An Ecuadorian American is any person in the United States who is of Ecuadorian ancestry. Ecuadorian Americans can be Mestizo, White, Afro-Ecuadorian, Indigenous, Mulato, or Zambo. Many Ecuadorians are of Lebanese descent. There are also sizable populations of Ecuadorians of Italian, German, Chinese, and Japanese descent.
Until the 1960’s very few Ecuadorans migrated to the United States. In the late 1960’s, however, several waves of migration started. Most Ecuadorian immigration to the United States has occurred since the early 1970’s. This emigration was because of several reasons: The first of them was that United States immigration law changed. Before 1965, national quotas on immigrants favored more the European immigration than Latin American immigration. But after that year, changes in the law of immigration made it easier for Latin Americans and other groups of foreign to immigrate to United States. In addition, it lowered the price of making air travel, so it was more accessible to Latin Americans.
They were drawn to the U.S. for economic opportunities and political freedoms, and Ecuadorian immigration peaked in the political turmoil of 1996-97 and national banking crisis of 1998-99. Another factor in Ecuadoran emigration was the land reform of the 1964. This act improved the lives of many people poor of Ecuador, but also originated far-reaching and unpredictable changes. Therefore, many new small landowners were forced to sell their land. Many landowners abandoned their land and migrated to countries like Venezuela and the United States. The most the immigrants that live in United States send money home. Many immigrants get the American citizenship, others simply are legalized, while that others groups living there illegally and they can cross the border from Mexicoor by boat from Puerto Rico.
Ecuadoran Americans come from every part of Ecuador. Thus, during the 70s, most of the Ecuadorians came from the northern and central sierra, including the area around Quito. In the 80s, many Ecuadorians came from the costa. And in the 1990s, most of them came from the southern sierra, to border with Peru. The majority of Ecuadoran immigrants emigrate to New York City. In fact, the 1990 census recorded that 60 percent of Ecuadorans live in the New York area; the second-largest group, ten percent, lives in Los Angeles.