I’m living with an Ecuadorian family for 6 weeks.
My observations are mostly based off of the family I stayed with, so not Ecuador in general since I didn’t stay with many families.
1. Family oriented
The majority of the time when families have time together is during meals. My family has dinner together every night.
But one thing that made me feel like life here is very family oriented is because every meal is spent together- even breakfast. For me, I would never get up any earlier just to have breakfast with my dad who gets up at 4 am. (Sorry, dad!)
2. Community oriented
I’ve been told, if you need sugar or flour, just ask your neighbor. I don’t think I have ever been asked or asked for sugar from my neighbor. It’s actually quite common to not even know your neighbor…
But here, that’s not the case.
3. Digital age
Somehow with social media, it seems like all young adults and teenagers all over the world are starting to seem similar. In Ecuador, popular music is in English- like what you’d hear anywhere in stores or on the radio in the U.S.
I admire simplicity. After traveling for two years I realized, you don’t really need things. I always say I prefer experience over things- give me a horse riding or helicopter tour and I’d be much happier than if you gave me a thing (generally speaking!).
When you see someone you know, it’s normal in Cuenca to do this whole cheek to cheek thing for woman to woman, woman to man but I see it’s mostly a handshake for man to man.
I’d be happy with a handshake. Or even an eye contact and wave. The whole cheek to cheek thing is not really my thing. I always feel like I need to wash my face or something. I know… I hate to sound like that- it’s just not something I’m used to. But I do it anyway- it’s part of the culture so I do it.