Chicos de la Calle – Kids on the street ::: Ecuador 2008

The current population of Ecuador is almost 13 million people, 53% of which are children and adolescents who all wish for one thing: to improve their living conditions. This desire is especially obvious when looking at the active role they play in society, which has a major impact on a range of things from sports to culture to politics. Considering that opportunities to participate are very limited for young people, this achievement is even more remarkable. Without being objectively judged for their actual capabilities, young people have been labeled as immature and unprofessional, never being given a chance to prove the opposite.  The youth in Ecuador must fight with adamantine perseverance to be noticed and heard – it is extremely difficult for them to obtain a mouthpiece with which they are able to communicate. Many Ecuadorians emigrate to the USA and Europe to find work and a better life. The increasing number of migrant laborers is a special challenge particularly for the Ecuadorian youth, but also society in general. Emigration has caused major changes in the Ecuadorian value system and family structure. The adults must create an atmosphere for young people to feel a sense of security.  Adults have to give young people an honest chance. Eventually, this will entail fundamental changes in the educational system and in politics. They have to take into consideration the actual needs of the youth and have to defend their rights. Especially the rights have been violated in the past. If this could become a reality, we Ecuadorians would have a real chance to break free from the underdevelopment, corruption, and misery that we are facing on the streets every day. Despite all adversities in this difficult time, Ecuador has managed to take one step forward and achieve genuine change in social, political, economical, sportive and cultural areas. The young people of Ecuador have contributed significantly to reach these achievements and, with concerted effort, evoked a positive development in Ecuadorian society.


:::March 01, 2008