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Republic on the northern Pacific coast of South America. There are about 900 Jews in a population near 13 million. In Spanish colonial times Ecuador was the home of Marranos, forced Catholic converts who practiced their Jewish faith in secret. Their settlement disappeared, and nothing is known of it. In the 20th century, Jews from Europe founded a new community in Ecuador consisting of two distinct settlements in Quito and Guayaquil. Each is separately affiliated with the World Jewish Congress. Each settlement has Zionist groups and a B’nai B’rith organization, but educational facilities are poor. In recent years, there has been a tendency for Jews to emigrate to other South American countries.

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