What’s a Minga?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

What’s a Minga?

Working to Move Cement to Roof

Have you ever heard of a minga?  A minga is an organized work project usually scheduled within an indigenous community in order to accomplish a job needed for the benefit of the community.  All able bodied adults are expected to work and contribute their efforts for the good of the entire group.  Here in Ecuador governments are not always able to fund special projects with in rural communities where most of the indigenous people live. The communities are very organized and each has its own president. From what I have seen, the communities are democratic and all adults have the right to communicate their views on any given topic under discussion.

Mingas rely on the combined strength and will of people working together for a common cause.  Recently in Cotacahi, an expat couple, their architect, and indigenous work crew held a second minga associated with the building of their house in the gated community of San Miguel. It is unusual for expats to hold a minga of any sort, but the architect and crew have happily and enthusiastically directed two mingas on their work site.

Patrice Baron Parent and Dave Schroeder’s building site was recently the stage for minga Huasy Cumbay in which the roof was fortified and then tested in a most unique way, but more on that in another entry. The featured image shows cooperative work between gringos and indigenous workers. This is just one of many instances in which the expat community is working together with Ecuadorians, bot mestizo and indigenous. I find it a quite positive interaction and cooperation which better relationships between groups of people with different backgrounds, and I believe such efforts strengthen our human bonds of friendship all around.



  1. What i love most about Ecuador is that they were the first country on earth to grant equal rights to the indigenous tribes and allow them — really– to govern themselves. They even mete out justice in ways that i find so refreshing and much better than our system allows. Way to go mingas…which were there before the Spanish arrived!

  2. We saw racism, seisxm, homophobia, anti-US sentiment, and lots and lots of poverty. We also saw people coming together to help complete strangers, equal rights in the unlikeliest places for the least powerful people, an appreciation for US

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