Chota Valley, Ecuador


Ecuador has a moderately large population of African origin, the majority of which is concentrated along the northwest coast, in the province of Esmeraldas. A much smaller, but highly concentrated, Afro-Ecuadoran group is found in the northern Andean highlands, where the predominant racial type is indigenous or Euro-mestizo. The Chota River valley (part of the river is known as the Mira) and the neighboring Salinas valley, are located in the north‑central provinces of Imbabura and Carchi.. The valleys are home to some thirty five black communities. The Afro-Choteño settlements have traditionally maintained an almost exclusively Afro-descendent demographic profile and a strong sense of ethnic identity, fueled both by pride and by the results of racial discrimination by other Ecuadorans.  Traditional elements continue to appear in highly colloquial speech, among children, workers, and those with little formal education. Older, often illiterate community members manifest linguistic traits that depart significantly from other Ecuadoran varieties, and which are aligned with other Afro-Hispanic varieties throughout the Americas.

Map of communities studied



Representative publications: