixteen provincial capitals varies from 5,000 to 
40.000. Quito, the Capital of the repul>lic. has an estiniat«-d 
population of 100,000. This city lies 297 miles in the interior, 
at a height of 9,373 feet above the sea. and is reached from 
Guayaquil by a railway which passes over a ridge almost 
12.000 feet high. This journey takes two days because of the 
steep mountains to be climbed and the numerous stops which 
are made along the way. The railway was constructed by 
American engineers at a cost (.f $20.0(X),f)00. Most of the com- 
merce of the country passes over this line, since practically 
all importation and exportation arc carried on through Guay- 
aquil, which is situated on the Ciuayas river, forty miles from 
the sea. but at sea level. 

All varieties of climate and productir>n are to be found in 
these three zones, which, combined with the unusual fertility 
of the soil, make of Ecuador an altogether pleasant country 
in which to live. Quito, though but fifteen miles from the 
Equator, is, because of its altitude, surprisingly cool, though 
not cold, and Guayanuil, because of the cool waters of the 
Pacific which twice a day sweep up the river in a tide of sixteen 


feet, is not warmer than some of the cities on the Spanish 
Main or the coast of Mexico. 


Francisco Pizarro, the illiterate, but daring and capable 
Spanish swine-herd, overthrew the Empire of the Incas early 
in the sixteenth century. This empire centered in what is 
now the republic of Peru, but to the north lay another empire, 
that of the Caras, with its capital at Quito. When .\tahualpa. 
the last of the Incas, had been treacherously put to death. 
Pizarro then turned his attention to these lands to the north 
and despatched one of his lieutenants, Sebastian de Benalcazar, 
to conquer the Kingdom of Quito. This conquest was easily 
encompassed, since the Indians were a simple people and the 
Spaniards heavily armed, and in 1534 the capital was entered, 
a brother of Pizarro was named Governor, and the land was 
apportioned among the conquerors as feudal estates. 

In 1542 the vice-royalty of Peru was established and the 
territory now included in the Republic of Ecuador was made 
a part thereof. Later on, in 1717. the vice-royalty of New 
Granada, with the capital at Bogota was set up and Ecuador 
transferred to this new regional authority. This arrangement 
continued for but five years, when it reverted to Peru, but in 
1739 it was definitely assigned to New Granada and remained 
a part of this vice-royalty until freed from Spain by the revolu- 
tion which began in Quito in 1809. when the Spanish Governor 
XK-zs deposed and a revolutionary cabinet established. Inde- 
pendence, however, was not assured until General Sucre over- 
threw the rovalist forces at the histf)ric battle of Pichincha. 
May 24th. 1822 The territory was then incorporated with that 
of the Greater Colombia, under Simon Bolivar, which inchulcd 
the modrrn rrpublics of X'cnczuela. C'olombi.i. Pannma and 
Ecuador. In 1830, this union was disrupted and Ecuador pro- 
claimed itself an independent republic, with General Plores as 
the first president. 

The history of the republic has been turbulent, and revolu- 
tion ha» succeeded revolution with wearying rapidity. 1 he 
struggle, on the whole, has been between the Liberal and the 
Clerical parties, with first one and then the other in the as- 
cendent. Even today, with a Liberal constitution and with 
the Liberal party in power, the Clericals remain strong and 
arc a force to be reckoned with in all endeavors to uplift and 
educate the people. 



Perhaps ru» heiirr iriM^ht mt(> this t\nl>iilriit history of 
Kcuador could l^c obtaiiinl tluiti that which is secured through 
the stutiv i»( tlic administratiiMis of t\v<» of its prrsidcnts, 
(iarcia Moreno. \vlu)se power tcrniiuated with his death by 
ji^^as-iinatiou in 1S75. and I'.lov Alfaro. who was done to ilcath 
by the soltliers and mutilated by the populace in 1*>12, after 
havinij served two terms as president and secured the Liberal 
constitution !>y which the country is now ruled. 

Garcia Moreno was the head of tlic Catholic party in 
Ecuailor, and entirely under the domination of the clergy. His 
only ambition seemed to be that of establishing more firmly 
the Church of Rome in all the affairs of state, and it was larjje- 
ly due to his influence tliat the Concordat was finally estab- 
lished in 1863. pivinp to the Church what was practically 
supreme power over the State. As a matter of historical 
interest, and as showinp how far fanaticism may po »" foisting 
ecclcsiasticism on a country, it will be well to (juotc here the 
first two articles of that C<»ncordat. which read as follows: — 


".-\rt I. The Roman Catholic and Apostolic religion shall con- 
tinue to be the rrhnion of the Republic of Ecuador, and it shall con- 
serve forever all the privileRcs and preroRatives which belong to it. 
according to the Law f>f (iod aiul the canonical rules. Consequently, 
no other heretical worship shall be permitted, nor the existence of 
any society condemned by the Church. 

".^rt. II. The instruction of the youth in the universities, col- 
leges, faculties, public and private schools, shall conform in all respects 
to the Catholic doctrine. In order that this may be assured, the 
Bishops shall have the exclusive right to designate the texts that shall 
he used in giving instruction, both in the ecclesiastical sciences and in 
the moral atul religious instruction. 

"In addition, the diocesan prelates shall conserve the right to 
censure and prohibit, by means of pastoral letters and prohibitive 
decrees, the circtdation of hooks or pul)lirations of any nature what- 
soever, which offend the dogma or the discipline of the Church or 
public morals. 

"The Government shall also be watchful and shall adopt the neces- 
sary measures to prevent the propagation of such literature in the 

It was, no doubt, in the spirit of the last clattse that the 
customs officer in Guayafjuil years aftcrwarrl, when appealed 
to for the admission of the first box of Bibles, brouKht in by 
Francisco Pcnzotti, said, "While stands preat Chimborazo 
these books shall nut enter Ecuador." (Therefore, it was 
with considerable satisfaction that I brou}.(ht with mc from 
Colon five large boxes of Bibles and portions, which I delivered 

to a missionary on the docks and saw through the customs, 
where no word of complaint was uttered, nor even an examin- 
ation made. And yet, great Chimborazo still stands!) 


But a revolt against the power of the Church gradually 
grew up in the republic, and the young university men, in 
particular, leagued together in a series of plots against the 
dictator, one of which was finally successful and resulted in 
his death. The act of assassination is graphically related by 
one of the principal actors, who managed to escape and lived 
a refugee for many years in Peru, but now lives in Ecuador 
and gave me personally a copy of his book in which he defends. 
on the basis that they acted as patriots to keep the Church 
from lording it over the State, all those who participated in 
the bloody scene. 

This rather remarkable description of one of the bloodiest 
scenes in the history of Ecuador, written by one of the prin- 
cipal participants who is now a respectable and respected 
citizen, living quietly in Guayaquil, is worthy of reproduction 
here as showing the intense struggle that has been carried on 
between Liberals and Conservatives, and which has had its 
origin in the desire of the Church to take surpremacy over 
the State. 


As a result of the above assassination, civil wars were started 
which, after almost a quarter of a century of fighting, the 
complete exhaustion of the resources of the country and the 
loss of many thousands of valuable lives, resulted in the over- 
throw of the Conservatives and the adoption of a liberal 

The principal leader of the Liberals in the last years of these 
wars, and the one chosen president at their termination, was 
Eloy .Mfaro. It is a traditif>n throughout this region of South 
America that he owed his li!)eral attitude to a study of a copy 
of the Bible, which was given him by a traveling missionary, 
Dr. Marwin, a Presbyterian, who met him on one of the coast 
boats. However true this may be, I was told by one who 
knew him well, that he never failed to read at least a chapter 
each day from the Hook, and that he lost no opportunity to 
recommend its study to other**-. Tliere was no one to instruct 
him, however, and he seems to liave trnrled to a spiritistic 
interpretation and lielieved that he was bring led and directed 
by some familiar spirit. 



