A case study of why Third World countries are still poor, the premise of this book is that while some progress has been made in transforming the political economy of Ecuador, certain behaviors, beliefs and attitudes have kept the country from developing in ways that otherwise would have been possible. As the author asserts, for almost five centuries the cultural habits of Ecuadorian citizens have constituted a stumbling block for individual economic success. Still, he concludes, people's cultural values are not immutable: inconvenient customs can be changed or influenced by the economic success of immigrants. This is the challenge that Ecuador faces in the twenty-first century.
Osvaldo Hurtado is an Ecuadorian author and politician who served as president of Ecuador from 1981 to 1984. He lives in Quito, Ecuador.