Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop emeritus of Quito, was born on 1 January 1934 in Riobamba, Ecuador. One of nine children, he attended a Salesian high school before entering the seminary where he studied theology and philosophy.
On 28 July 1957 he was ordained a priest and served in the diocese of Riobamba, working also as the director of Caritas. In 1968, he served as undersecretary of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference until 1970 when he was elected secretary general.
On 20 April 1972 he was appointed titular Bishop of Ausafa and Auxiliary Bishop of Guayaquil. He was consecrated on 21 May 1972. During this time he worked with the Christian Family Movement.
On 29 April 1975 he was appointed Bishop of Azogues.
On 8 July 1989 he was transferred to the titular see of Pauzera and appointed military ordinary of Ecuador.
On 21 March 2003 he was appointed archbishop of Quito, where he worked above all for education and priestly formation.
Archbishop emeritus of Quito, 11 September 2010.
He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Title of Santa Maria in Via (Saint Mary in Via).