1 ir»> sicrvcil Iwd ujius a.s Pjcsukui, but, allrr having 

re: a iHUvcr, found himself involved in a pohtical up- 

hravai, was thrown into prison and Imlchcrcd by the guards 
and mutilated by the populace in a manner that has seldom 
if ever been equalled for ferocity in the annals of so-called 
civilized nations 


The Concor«lat was abolished by tin- Liberal party under 
the lead of Alfaro, and the Patronate adopted by which the 
state alone is recognized as supreme in I'cuador. The proper- 
ties of the vari«»us orders, which embraced almost entire 
provinces in some cases, were taken over by the state, and 
strict laws were made governing the entrance of foreign priests 
and nuns into this country. Even today, they are debarred 
from entry into the country, and. occasir>nally. an overzealous 
Catholic governor interprets this law as applying to Protes- 
tant missionaries as well. In all such cases, however, he has 
been overruled by the governmrnt in (Juilo. and shortly told 
that the decree applies only to priests and nuns of the Roman 
Catholic faith 


1 he paragraj)hs oi ihc nu'ssa;,'c of IVcsidcnl Alfaro. which 
brought al>out the enaction of what is called the Law of 
Beneficence, and which refers to the expropriation of the 
property of the orders, reads as follows: 

"The properties generally designated as of the "dead hand", 
rented or administered according to the law of worship, have 
come to be almost unprr)ductive for the religious orders, and 
are completely useless to the people, in whose generosity they 
had their origin. Since the religious orders have been declared 
by the constitution to be merely private institutions, they 
have not complied with the Civil Code, not even to the extent 
of securing a legal existence. Therefore, it is wrong to give 
these orders the usufriict of such property, thus mortgaging 
them to the detriment of the republic. There could be no harm, 
then, in adjudicating these gifts of the 'dea<l hand' to the 
Establishment of Ficneficence. in order that they may be ad- 
ministered in such a way that the income from their products 
will go to provide for the needs of the poor and helpless. 
In this way. the properties which were given by the people 

to the religious orders would return to the people in 
their need, and would be used exclusively to alleviate suf- 
fering. But, since it would not be just to deprive the present 
members of these orders of all support, it will be necessary 
to designate a just proportion of the income for their use, 
this to be guaranteed from the proceeds of tlie properties 

The plea of the same president, which resulted in the sepa- 
ration of Church and Slate, is worthy of translation, here, as 
showing the deep feeling that existed in Ecuador on all re- 
ligious questions, and as an eloquent plea for liberty of con- 
science. It is the more remarkable since Alfaro had seen but 
little of life outside his own country, which has always been 
very much shut oflf from communication with the more ad- 
vanced countries of the world, and was not a man of wide 
scholastic preparation. Some of his clerical enemies still claim 
that he was entirely illiterate, though this is an error. One 
paragraph of this Message reads as follows : 

"Let the Church be free, with a capacity of acquiring rights 
and contracting obligations, but. let it remain subject to all 
the prescriptions of our legislation. And, on thus decreeing, 
I beg of you to take steps to avoid all motives for ulterior 
conflicts between the Church and State, adopting so far as 
may be possible, dispositions analagous to those which have 
prevented any conflict between these powers in the United 
States, Mexico. \'enezuela, etc, 

"In the countries which are to be found in the front rank 
of all nations as regards progress, the clergy is deprived of 
all power to intervene in the business of the State, atheism 
is practically unknown and there are no political parties in 
whose platform there can be found any doctrine hostile to 
public worship. The governments, on the one hand, are freed 
from the necessity of dictating preventive or repressive 
measures which, in one way or another, wound the religious 
sentiments of a large number of citizens. Tlure, where re- 
ligion exists in a position of perfect independence, every form 
of an official subsidy for its maintenance become unnecessary, 
because the contributions of the faithful are sufficient to give 
to public worship all that splendor which its dogmas demand. 

"Separation of the two powers, when this does not signify 
the erection of a state within a state and an altar before the 
tribune, when the ecclesiastical power, as a merely legal entity, 
is subject to all the laws of the nation and never llies tlie 
spiritual orbit in which it rules supreme, when the State docs 
not invade, nor can invade, those spiritual attributions of the 


Church, there is no doubt that tlicrc exists a solitl aiul din able 
basis for the |troini)tii)n of social hainiotiy aiwl as an rleinont 
of prof^ress and civilization. 

"I thus set before you. with tl»r (lanktu-ss and hif^h idealism 
that the case deniands, the dilViciilt and coni|)lcx religious 
problem, and the nation can be sure thai, whatrvtr be your 
solution of this problem, that solution will be carefully dictated 
by the most inspired sentiments of justice and patriotism, and 
with a view only to the [greatest national jjood." 

This patriotic appeal of ICloy Alfaro brou;;ht about the re- 
sults he tiesired. but also set the train of circumstances that 
finally Icil \o his betrayal and death. 


Ctiinparetl with ullicr .states oi Latin Atnerica, I*".cuath)r lias 
a constitution that is surj)risin^ly advanced and liberal. The 
president is elected by <lirect vote, as arc also the members 
of Congress, and every male citizen of over twenty-one years 
of age, who can read and write, is entitled to exercise the 
right of suffrage. The Senate is composed of 32 members, 
and a Chamber of Deputies of 48. The President is elected 
for a term of four years, but cannot be re-elected until after 
a lapse of two terms. In addition to his cabinet, which is 
composed of five Ministers, he must consult a Council of 
State on all important matters, and this Council represents 
the Congress when this body is not in session. 

Some of the articles of the Constitution which were enacted, 
with special reference to the pretensions of the clcrg^y, may be 
quoted as follows : 

"Article 16: Instruction is free, with no other restrictions 
than those pointed out by the respective laws, but all instruc- 
tions given by the State or the municipalities is essentially 
civil and lay. 

Neither the State nor the municipality shall give a subsidy 
to, nor help in any way whatever, any instruction that is not 
official or municipal." 

"Article 18: The Republic recognizes no hereditary positions 
or privileges, and no personal prerogatives. 

It is prohibited to ff)und mayoralties of any kind of organ- 
izations which may hinder the free transfer of property. 

Therefore, there cannot exist in ICcuador any kind of proper- 
ty which cannot be sold or divided." 

"Article 26: The State guarantees the following: 


Section 3. Liberty of conscience in all its aspects and mani- 
festations, so long as these are not contrary to morality nor 
subversive of the public order. 

Section 16. Liberty of thought, expressed by word, or in 
the press." 

"Article 28. Foreigners shall have the same civil rights as 
Ecuadorians, and the same constitutional guarantees, so long 
as they respect the constitution and the laws of the Republic." 


A standing army of 7,500 otViccrs and men is maintained. 
and a navy which consists of one cruiser, of 600 tons, a tor- 
pedo destroyer of 1,000 tons, one torpedo boat of 56 tons, and 
4 smaller boats, with n total equipment of about 200 men. 


There are over 5,000 miles of telegraph lines in the country, 
and the service is both rapid and within the Republic, is 
fairly sure. An ordinary message may be sent anywhere in 
the country for only a few cents, and to one of the neighboring 
countries a message of ten w()rds will not cost more than a 
quarter of a dollar, although, as I found from experience, the 
probability is that it will never be delivered. There is also 
a cable connection from the coast, and one of the principal 
relay stations of the cable line is on an island off the coast 
of Ecuador. There are two telephone companies which 
operate in Quito and there is long distance connection between 
this city and Guayaquil, and also with other points in the 


Ecuador is one of the richest countries in Latin America 
in rcf^rd to its tiatural resources, yet but little has been done 
to develop this latent wealth. This has been due in great 
part of the sanitary Cf)ndition of Guayaquil, the principal 
port, in which yellow fever, the plague, and other diseases of 
a virulent nature have been prevalent at least since the coming 
of the white man, and prftbably during the centuries that pre- 
ceded his arrival. 

