Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - Fondo Documental Afro-andino de la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Afro-andean Documentary Fund of the Simón Bolívar Andean University)

This collection is the largest repository in the country and the region of oral, visual and written materials regarding the afro Andean peoples. It was established in 2002 through an agreement between the Simón Bolívar Andean University (Ecuador) and the Process of Black Communities of Ecuador, which preserves an extensive oral and visual archive in afro Ecuadorian communities of more than forty years. It also has documents and other materials of historic and up dated value regarding the peoples of the Black Diaspora. .

The materials of the Fondo are grouped in four collections:  

The sound collection, with more than 3.000 hours of recordings and 1.333 archives, divided into two categories: 
Oral tradition, including interviews, testimonials, life stories, knowledge, stories, and chants, among others, of the communities of Esmeraldas, Imbabura and Carchi.  
Processes, including the minutes of assemblies, workshops, and meetings of communities and grass-roots organizations.

The photography collection, with approx. 10.000 photographs, divided into two categories:   
From 1970 to 2002. 
From 2002 up to the present. 

The audio-visual collection, divided into two categories:  
Audio-visual materials produced in afro Ecuadorian communities. 
Audio-visual productions from and about the African imprint in Andean and Latin America.

The written collection, digital and printed, divided into three categories: 
Historical documents. 
Contemporary documents, including a specific collection of the works of Juan Garcia Salazar, including publications about his works.   
Texts published in Ecuador, Andean and the rest of the Americas about the African imprint.


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The Fondo Documental Afro-Andino has received the financial support of the Social-Sephis Institute of History from Holland and the Andrés Bello Agreement. The Fund was the winner of the “World Contest on Cultural Preservation” organized by the Embassy of the United States and the project “Otros saberes” of the Latin American Studies Association -LASA. It is also party to the inter-institutional agreements with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Cauca, Popayán. Regarding the celebration of the National Day of the Black People, the Department of Peoples, Social Movements and Citizen Participation and the Federation of Black Organizations and Groups of Pichincha awarded the “Illescas de oro” to the Fondo Documental Afro Andino of the Simón Bolívar Andean University.

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Other data of interest


Founding Date





Toledo N-20-80 Quito - Ecuador  

Telephone Numbers

(593 2) 322 8085, 299 3600

Fax number

(593 2) 322 8426

Person in charge

Phd. Catherine Walsh - Coordinator

Other members of the Executive

Enrique Abad (head librarian)

Objectives of the institution

To preserve the oral and visual materials of the afro Andean peoples.  

To promote research on topics regarding the African Diaspora taking these archives into account.  

To disseminate the knowledge of the peoples of the African Diaspora.  


Heritage documents under its protection

Recordings (tapes) and photographs (35 mm negatives) and slides, and publications of the first afro Ecuadorian readers.

The state of conservation of these collections is very good. Both the recordings and photographs have been digitalized.

They are used for research and photographic exhibitions.

Other publications by the institution

Papá Roncón: historia de vida (2 editions with didactic guides);

Cuentos de animales en la tradición oral del Valle del Chota (with didactic guide);

El cuento de tradición oral en las comunidades afroecuatorianas: una compilación (in print);

Readers on ethnic education (1, 2, 3);

El color de la diáspora: Fotografías (catálogo y exposición).
Multimedia productions:

Saberes propios, religiosidad y luchas de existencia afroecuatoriana;

Compilación bibliográfica: Pueblos de descendencia africana en Colombia y Ecuador;

Multiple academic articles on topics related to the ancestors, ethnic education, the afro Ecuadorian and afro Andean imprint.