The Lebanese Immigrants in Ecuador: A History of Emerging Leadership


By the 1990s, the mere handful of immigrants sent to Ecuador by the Lebanese diaspora at the turn of the century led the nation as presidents, bankers, and industrialists, which caused a concerned politician to warn of the "Bedouization of Ecuador." This book examines the historical roots of both the Lebanese and the Ecuadoreans, and it offers a systematic treatment of the Lebanese within Ecuador's ongoing twentieth-century history as they gained position and struggled for social acceptance. This history is limited to the successful and dominant Lebanese, whose century of progress is brought to life through accounts of the patriarchal families, the role of women, and of political figures who were quick to adjust old traditions to modern configurations of business and politics. The unprecedented wealth of Ecuador's export economy, which was then based upon the chocolate bean, allured the pioneers who eventually profited greatly from it. The book seeks for those Lebanese traditions that lay behind their success--what caused them to forge ahead of other foreigners, in spite of the prejudice they met as they stepped onto Ecuadorean soil and were thoughtlessly identified as "Turks." They want to be part of Ecuador's history, and they are proud of their contributions, of their past and traditions, and of the legacy that their offspring will carry on.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 2000


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