This obstacle to the country's progress has now beeti re- 
moved, inasmuch as one of the last triumphs of Dr. Gorgas. 
surgeon-general of the United States army and working under 
the Rockefeller Institute, was the sanitation of this port. Yrl- 
low fever has now disappeared, and Guayaquil may br con- 


sidcred as healthy as Panama. While I was in tlu* city, an 
order wa«« receivnl from the author it ie» of the Canal Zone, 
releasing from quarantine, for the first time in many years, 
all ships arriving: from (luayaqnil. The same orders have 
now pone utlo elTect in- Peru on the S(»ulh. and Ciuayaquil is 
at last given oftkially a clean hill of health. 

Most of the steamshij) lines plyinv; hetween Panama and 
the ports to the south now inchide this p{»rt in their itinerary, 
and access to the interior of the country is thus made easy 
and safe. 

I'or years, the only hoats touchinp; in riuayaquil were those 
of the Pacific Steam Navigation Co., now a hranch of the 
Royal Mail, which were cnpa^'ed in c<jasl service. Now, 
however, many lines have entered the trade, and one may 
choose between British, Italian. Dutch. Chilean or Peruvian 
vessels, while nun^rous tramps, f^yinp the American and 
other flaps, make occasional calls at this port. 

Unsanitary condititms still exist in the interior towns and 
cities, as in all I.alin-.Xmcrican countries, hut the general 
conditions would seem to be as favorable to health if proper 
care is taken, as in \'enezuela. Guatemala. Mexico, or any 
other country of the tropics. Certainly they are no worse 
than those w'hich exist in the interior of Central America or 
Paraguay, and the foreigner who exercises necessary care 
as to food and water may travel and live as safely in Ecuador 
as in any other similarly situated country. The traveler in 
particular will have to altstain from the use of many forms 
of food sold alonp the railway lines and prepared by the 
Indians in ways and places that would not bear inspection. 
One of the principal delicacies which I noticed were roasted 
guinea pigs, served in a row on a platter, looking like so many 
rats. This delicacy was eagerly bf>ught up by the local pas- 
sengers, and sweet-faced young ladies eai,'erly and ravenously 
tore the flesh from the bones with as much enjoyment, seem- 
ingly, as an .American young lady would attack a box of Huy- 
ler's bonbons. 

Macabre stories arc also told of the serving of other meats 
in sandwiches which are sold along the line, in which the dis- 
couraged looking canine population plays an important part. 
There was not lacking, even, the story of the priest, who, 
finding a human ear in his plate of soup, became righteously 
indignant, believing that this was too much even f<»r a priest 
to bear in silence, and started an investigation which resulted 
in the discovery of a band of criminals whose confessions 
cleared up the baffling mystery of ♦' « --vil'p 'l^^^rippearancc 


of a number of travellers in that same region. I judged, 
however, that this and other similar tales were told for the 
benefit of the stranger, who was taken to be a tenderfoot in 
travel in Latin America. 


Because of its isolated condition. Ecuador has had but little 
contact with the outside world, and its commerce has been 
correspondingly limited. With the sanitation of its ports, 
new life has already begun to flow into the country, business 
relations liave been stimulated, and the total value of the an- 
nual imports and exports is rapidly rising. The following 
ten-year table of its foreign trade does not include the last 
two years, in which trade has greatly increased, but gives an 
idea of the business carried on, even under the most adverse 
conditions, for the period designated. The unit of value in 
Ecuador is the sucre, which at par is worth 48.6 cents, so 
that 10 sucres are worth out* pound sterling; but the following 
figures are given in United States gold : 

Year Imports Exports Totals 

1908 $9,989,599 $12,907,774 $22,S97,373 

1909 9.090262 12.091.096 21.181.358 

1910 8.007.269 13.6.V<?.358 21.(^5.937 

1911 11.489.104 12.692.237 24.181.341 

1912 10.354.564 13.689.696 24 .044.260 

1913 8.836.689 15.789.367 24.626.056 

1914 8.402.767 13.061,566 21.464.333 

1915 8,408.143 12.895.069 21.303.212 

1916 9.330.171 17.569.691 26.899.862 

1917 10,176,887 16.309,195 26.486.082 


Of the imports for 1917. out of the total of $10,176,887, 
almost $6,000,000 canu- from the United States, about $2,500,- 
000 from the United Kingdom, and the remainder divided 
among the European and Oriental nations and the countries 
on the west coast of South America. 

In the sanu- year, out of .i total < 'M95. in exports, 

the United States rrrrived $12,772. - next country in 

order in France, with $1 .447.f)4(). These exports included par- 
ticular! v cacao, coffer. ivf)ry. nuts, rubber, hides, and the so- 
called J'anania bats, of which last named article the finest 
•pecimens are made in the I'rfivincr of Manabi. Ecuador. 



.•\> !u i.i.-^i i»( ihc laiuls that lie in the tr«>i>u>. Kcuadi)r [)iil)- 
li»hrs few reliable statistics, especially in refjrnrd to iiitcllcciiial 
coiulitioDs. Docninrms, oltlnincil (nun v.iri<>ns sources, how- 
ever, i^ivc the nuiin (acts, and tluy may hr divided as follows: 


In the tlcparlnjcnt of piiniary instruction there were, in the 
last year for which fijjures arc available, a total registry of 
105,vV74 pupils, with an actual attetidance of but 92.502. Oi 
the original number there were 57.066 boys, and 48,308 girls. 
(H the 02,502 it is estimated that not more than 10% would 
finish the entire primary course of study, or, counting the 
whole population at 2.000.000, one for al>out every 2.000 in- 
habitants. I doubt, however, if there is a single primary 
school in all the Republic in which the teaching or the e(|uip- 
ment is such as to make the course in any sense comparable 
to that of the average grammar school in the United States. 
Hence the intellectual e<|uii)nu-nt received even by those who 
finish the full course is but slight, in no way preparing them 
for an intelligent participation in the affairs of the State, nor 
for success in any career. 

In the task of teaching the puj>ils of primary grade, 2.307 
teachers were emi)loyed. 1.002 of them men; of the whole 
number, but 194 held a diploma from a normal school, and 
many did not have even primary instruction as a preparation 
for their work of teaching. 


From the primary school only 1984 pupils were passed 
into those of secondary grade. There are fourteen "National 
C(»llegcs," as the State schools of secondary, or high school, 
grade arc called, and four others maintained by the church, 
all of them for the education of boys. Of this total matricula- 
tion, again, not more than 10% would comj)lete the course, 
giving one high school graduate to every 10,000 of the whole 
population. Here, again, tlu- efjuijjment is most meagre, aiwl 
the course is scarcely superior to that of a good grammar 


In Quito, there are two normal schools, which give what is 
called a full course, f»ne for men and one for women. The 


former had a total attendance of 113. and a graduating clas3 
of 7, the latter had 170 students registered, and 22 of these 
were taking the final year of studies. Another normal School, 
for women, is being organized, and reports an attendance of 
92 in the first two years of instruction. This one is in 


There are four so-called Universities, although but one, "The 
Central University," in Quito, can make any pretentions to 
a building and equipment of its own, and this is still in con- 
struction. These institutions, with their students classified 
by the Faculty which they have chosen, may be given as 
follows : 

Location ol 

L'nivcrtity Law .Medicine Science Pharmacy Dcn'try Obstr'ts Nurses Totals 

Quito .... 99 112 69 18 29 14 11 352 

Guayaquil 67 93 14 8 7 189 

Cuenca ...104 56 14 2 176 

Loja 27 27 









ToUls..297 261 69 46 VJ 23 11 744 

If ten per cent of the total university registration terminate 
their studies, Ecuador would receive, each year, one university 
graduate for every 26.666 of the population, if such preparation 
as most of these ydung men must receive may in any sense be 
called a university education. 

