Quichua, Saraguro Highland in Ecuador

Joshua Project has identified the Quichua, Saraguro Highland only in Ecuador





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

A description by Father Pedro Arias Dávila (1582):

"In the same way they brought war to a province called Saraguros, which is 7 leagues and 8 from this land; the reason, because they were friends of the Spanish, and these Saraguros not, but that beforehand many Spanish killed them in ambushes and on roads, and gave war to these and to Canaribamba; because these did not serve the Spanish. This is the reason for there being today so few Indians.

Where Are they Located?

The Saraguro live in the Andean highlands of southern Ecuador, primarily in Loja province, Ecuador, with smaller numbers in the province of Zamora Chinchipe.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their primary language is Spanish, but Quichua is still spoken by older people.

"Traditionally, the Saraguro were self-sufficient agro-pastoralists. Most Saraguros were able to provide much of their food needs such as maize, potatoes, beans, squash, oca and melloco. Their clothing was primarily made from wool sheared from their own herds of sheep. In addition to cattle and sheep, Saraguros raised guinea pigs, chickens and guard dogs; many also raised a few pigs and horses or mules. A few Saraguros supplemented their agro-pastoral incomes by selling or bartering textiles, baskets, mats and pottery by offering their services as curers, and by employment as unskilled or semi-skilled laborers. Few Saraguros had an education and access to medicine was limited." 1

"Today, Saraguros are carpenters and shoe makers, nuns, doctors, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, lawyers, musicians, elected officials in government, shop owners, gold-camp laborers, construction laborers, maids, mechanics, welders and teachers. Some Saraguros have continued their agro-pastoral activities, but access to a wider range of occupations, political power, medical care and education and to travel have changed the Saraguro way of life." 1, 2

They are generally a courteous and respectful people, conservative and timid towards outsiders, independent and self-sufficient, responsible and autonomous from an early age. Life is centred around the nuclear (immediate) family with gender-equality. Their identity is connected with their clothes and beliefs, not their language.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are generally devout Catholics with an impersonal and vague knowledge of God. However, their beliefs are syncretistic. They are devoted to the Virgen of Cisne, a so-called post-biblical apparition of Mary in Loja province. The sun-god, Inti is very prominent in their lives. They practice the veneration and placation of an array of saints, nature spirits (such as that of the earth, the moon, maize) and demons.

Prayer Points

* Pray for full time workers both Ecuadorian and international.
* Pray for the struggling evangelical churches to be revived and strengthened. They are what the general Saraguro population sees as the representation of Christianity.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit would open the hearts of the people to the gospel.


1. http://goo.gl/sWTCg
2. http://www.saraguro.org/overview.htm

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Quichua, Saraguro Highland
People Name in Country Quichua, Saraguro Highland
Population in Ecuador 40,000
World Population 40,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 2.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Loja, Saraguro Highland Quichua
Country Ecuador
Region Central and South America
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Loja Province northern area, in southern highlands. Many in Zamora.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Quichua, Loja Highland (40,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Quichua, Loja Highland 40,000
For Primary Language: Quichua, Loja Highland

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1986)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Roman Catholic

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
90.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
10.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Photo Source: Angel Gualán   Creative Commons  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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