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Loja, Ecuador

  • City population: 
    265,127

The musical and cultural capital of Ecuador

Loja is considered to be the musical and cultural capital of Ecuador, known for its architecture, cultural diversity, and contribution to the arts, sciences, music and literature. Its economy is based mainly on trade, services, agriculture and mining.   

Vision and Strategy

We want to eradicate illiteracy through the implementation of lifelong learning policies and a municipal literacy and learning network. We are promoting emotional health, family welfare and sustainable development, and focusing on eliminating learning barriers with the support of neighbourhood community houses. Moreover, we believe that lifelong learning is an essential means of promoting sustainable enterprises that ensure the economic stability of local families. 

Policies, Plan and Implementation

Sustainability and health

  • Sustainability and health are two of Loja’s key priorities. Health covers emotional and family well-being, while sustainability pertains to well-funded programmes of improvement designed to serve the city’s creative, private and growing market sectors. 

Equity and inclusion

  • The city focuses on helping migrants through an agreement signed with the Haciendo Panas Foundation, replicating the latter’s successful model of social reintegration. An educational programme called ‘DIGNITY’, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), assists impoverished Venezuelan families. In addition, Loja offers free training and workshops on entrepreneurship to vulnerable groups with disabilities. 

Decent work and entrepreneurship

  • Loja fosters agriculture and livestock farming, and has created ‘seed schools’, which train and certify new entrepreneurs and leaders. It hosts ‘learning weeks’, during which workshop participants learn the skills they need to set up their own businesses. 

Good practices

Stories that change the story

  • Project featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs showcasing their leadership qualities, resilience and values, to motivate and empower new producers, creatives, entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs. 

Pedestrianization Sundays

  • Citizens and families are encouraged to exercise by using alternative means of transport, such as: walking, skateboards, bicycles, scooters, etc. The city organizes exhibitions so that pedestrians can enjoy locals specialities and handicrafts. 

Environmental care

  • Loja was the first city in Ecuador to introduce a green rubbish collection system, and now provides other municipalities with training on waste treatment and rubbish collection.

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