There is not a single high school in Ecuador for girls, and 
only two women so far as I could learn, are taking university 
courses, both of them studying medicine, one in Quito, and 
the other in Ciuayaquil. 


One of the principal .sources of income, for the instruction 
given by the State, are the taxes on alcohol, and the proccefls 
from the .sale of lottery tickets. This is the only country which 
I have known in which the- e<lucation «)f the youth of the land 
depends on an income fr«)m such precarious and doubtful 
•M»urccs, and it is no wonder if the springs of moral character 
are poisoned at their very source. Chile appropriates 5'^ of 
laxrs received from the traflk in alcohol to educational pur- 
poses, but strictly to temperance education which will combat 
the drink evil from which the lax is derived. The total income 
of the secondary schools for 1920 is divided as follows: 


Sucrcs Atncr CuAi\ 
\. From tax on alcohol and 

lotteries 284 .655 02 

2. Grant by Slate. ?)/>S«> 51 

3. Other Sourcs .^75.71476 

Total income Im mc- 
omlary insiructi<.n.. .740.359.29 $296,043.70 

The income of the (our I'nivrrsitics is jjiven as follows: 

Sucrcs Amcr. Gold 

Quito, from tax on aIc«»hol 

and tobacco 165.184.00 $66,073.60 

Guavaiiuil, from lax t»n alco- 
hol and tobacco 156.000.00 62.400.00 

Cuenca. from tax on alcohol 

and tobacco 133.150.66 53.260.26 

Loja. from tax on alcohol 
and t«)bacco 6.400.00 2.560.00 

Toiai> .460.734.66 $184,293.86 

The total expenditure ot tlie Slate on fourteen secondary 
Schools and four Universities would be 1.201,093.95 Sucres, 
or $480,437.56. 


The impression gathered after a careful study of intellectual 
conditions in each of the Latin Kepul)lics on the Western con- 
tinent is that Ecuador should be placed far down, if not at 
the very foot. <>{ the list. .\ few nun i»f un<l<uil)ted aliility have 
been produced, but the p[eneral intellectual situation of the 
people as a whole is far below the average. No exact state- 
ment can be piven since no statistics on the point are pub- 
lished, but the fs^encral im|»ression of those who know best is 
that probably 90% of the inhabitants are completely or virtual- 
ly illiterate. For the primal Indian population no provision 
r has been made, and the Mestizos rank but slightly 
eir native ancestors in the care beslouefl by the Gov- 
• MiiiKiii in the bettering; of their intellectual condition. This 
tact, no doubt, explains why revolutions have be<*n frequent, 
since the lettered few hnd it easy to dominate and lea«l the 
unlettered majority. The history of the people of Ecuador 
is one of the darkest pages m that of the modern world, since 
it has been exploited for the benefit of the few and more often 


than not led to slaughter in the support of this or that pre- 
tender to power. And the Church, which should have been 
engaged in the intellectual and moral uplift of the people, has 
not only been supinely negligent, but as eagerly and loyally 
abetted every effort to keep them in ignorance and make them 
a tool for its own use in its incessant struggle for the subjuga- 
tion of the nation. 


A few of the vital statistics published by the Minister of 
Public Instruction, who is also in charge of this department, 
in his report for 1920. will give a clearer understanding of 
the social condition of the people of Ecuador. 

In 1919, 70.397 births were inscribed in the civil registers 
of the country. Of this number, 48,072 were reported as legi- 
timate children, and 22,325 as illegitimate. These figures, how- 
ever, include only the children whose fathers took the trouble 
to register them in the civil record, and are, as a general rule, 
from the families of the upper or ruling class, who live, mainly. 
in the cities and large towns and who, for reason of the laws of 
inheritance, are careful to register the births of their children. 
The great majority of the laboring class, who live in the coun- 
try districts and smaller towns and villages, as well as in the 
cities, are not inscribed, and among them the proportion of 
illegitimates is very much larger. 

During the same year. 10,006 marriages were registered, 
9,809 of tjicm between Ecuadfjrians on both sides. Of the 
20,012 persons thus married, only 8,246 could sign the mar- 
riage register. The remainder were illiterate. Marriage is 
looked on as unessential to the sustaining of the family rela- 
tion, as is the case in most Latin-.\merican countries, and, even 
by some women, is regarded as even more degrading than 
concubinage. One long resident in the country tf)ld mc of one 
couple, the woman an ex-nun. who were living together, al- 
though unmarried by church or state. When the suggestion 
was made that it would be better for them to have their union 
legalized by such a ceremony, the woman made a horrified 
objection on the groun<l that when she became a nun, she had 
taken the vow of chastity, hence, marriage was not to be 
thought of under any consideration. 


Up to the present time, no one of the great missionary 
Boa''f'^ b.iix riifiTfd F.iii:u!"ir This roiintiv remains, as it has 

long hccu, n standiiif* clunllcnjjf ti> the ICvannclical t huiohcs «if 
North America, the one dark spot in all Ijitin America, the 

', '• •' lie on the American continent in which the mis- 
sis have manifestetl no active interest, in which 
'. I <I neither men nor money. Its ijeeds, social, 
'.ual. and even tnaterial. have cried more lou«l- 
\\ and more utsi>tentty than ttmse of any other land that 
lies tt» the south t>f the Kio (iran«le. hut they have hear«l no 
res|K»nse »»ther than the echots of their own cry. And, as a 
consequence. Kcuador has remained in the darkness of the 
middle ages, a hermit nation, shut up to itself and its own 
tlevices. while the outer nations have moved steadily forward 
and. <luc to the interest and sacrifices of the jjreat Christian 
iMizationsof the N'orth. even darkest Africa has hern pene- 
d hy the lij,'ht of the (iospel and the naticms <»f the ancient 
i . : liave hear<l the Messaj^e and rej«»iced. The reasons for 
::. > apparent neplcct may be noted. 

Ciuayaquil has heen an infected port, at which few steamers 
have touched. Yellow fever has been a scourf^c of the coast 
t«>wns since time immemorial, and those pcr.sons who have 
entered tlie country for any ptirpose whatsoever, have run tlic 
risk of death from this insidious disease and from many others 
which seemed to have become endemic and ineradicable. 

Revolutions, too. have been an almost continuous perform- 
ance and. as a consc(|uence. the economic conditions of the 
country have been far fr(»m stable or satisfactory. Yet. in 
spite of these adverse conditions, commerce has gained admis- 
sion to the country and has made satisfactory progress, rail- 
ways have been planned by American engineers and con- 
structed by American j,'"hl. consuls and diplomatic ofhcers 
have remained at their posts, men of science have explored the 
mountains and the valleys, the coast lands and the high pla- 
teaus, in search of rare plants or atiimals. «»nly the Mission 
Boards have remained outside, spectator from afar of all that 
was transpiring in this land of the Middle Ages, unable or 
afraid to risk life and investments in the uplift of its people. 

