Ama la Vida

Print, Research, Type Design
Year Created: 2020
︎︎︎Click here to view full book


Ama la Vida is a display typeface that explores my Ecuadorian heritage by combining different aspects of Ecuadorian culture: Gothic and Spanish Colonial architecture, traditional folk art, woven textiles, and native flora.


Create a culturally reflective typeface.

"Ama la vida", the slogan for the Ecuadorian country, translates to "Love Life". With this typeface, I hope to exhibit the lively energy of the Ecuadorian people and the land. I strive to be specific to Ecuadorian civilization and raise awareness of the diversity the Hispanic community holds.


Collage print for inside cover of book.

Final Deliverables

Esta es Nuestra Tierra

︎︎︎Click here to read Oil Crisis in Ecuadorian Amazon

This book not only contains my Ecuadorian-dedicated typeface, it also exhibits imagery I personally photographed from when I visited the country. Additionally, within this book is a project, Esta es Nuestra Tierra, that brings to light the oil and socio-economic crisis occurring in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Due to Chevron’s corrupt actions of oil extracting/mining, the different sources of water found in the Ecuadorian Amazon are becoming non-potable, thus affecting the Indigenous peoples’ lifestyles. This oil corporation is what is causing the downfall of the Indigenous livelihood and basically putting villages full of families at health risk. The Ecuadorian Amazon is not their land to take and not their land to extract goods from. We must respect the rights of not only the Indigenous families, but also the land.
Wherever you are in the world, you are somehow connected to the Amazon river. The Amazon Basin is a main source of freshwater in the world thus making the maintenance of these rivers extremely crucial. The Indigenous families that live in the Amazon environment particularly rely on freshwater for everyday tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Due to the contamination of these water sources, these families have experienced the effects of illnesses, birth defects, and miscarriages.
The t-shirts contain the same design from the stickers, essentially using the same concept of raising awareness of what is going on in Ecuador, a place dear to my heart. I utilized Ama La Vida typeface I created that holistically embodies the Ecuadorian culture. Layered on top is my handwriting to personalize it and add some organic expression. This shirt serves as a way to bring awareness to the issues of allowing oil corporations to conduct environmental crimes just for the sake of the economy.
The power of typography is very essential to my work as it conveys the topic at hand in a direct but experimental way. I began to further inform myself of what was going on in Ecuador including their socio-economic state, the importance of Indigenous lifestyles in the modern century, and the need to maintain the Amazon Basin at all costs. Reading about the past history of oil development in Ecuador and how it ultimately affects the Indigenous tribes drove me to make this piece.

︎︎︎Make your own words!


  1. Pellegrini, L., & Arsel, M. (2018). Oil and Conflict in the Ecuadorian Amazon: An Exploration of Motives and Objectives/Petroleo y conflicto en el Amazonas ecuatoriano: Una exploración de motivos y objetivos. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y Del Caribe, 106, 209.
  2. Webb, J., Mainville, N., Acero, J., Poveda, C., & Amazon Frontlines. Amazon Frontlines. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
  3. The True Story of Chevron’s Ecuador Disaster. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2020, from

Marissa Balbuena ©