In 1997, the Fundación Oficina de Investigación y de Desarrollo Social (OFIS) (the Foundation Office for Research and Social Development) set up an office in Manabí, with the aim of supporting the process of development, together with the Montubio people and the mangrove communities in the Manabí province.
During its first eleven (11) working years, the OFIS Manabí was a decentralized office and had both financial and technical autonomy, which allowed it to build a political and programmatic identity under institutional guidelines, the basis upon which the strategic alliance with OFIS was consolidated at a national level.

After this time of accompaniment and sharing the challenges of development, the OFIS headquarters – in agreement with the Manabí Office – considered it opportune and pertinent to advance to the complete autonomy of the OFIS Manabí, proceeding with the creation of the Fundación para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Social (FIDES) (Foundation for Social Research and Development).
Thus, on the 9th of March 2009, FIDES obtained its legal status granted by the Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES) (the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion), in accordance with the Ministerial Agreement 0030.


We are an organization committed to helping the most vulnerable groups in Ecuadorian society, including guaranteeing the full enjoyment of their rights and moving towards the construction of a more equitable, just, participatory, democratic and inclusive society.


The Foundation for Social Research and Development (FIDES) is a private non-profit organization that works together with local communities and indigenous peoples, and especially with women and young people. We promote both human rights and the rights of the nature around us, equality, environmental, economic and social resilience, participation, democracy and effective governance. Partnerships are promoted with public and private groups and actors; both national and international groups that share our vision and values.

Working Principles


Communities and peoples are key actors in the territories. Therefore, they have the rights and responsibility to develop strategies for their own sustainable management and conservation. FIDES support these efforts, promoting the participation of citizens themselves so that they are part of local, national and global decisions.


We promote equality in all its forms, especially in the access and control of resources, as well as in decision-making in both the public and private sphere.


Commitment to the development of lifelong strategies and the recognition of common goods.


Natural resources provide sustenance to the communities and towns involved. Our actions are focused on their conservation and proper management, based on traditional knowledge and the practices and contributions of the Academy and Society.


Everyone is valued without discrimination based on religion, gender or culture. We promote a peaceful coexistence, respecting the autonomy of the communities and their inhabitants, as well as valuing and promoting the conservation of nature.

Institutional Structure

FIDES defines its management model focused on two aspects:
A learning organization focused on intervention where experiences and knowledge are generated, managed and accumulated. We aim to improve practices and processes, monitor such processes, carry out evaluations and systematize experiences which contribute to the construction of collective learning and knowledge of the organizational set in order to make our actions more effective and efficient. The learning organization allows the exchange of information and lessons learned. It also leads to the strengthening of policies, procedures, strategic guidelines and continuously improves the institutional practice.