This docs not mean that no Evangelical Christian work has 
been done. Many daring and consecrated men and women, in- 
dependently of the strong missionary organizations, through 
which alone an efficient and enduring work can be accom- 
plished, have entered ICcuador and done what they coid«l, under 
their limitations of preparation and resources, to announce the 
Gospel as they understood it. Hut the results have necessarily 
been few and e|)hemeral. Most of these workers have had 
more zeal than knowledge, more consecration than fmancial 
backing, when that which Ecuador needs, to combat and suc- 


cessfully cope with the strongly entrenched Roman hierarchy 
and the social and moral ills that have resulted from its mono- 
poly of what it would call Christian work, are well prepared. 
well equipped workers who can count on a steady financial 
support from some one of the great Boards and thus give 
themselves, unreservedly, to the task for which they came, 
rather than to a search for loc^l support wiiich has not always 
been forthcoming. 

Most of those who have attempted religious work in Ecua- 
dor, as independents or representatives of interdenominational 
organizations under the iron discipline of this or that possibly 
well-intentioned though autocratic leader, have fallen by the 
way. They have merely ploughed the sea, so far as enduring 
results of their work may be discovered. Others have lingerc(l 
on, hoping against lu)pe, maintaining themselves as best they 
could, have estal)lishcd little groups, here and there, of men 
and women who have felt soul hunger, but have seldom come 
to realize the real significance of the Gospel message as it 
was preached to them, and have done something to call the 
attention of the country at large to a purer form of Chris- 
tianity than that to which it has been accustomed. Such work 
has, almost of a necessity, been largely polemical in its pres- 
entation, destructive rather than constructive, and the visible 
results are pitiably insignilicant if compared with the wealth 
of consecration and the arduous labor expended in producing 


A census of all Evangelical Church members in the Repub- 
lic, as the result of the labor of independents and others during 
a quarter of a century, would nf>t show more than seventy-five 
in all, whom the missionaries consider as really converted, and 
the total value of Protestant Church properly would not ex- 
ceed three thousand dollars in .American gold. 

Moreover, of this total value, two-thirds, the value of 
one property, were given by one of the missionaries, a godly 
woman who received a small inheritance and invested it in 
the construction of a Chapel, giving the title to the Mission 
under which she and her husband were then working. Hence, 
one thousand dollars would represent the amount inveslerl by 
the members of the Christian Churches in the h<>me land in 
property to l)e used for the extension of the (jospel in Ecuador, 
though I suspect that a part or all of this was seciired in the 
same way as the other, through sacrifices made by the mission- 
aries themselves. This is not a record of which we may be 
proud, although it is probable that the great Christian 


Lhurchcs of ihc lutmrbnd know litilc or iiolhintj of the need 
m Ecuador, a« one knows it who has visited the country or 
livctl within it as a missionary 


In this city, the most important of the repuhlic. for many 
rea!n>ns. the "Kansas Ciospel Missionary I'nion," long 
directed hy Mr. lieorfje l-'ishcr. a f«»rnu-r Younjj Men's Chris- 
tian Associatit»n Secretary, has a small orf^'ani/ation with 
about twenty mcmhers. The C liapel was donateii l»y a former 
worker. There is one missionary in the city, a man whose 
wife, by order of the I)irecn»r of the Mission, is enpaped in 
work among tlic Indians in an interior town. The influence 
of this work on the city is but slight 


In the same city, the Kcv. W . \i. Ivicd has carruMJ on .m 
independent work for a number of years and now holds ser- 
vices in a small rented r»)c)m on the second story of a h(»usc 
in the suburbs of the city. He estimates that he has some 
fifteen members whom he considers really converted. He 
worked under the Gospel Union mentioned above, for a num- 
ber of vears, but with<lrew and became in<lependent and self- 
supporting through teaching in one of the high schools of 
the city. lit- also itinerates to some of the neighboring towns, 
preaches in one of the squares of the city, and acts as Agent 
of fine of the Bible Societies. Through his connection with 
the schools he has come into contact with a large number of 
influcnti.-il familii-s. and has txt rcised a wide iuMuence for good. 


In this city there are now two Societies at work, The 
Christian and Missionary Alliance, which operated under 
the direction of Dr. Simpson for a long time and until his 
death, and the Seventh Day .\dvcntists. The first of these 
now has two workers in the city, holds street meetings oc- 
casionally, and conducts services in a small upper room near 
the center. No members are reported and I ju<lge that the 
results of the work have been few. Quite., as an interi(»r city, 
and the ecclesiastical as well as the civil capital of the country 
is less open to evangelistic etTorts than is Guayaquil, where 
there is much foreign influence, and I was told that some of 
the oflferings at the street meetings come from the nearby 


market and are not listed as acceptable to the speakers, nor 
presented in such a way as would suggest thankfulness on 
the part of the givers. The Alliance is planning a building for 
Quito, which will include chapel, primary school and a book 
room, and is sending more workers. 

The Adventists have six foreign workers in the city, three 
married cc»uples, and, as usual, do a good deal in the way of 
distribution of literature. I attended and spoke at one of 
their meetings, on a Saturday morning, in an interior up- 
stairs room, but found only about eighteen present, including 
the foreigners and all children. 


In Otovalo, an Indian village to the North of Quito, two 
of the workers of the Alliance have rcciiuly Dpcncd a station, 
and two others have gone down among the wild tribes to the 
East. As yet but little has resulted t'roni these elTorts, since 
it is difficult to reach the Indian with the ordinary methods 
and the Alliance is not equipped for institutional work of 
anv kind. 


In the province of Manabi. in the Xorihcastern part of the 
Republic, the Alliance has done considerable very creditable 
work and has established a number of preaching stations. 


Another attempt to work in Ecuador must be 
mentioned, that made by a group of workers from the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Mission in Chile, in 1900. Dr. Thomas Wood, 
one of the veteran Missionaries of that Church in South 
America, came to Ecuador and obtained consent from General 
Eloy Alfaro, then I'resident, to start Normal Schools in the 
Republic. These schools were to be opened in Quito and in 
("urnca and a number of Missionaries were transferred from 
( liile for the f)urpose of staffing them. According to the terms 
of the contract the (iovcrnment was to j).iy the bill, including 
the salaries of all teachers, and was to provide scholarships 
for needy students. 

These schools lasted for only three or four years, when all 
the missionaries, save one, left the country, and the one who 
remained went into Inisincss. The failure was due to several 
reasons. The political situation was very uncertain, and mis- 
understandings arose in regard to the payment of bills, which 
resulted in the closing of the schools and the withdrawal of 
the workers. Such attempts to work together by church and 


slalc ^;cucr.nlly fail oi iluii tiii'U. an«l ilns i.iihnc may >tanil 
a* a warmnj; i«» luturc KvaufjrlKal rflnrts in Mciiador. Had 
thr l.piscopal Hoard coinr in at that tiinr, it is 
prvd»ahlc that the altcinpt to plant \v*>rk would have hrcn 
successful. Htil the arranj^iMurnt was larjjcly n personal 
venture and tmlay n«> results can he fouiul. It is even possihic 
that this venture which failed will make it hartler for future 
etTorts. since the conditiiMis have chani'ed and a new hejjin- 
ninjj will necessarily he nnire tlilVicult. 


