Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - Instituto Otavaleño de Antropología (Otavalan Institute of Anthropology)

The Otavalan Institute of Anthropology (IOA) is a private legal institution whose objective is becoming a regional centre for social research fundamentally in the area of anthropology, in the geographic-cultural area of the Northern Sierra of Ecuador. Presently it is linked to the structure of the University of Otavalo.  

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It collects the scientific work made and published by the IOA since its foundation in 1966 up to the present. The archive and works contain information on the peoples of African descent since it is located in the geographic region of the province of Imbabura with slave settlements.

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Other data of interest




Founding Date

1976 August 16


Historical and anthropological research


Ciudadela Imbaya Avenida de los Sarances s/n y Pendoneros-Otavalo – Provincia de Imbabura, Ecuador.

Links to social networks

Tuitter: @uotavalo



Person in charge

Luis Alberto Acosta - Director-General

Other members of the Executive

Plutarco Cisneros Andrade, President-Chancellor

Juan Carlos Cisneros Burbano, Vicepresident

Objectives of the institution

research and dissemination in its publications.

To promote, advise and support research in common areas to the institute that are carried out in the University of Otavalo, as well as by independent researchers, and/or trainees of the IOA.

To upgrade the quality of scientific publications and to increase the amount of publications. 

To boost the relationship between the faculty and researchers in the University of Otavalo.

To encourage and facilitate research and debate activities related to the topics of social sciences.

To disseminate the results of research projects, promoting the development of activities for the benefit of society and nature, which at the same time contribute to strengthen the cultural heritage of the peoples.

To organize forums, seminars and/or conferences to debate schools of thought dealing with the present problems.

Heritage documents under its protection

Its heritage comprises a historical collection from early colonial times and the republican period up to the 20th century.

The state of conservation is good. The collection is in process of classification and digitalization to contribute to the physical to digital conversion of the files. A first stage of digitalization has already concluded. They are a source of consultation for professional researchers and students.




Periodicals published by the institution

The Sarance Magazine became established with the publication of its first number on October 31st, 1975, as a magazine specialized on scientific promotion. Since then it has published 37 issues, at the beginning one every two years, and at present twice a year.

The Pendoneros Collection is a compilation of 62 publications gathering research projects implemented from 1980 to 1983, on topics such as archaeology, archaeo-astronomy, ethnic history, symbolisms, ethnic music, among others, and without a doubt, it is an invaluable contribution to the social, cultural, and research heritage of the northern region of Ecuador.

Other publications by the institution

The Biblioteca Cincuentenario includes in a single publication the most significant research efforts carried out, including those in progress and those which supplement knowledge on the life of individuals and peoples, temporarily present or settled in the area between the Guayllabamba River and the limits of Pasto.