Shalom Ecuador

Posted on March 5, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Religion

SHALOMLIFE.COM reported Like most of Latin America, the first Jews in Ecuador were Conversos (converts to Catholicism) fleeing persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. Throughout the subsequent centuries, there was little Jewish immigration into the country. It wasn’t until the 20th century, that Ecuador a substantial increase in the Jewish population.

The Immigration Act of 1924 in the U.S. set a quota for the number of immigrants permitted into the country. Ergo, many immigrants were forced to find alternative locales to lay roots – Ecuador being one of those places.

During the 1930’s as Nazism swept across Europe, many Jews sought refuge in Ecuador. Betwixt 1933 and 1943, an estimated 2,700 had settled in the country. By 1950, approximately 4,000 Jews called Ecuador home.

Today, there are an estimated 1,000 Jews residing in Ecuador, mainly in the capital, Quito. However, there are also communities in Guayaquil (the largest and most populated city in the country) and Ambato. The majority of Jews throughout Ecuador are of German decent.

The Asociacion de Beneficencia Israelita is an umbrella organization that controls both religious and cultural affairs in the country. Chabad-Lubavitch is located in Guayaquil since 2004. Kosher food is supplied, in addition to everything from a Chabad House, to a synagogue, to a library. Read Article


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