It wjII now he no easy task loi any one ot the Hoards to 
occupy Mcuador. 1 here are numerous reasons why such a 
move will he ditVicult. The strenuous opposition of the dcr^jy, 
the half-Jjearted hacking of the supposedly I.iheral authorities, 
the dirtkulties inherent to the estahlishinj; of such work amonj^ 
a half wild and fanatical population, and the climate, hot aiul 
depressing ahmg the coast where much of the work will have 
to he carried on. may all he discounted as ohstaclcs which 
must l)e met and overcome in practically every country of 
I^lin America. Hut. in Kcua<lor, there are additional proh- 
lems that must he solvecl if a new work is to he entered upon 
with promise of a successful issue. The land has heen pretty 
thoroughly hurnt over by a number of irresponsible persons 
who have been self-deluded into believing they were called 
to do missionary work, and years must pass before the efTects 
of their example are forgotten. There arc some men now on 
the field who have done good work, within the limits of their 
resources, who might even be taken over by a new Hoard, but 
others would better have remained at home so far as any 
permanent results in their w«Tk are cr)no(rned. 


I know of one so-called missionary, as an example, who was 
literally starving in the streets of Quito. He is a man con- 
siderably advanced in age and knows little or no Spanish, yet 
had tried to preach in one of the smaller towns with the re- 
sult that he was driven out and severely handled. His way 
was paid to the States, as a matter of charity, by one who is 
not a friend fif missions, on the condition that he would never 
return. Yet the news came while I was in Quito that he had 
secured futids to return, and was eveti then on his way back 
to the town where he had made a failure, ready to start over, 
and, no doubt, find himself once more an «)bjcct of charity. 



These failures have created a leelinp ot opposition to mission 
work In general in the niinds of the influential citizens of our 
own land, resident in Ecuador, and I have heard in no other 
country such outspoken dislike of missions and missionaries. 
Th« attitude of the natives, too. has been unconsciously in- 
fluenced, and their prejudices must be overcomed. 


Then, too, the missiunanes now at \\\nk must l)e taken into 
consideration and no step taken which would lead them to 
believe that an incoming Board wished to discount their work, 
or force them c»ut by means of a superior e(|uiiiinent and more 
plenteous resources. Where good work has been done, as in 
the Province of Manabi. where the Christian and Missionary 
Alliance has a number of preaching places and a few members 
and adherents, it would seem wise to consider such territory 
occupied and centralize in other sections. Should some of 
those now on the field wish to link up their work with a 
stronger organization, each case would have to be considered 
on its merits, and a decision made accordingly. 


Such large cities as Ouito. ( iuayacjuil. Kiobamba, and Cuenca 
might be considered as common territory, and work begun by 
the new Board, irrespective of what is now being carried on, 
but only after consultation with a view to entering different 
sections of the city in order that all show of competition may 
be avoided, so far as may be possible. 


Inasmuch as no school work has been done by any one of 
the missions now in Ecuador, it would seem that a new Boar<l 
would have the field to itself in this department, and slujuld 
he able to organize its pr«jgrammc in such a way as to estab- 
lish in each of the largest centers, and witlumt regard to the 
Evangelistic work carried on by those now in the field. This 

Vet. to my thiukiM);. no lioaitl >lu)uKl couu- iii loi il)c pur- 
pose of doinK M*h«H>l Work .iKujc The need lor a pcrMJasivc, 
pcrMstcnt. aiul riVicuut urcachin^j of a punr form of the 
i.'hristun Messajje than tne pci»ple have ever known in appall- 
ingly evident, and no Hoard would perform it» whole tluiy did 
It limit its nctivitie^i to school work, althoii^^h this mi^^ht well 
be the form through which it5 first approaci) would be made. 


1 would like to make the folh»winj; suKi^restions in regard to 
the school pnij^ramme to be established, ^'ivinp the cities in 

l}\f .ir.jir in whiili tlw\' Illil^ht bc^t be (Ht'Ujmd 


1. In ilns city, the j)iiiicij);il port and. ui many ways, the 
chief city of the Republic, there is a pood opporttinity to 
establish a "Hoarding and Day School lor Boys," in which 
the English language would be well taught, as also other 
commercial branches. This school should ultimalely olTcr 
a complete course in primary and secondary instruction, with 
the commercial branches as an annex ur included in the 
secondary course. 

I found the American Consul. Dr. !• . \V. Goding, partic- 
ularly interested in our putting such a school in Guayaquil. 
He returned to his post on the steamer by which 1 left, so 
that I had but a short convcrsatit)n with him. yet found that 
while in the Stales he had tried to arouse interest in just such 
a move. He promises his help in all related to what is purely 
educational work in the city, and would not be unsympathetic 
w ith Christian work done as a part of the school programme. 

There is also an American surgeon in the city who has built 
up an enormous practice and has a wide influence, who was 
also enthusiastic about the coming of a good school and 
promised any help he might be able to give. 

I would recommend for Guaya(|uil such a school as the 
"Instituto Ingles," of Santiago dc Chile, and then, as soon 
as the way be opened, a sister institution for girls, similar to 
the "Santiago College." of the same city. 


2. In the Capital City the problem is somewhat different 
form that which is to be found in the more commercial cities 
of the coast. The majority of the families who would send 


their children to school wish their sons to become lawyers, 
physicians, pharmacists, etc.. and. in order that they may enter 
these professional courses in the University, the degree in Arts 
is necessary, and this is given only on the completion of the 
specified secondary course of studies, and after examination 
in the University itself. 

Hence, a school for Boys, in Quito, should affiliate with the 
University, and prepare its students for the State examinations, 
an arrangement that would not present its offering, in ad- 
dition, courses in commerce and others of a practical trend. 

But, in Quito, there should also be established, and as soon 
as possible, a good School for Girls, which would offer full 
primary and secondary courses, but not in aflfiliation with the 
University. Here, again, my ideal would be the "Santiago 
College," in Chile, as. probably, the best institution for Girls 
in South America. 

As already stated in this report, there is no secondary school 
for girls in all Ecuador, and the primary instruction, given in 
a mixed school, is pitifully inferior. 

There are two so-called "Xormal Schools," for girls, which, 
in reality, give but little professional instruction and are, 
rather a kind of inferior High School. One of these is located 
in Quito and the other in (juayaquil. In these there was a 
total matriculation, in 1919. of 251. but only 22 arc reported 
as having registered as students in the last year of studies, 
and from these schools must have come the only two women 
university students reported in all Ecuador. 

The Roman Catholic Church reports four secondary schools, 
but they arc all for boys, only, and this Church, true to its 
history and policy, makes no attempt to educate the women 
of the land to the point that they may think and reason f(^r 
themselves. If any help comes to the girls and young women 
of Ecuador, in their (lesire for intellectual advancement, it 
must come from the I"2vangelical Mission which enters the 
country with an educational programme which includes them 
a.«» well as their brothers within its scope. 

In Quito there should aUo be established an Evangelical 
Normal School. This could probably be done in connection 
with the Girl's School f)r«»posed above, at first as a mere annex 
which, in time, would develop into a separate institution. 
This is necessary in order to prepare teachers for the parochial 
day .schools which would be a necessity in many smaller towns 
as fast as the Evangelistic programme develops throughout 
the country. 



.^ LV> .s >hi»ulil lie c.sta(»ltslu'(l in C lUMica. Kiuliamba, 

and Ai . the central part •»( the cimntry, while to llie 

North. a> tit the Prt»viMces »»f Manahi and I'smeralihis. there 
arc a uumher o{ l«»\vn.s where such schools are jjreatly needed. 
The list »>( needy centers could he extetuled to include every 
town and village in the country, fcjr all are needy, hut those 
named above are the largest and simuld be entered first. 


4. I scarcely dare suppest industrial schools fi>r the Indian 
population, which is al)«iut seventy per cent of the whole, since 
It seems impossible to interest mission Hoards in this line of 
work, yet t«» the intellectual and moral uplift of I'lcuador no 
other form of endeavor would contribute more eflicaciojisly. 
These Indians are. for the most part, at least <'-p''-' '^'''-"'^ 
and live in close proximity to the descendants of European 
nations, from whom tluy have learned many vices and l>ui 
few virtues. The soil is fertile, and the climate aniouf^ the 
mountains salubrious, so that no strong objection could be 
found to the establishing^ of apricultural and industrial schools 
amonp tlicm. 


