Ecuador was among the first Latin American countries to gain independence in 1822 and became a presidential republic in 1979, after twenty years characterized by alternating military regimes and civil governments.
In 1999 it experienced one of the most critical moments in its democratic history: in an attempt to stop inflation and encourage foreign investment, President Jamil Mahuad decided to close banks to avoid capital flight and in 2000 imposed dollarization, today still in force. The purchasing power of the sucre (local currency at the time) was reduced to a quarter and about 75% of the population found themselves, from one day to the next, below the poverty line. The indigenous movement responded with a vigorous protest that led to an alliance with the country’s military leaders, the so-called “poncho and helmet revolution”, which resulted in the dismissal of Mahuad and in 2002 the presidency of Colonel Lucio Gutierrez.
In 2006 the democratically elected government of Rafael Correa took office, promoter of the new and more advanced Constitution of 2007 which puts the citizen back at the center and makes buen vivir, peace and environmental protection the pillars of the new state. With his two mandates, the country’s economic policy has taken on a statist imprint and is characterized by greater interventionism and the nationalization of industries, especially in the energy and telecommunications sectors. In 2017 Lenin Moreno, Correa’s successor, was elected.
Mani Tese has been present in Ecuador for more than 20 years.
In Ecuador, Mani Tese’s intervention focuses on strengthening the associations of farmers and small producers. In particular, Mani Tese promotes local supply chains (mainly cocoa and coffee) by proposing an integral approach that includes the right to food, agroecology, enhancement of biodiversity, economic and cultural sustainability, participatory management, strengthening of the solidarity economy, equity – including gender – in access to land and the market.
Mani Tese collaborates with various local organizations including CEDERENA (Corporación Ecuatoriana para el Desarrollo de los Recursos Naturales), UOCE (Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas de Esmeraldas) and FIAN Ecuador (Food First Information and Action Network).
My name is Giulia Donnici, and it all started here. I was still a university student when, in 2006, I arrived in Mani Tese as an intern. It was my first experience in international cooperation and I immediately thought it was the most beautiful and interesting job in the world. Thanks to the internship, I got close and passionate to the topic of corporate social […]