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The term applies broadly to Arab-speaking, predominantly Christian, immigrants whose ancestry can be traced to Syria, Palestine, or Lebanon.
It is unknown how many “Lebanese” migrated to Ecuador, but the economic and political influence of their descendants has been much greater than their numbers.
Since the mid-2000s emigration has slowed considerably, and the earlier waves have been replaced by a steady flow of Ecuadorians leaving to reunite with relatives abroad, most notably in Spain and, to a lesser extent, the United States and Italy.
This state-led transnationalism coincided with the 2008 global economic crisis and Spain’s efforts to encourage unemployed immigrants to return to their home countries.This country profile offers an overview of the historical and more recent migration patterns to and from Ecuador, examining policies in the country and beyond that affect migration, the role of remittances, and a focus on Ecuadorians in key destination countries.Historical Background The population of what is now Ecuador witnessed considerable disruption between 14.By the 1960s, small communities of Ecuadorians could be found in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.Emigration Since the 1960s: Economic Crises and Two Waves of Emigration The provinces of Azuay and Cañar, and Ecuador’s third-largest city, Cuenca, formed the core migrant-sending zone in Ecuador in the 1970s and 1980s.