On the Eastern slopes of the Andes, in the region generally 
desipnaterl as the "Oriente" there dwells a population of 'savage 
»>r uncivilized Indians, estimated at 200.000, although the exact 
number is not known. Tlusc include the Jibaros, who are 
headhunters. and continually at war among tliemselves. Their 
special art consists in taking the head of an enemy slain in 
battle, and, by removing the bones and by the use of heated 
stones, reflucing it to the size of the head of a doll, yet con- 
serving the distinguishing features in such a way that the 
person is readily recognized. These heads could formerly be 
bought by souvenir hunters, but arc ik)W both scarce and 
costly, due to the prohibition of their .sale by the Government. 
Zeal for the increase f»f their macabre crdlection floes not, as 
a rule, extend to the white man, and missionaries may come 
and go at will, with little c)r no danger to life. Only the 
stranger who interferes in their family life may expect harsh 
treatment at their hands. .\s an example, I was told of a 
priest who, going among them, had shown disrcsjiect for 
their women. Shortly afterward a human head, reduced to the 
size of a large apple by metho<ls known only to them, was 



offered for sale on the crown of which appeared a tonsure. 
Two missionaries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance 
are now living among them, are treated with the utmost 
respect, and exercise considerable influence over the tribe 
under whose protection they live. 


To reach these and other Indians of the great South-Ameri- 
can hinterland I am becoming convinced that it would be 
better to make a united etlort, through a Board or Society 
formed for this express purpose, probably a co-operative 
society organized by a number of the Boards that now co- 
operate in Latin America, and that a general headquarters 
should be established at some point East of the Andes, prob- 
ably at Iquitos, on the Amazon. Such an organization would 
tend to call especial attention to this work among the Indians 
of South America and, in addition, by segregating it from the 
general work of the missions, would enable it to raise up a 
force of especially prepared missionaries whose whole time 
would be given to reaching and evangelizing the various tribes 
of aborigines. 

But, whatever tlie method of approach, the problem of reach- 
ing those pagan tribes is before us, and in Ecuador a begin- 
ning might well be made looking toward its complete solution. 


And I include this work under that of the educational pro- 
gramme for Ecuadcjr, rather that the Evangelistic, for I believe 
it to be essentially educational. These Indians need industrial 
schools, with special reference to agriculture, in order that the 
men may be taught to build better htnjses. to cultivate their 
ancestral soil with greater success, to raise more and better 
cattle, and to recognize their personal responsibility to society 
an<l the home. The women, in particular, need to be taught 
sex-hygiene, the care of children, the care of the home, better 
methods of cfM*king and a sense of their own dignity which 
will free them fr«»m the practical slavery, if not concubinage in 
which they are hehl. f)articularly by the white men who dwell 
among them; in a word, to make this life more bearal)l(' and 
more understandable, bef«>re endeavoring to attract them with 
the mysticism of a religion which they have judged, up to the 
present, only by a few of its unworthy representatives whom 
they have knf)wn. 



While in (Juilo. 1 met thr iu'vcrnor oi the ■Oruiitc." a 
young man who is jjrcally inlcrcstcti in anything that w ill lend 
to ihe uplift i»( his dark-skinneil charges. He was anximis (or 
mc to accompany hini on a visit to the ilitTercnt tribes, over 
which he has military as well as civil jurisdiction, and offered 
lo organize a special expediti«>n. if 1 would g«) w ith him. whicli 
would leave ine on hoard the river hoat in l«|uitos, from which 
it is easy to reach the ports of the N«»rth or South. He, as 
well as a large number of the ofticials of the Ciovcrnmcnt 
whom I met. are extremely anxious that s(»me Kvangclical 
Board come in to Ecuador and begin this work which, as they 
clearly sec. means so much for the country, and I hope that 
stimetime I may accept the (iovernor's invitation, go with him 
down among the warring tribes of the Amazon basin, and 
bring back such information as will compel the Evangelical 
Churches of North America to undertake seriously the work 
of their evangelization. 


The more I see of Mission work in I.atin .Xnurica. the more 
keenly I feel that the real strategy of the Evangelicals should 
find its held of acti<»n in the hinterland rather than in the coast 
towns. Like the Roman Catholics, whom we are quick to criti- 
cize, we have but fringed the continent with our missions, 
while the great Indian population of the interior, from five to 
ten millions in number, is as pagan as it was when Christopher 
Columbus first landed on the continent, more than four hun- 
dred years ago. 

Among other Government ofHicials with whom I had the 
pleasure of talking over the situation in l-AMjador, and our hope 
to be of service to its people, was the recently elected President 
of the Republic. Doctor Jose Luis Tamayo. The people are 
expecting great things from him. since he has the reputation 
of being strictly honest and altogether democratic in his habits. 
When he left (iuayaouil, his home, to go t(» Quito to assume 
the Presidency, he refused the usual special car (.iTered by the 
railway company, Iniught his own ticket, and rode in the day 
coach with other passengers. A number of friends who had 
also gone to the stati<»n prepared to accept a free ride to the 
capital in a private car, were forced to return hr)me. since they 
could not buy the usual ticket. In my interview with Dr. 
Tamayo he showed himself deeply interested in any pro- 
gramme that might be of help to the people of his country, 
and his last words as he held my hand were : "Count on me, 


both officially and personally, for any help that I can give you 
or those whom you represent in carrying out any programme 
that will ennoble and educate the people of Ecuador." 

I believe that these were not merely empty words of cour- 
tesy, but that they came from the heart, and that the new 
President of Ecuador would welcome any organization which 
he judged as fitted to aid him in the uplift of his people. 


Before leaving the subject of our educational programme, 
I should mention also the visits a number of University stu- 
dents made me in my hotel. A mutual friend iiad told one 
of them of my visit, and he came one evening with three others 
to make a "short call." One was studying law, another medi- 
cine, one was a professor in the city, and another studying 
in the normal School. I have never seen young men so eager 
to learn of life in the outside worUl, of whicli, as they said, 
they had received scant notices l>ut had never seen — not even 
the coast towns of their own country. I talked with them all 
that evening and, when they finally left, it was with the 
promise that they might come again the following evening. 
This they did, with reinforcements, and it was again near 
morning before they left. No one could hear such young men 
pour out their heart-longings, for something better and higher 
than they have known ; their condemnation of the spiritual 
leaders in the country, knowing that they were being wrongly 
led, yet not knowing just where the trf)ul>lc lay; their oft-ex- 
pressed desire that some Evangelical body might come in with 
elements of culture which would mean the uplift of the youth 
of Ecuador; their hunger tcj get away frotn it all and see and 
know sf»mcthing beyond the narrowed round which they are 
forced to tread in their own city which still slumbers in the 
Middle Ages — no one could hear and note all this without 
feeling once more, and wiih desperate keeiuiess, the unpardon- 
able negligence of the Christian Churches of the world who 
have received in unstinted measure of the good things of the 
Kingdom, but have not given to these hungering voiith even 
the crumb* that fall from their burdened tal)le. 

Before leaving Quito. I was invited to return ami .Npcak 
before the lf>cal ".\theneum." the literary club of the city, and 
also to lecture before the l-'aculty (»f Political Sciences in the 
University, and made friends with a nvimber of the leading 
writers of the country who, in their generous fashion loaded me 
down with copies of their own works, many of these now 
very valuable and in some cases out of print. 



1-or ihc uccupaiK'H <<\ the c<Muitt v l>y tlir l-.v.m^c-listic iorrcs 
of any one «<( our Mission I^uardH. ilu* f<»lli)\vin>{ rcconuntiul.i- 
lion* or sugRcstinns may l>p of value: 


1. That the mi!*sionarie5 now on the fiehl. alth(JU}»h they 
represent <»nlv individual effort, or orjjanizations that are in- 
terdenominational and which have hut comparatively little 
t'tnancial hacking, he consulted as to the <listrihuti«»n of the new 
forces, and that none of the smaller centers now occupied by 
them he entered, unless on their request t>r with their per- 


2. That Quito, (iuayaquil, Cuenca and Riohamha he con- 
sidered of sufficient size to warrant the entrance of more than 
one 5^ocicty. every effort heinf^ made to avoid too close group- 
ing in any one city or center. 


3. That missionaries now in h.cuador who may wish to 
work under the incoming Hoard, he accepted whenever pos- 
sible, each case to be considered apart and on its own merits, 
and only on request of the intercstcfl party. 


4. i hat Latin-American pnachtrs be hnm^^ht trom other 
countries that are friendly to Ecuador (not Peru), in order to 
let the people know that the movement is not wholly from 
the United States, hut that (»ther Latins have heard and ac- 
cepted the Gospel as preached hy the Kvangelical Churches. 


5. It would seem to be particularly important to erect or 
secure buildings that will adequately serve for the presenta- 
tion of the message, of a Church style of architecture that will 
appeal to the people. A renle<l room on the second floor of a 
tumble-down building can make no appeal to the Uitin people 
as a place where Ciod is worshipped. Magnificent Catholic 
buihiings abound in every cit^- and village and throughout the 
country districts, and the Kvangelical Church should have 


houses of worship that may, though less pretentious and cost- 
ly than those of the dominant Church, at least be recognized 
as such. 


6. The salaries of the niissi'inarics should be such as to 
render them independent of any local income. Livinp: in 
Ecuador is still cheaper than in any other of the countries I 
have visite<l. hut with the opcnine^ of commercial relations, 
due to the cleansing of the port, the country is sure to take its 
place with others as regards the high cost of living. No mis- 
sionary going out under a new Board should be compelled 
to ask any financial favor whatsoever from .\merican residents 
on the field, and the salary should be sufficient to allow him 
to give all his time to direct missionary effort, rather than 
to school teaching or other means of self-support. 

The continuous financial stress of many who have gone to 
Ecuador in the past with the best intentions, but with little 
or no assured income, has done much tt) create an impression 
of dislike for mission work in general among those who might 
otherwise have been well disposed toward such work, and it 
will be necessary to overcome this feeling through a generous 
and meticulous provision for the wants of all who may hence- 
forth enter that country for the purpose of d(ung Christian 

7. I would especially urge that the Roard going into Ecua- 
dor begin its work in a quiet way, with but a fi \v workers and 
a restricted programme. Two or three missionary families 
would be sufticient for a beginning and could, in all probability 
start their work almost at once in both Guayaquil and Quito, 
through a small day school which could, later on, be developed 
in conformity with the educational programme suggested 

The foundations of the work to be done should be strong 
and deep, anri there will be need to go slowly and with ex- 
treme care, yet no Board should go in which is not prepared 
to develop its work from the small beginnings suggested un- 
til, in due time, its programme covers the entire Republic. 
The doors to Ecuador are wide open, the people of the coun- 
try arc in a receptive and expectant mood, obscurantism no 
longer has the power it long exercised, the tipper classes in 
particular would be friendly toward aiiy movement that 
promised relief from the domination and enervating influrnre 
of the Romish Clergy, and a begiiming has been made by 
those already on the fieUI which could be usrd t«» advantage 
in further work The Board that enters this field, will, in my 


judgment, find that n^ mv(sttiuni> 111 iiioiic-v ami workers 
will (juickly yield uiiusuallv lar^jc and satisfaclDry returns in 
its Nvholest>nje influence on the country at lar^^r. and in the 
building up of Christian character in iinlividual men and 

Just about one hundred years ago. Janus 1 honison. Scotch- 
man, prohahly a Baptist in faith, representative of the I^n- 
casterian Sch»H)l Association and of the British and I'orciRn 
Society, coming «p from the South, diseinharkrd from a sail- 
ing vessel in the port of (iuavaquil and made his way by slow 
stapes intti the interior and finally tt» the Capital. Quito. His 
journal makes interistinp reading to one who goes over the 
same route today, although it bi- in an .\merican-built railway 
car instead of by stage-coach or on horseback. His route lay 
along the valleys through which the railway now climbs up 
past Chimborazo and Cotopaxi. and the stations at which the 
train stops today are those in which he spent the night or 
delayed in order to satisfy the unusual demand for copies of 
the Scriptures. 

In all this journey, as in .Argentina. Chile and Peru, he found 
the people, especially those of the intellectual class, interested 
in his work and anxious to be of service to him in the distribu- 
tion of the copies of the Bible and other Christian literature 
which he had brought with him. and, in one city, the Governor 
of the Province with his wife attended to the sales while 
Thomson returned visits of the local authorities or attended to 
other business. Even clergymen f»f the Church of Rome 
crowded to his rooms to buy the Bible, and he mentions one 
who carried away in triumph thirteen copies which he pro- 
posed distributing among his confreres. In Quito, he sold .^60 
copies of the New Testament and found, as I have a 
hundred years later, a great desire among the intellectuals for 
healthful literature. Referring to the situation in the Capital, 
he says in words that might have been written in 1920: 

"I suppose that I need not tell you that a work of the evi- 
dences of the Christian religion is not a little wanted in many 
parts in this country, as there are many who are verging to- 
wards, or are already gone into, cicism. On this account, as 
well as on others, it behooves the friends f»f Christianity to 
bestir themselves on behalf of South America. The present 
is a very interesting as well as a very critical period for this 
country. Much, very much, may be done at present, through 
prudent and zealous means, to instruct and confirm the waver- 
ing, and even, perhaps, to bring back those who have aposta- 
tized from the faith. If these measures were connected with 
instruction, as far as can be done, regarding the true principles 

and practices of Christianity as taught in the Holy Scriptures, 
a very plentiful harvest through the blessing of God might be 

"If it should please the Lord to spare me, and enable me to 
reach my native land. I trust that I shall find many ready to 
lend their aid towards such a sacred object." 

Thomson was disappointed in that he did not find many 
who were willing to aid him in establishing Evangelical Chris- 
tianity in Ecuador and other South American countries, and a 
golden opportunity was lost. It has now cost the few liberals 
of these countries a century of almost constant warring and 
revolution to bring about that religious liberty wiiich all de- 
sired, and which might have been obtained much more quickly 
and more easily had the Evangelical world rallied to the call 
of Thomson. Rome soon heard of the interest displayed, 
even by her priests, in the circulation of the Sacred X'olume, 
and. in ways peculiar to herself, quickly brought about a 
change in their attitude. Deism and atheism and other philo- 
sophies have reaped their harvest, but the thinking men and 
women of Ecuador are still unsatisfied, the hunger of their 
hearts has not been fed. and they are still ready to listen to 
those who, coming from beyond their own narrow horizon, 
can tell them of things new and satisfying. I am wondering 
if once again the call of Ecuador is to be unheeded ; or if 
some one of the strong Missionary Boards of the North will 
not accept this Call as coming directly to itself and at once 
begin preparations to come and occupy the land. To such 
a Board "a great door and effectual" is now opened and. al- 
though there may be many adversaries, there can be no doubt 
as to the results to be secured from entering in. 


Republica del Ecuador. 

August 21, 1920. 

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