Monday, March 17, 2014

First Impressions of Ecuador

Monday, March 17, 2014

love where I am now and my first week in Ecuador made me realize one thing: This aimless roaming through South America has changed me more than I thought. I am not myself anymore -- at least not inside.

I honestly didn't have the urge to leave Colombia. If there's one thing I am looking forward to in Ecuador, it will be my volunteering job, meeting new people and learning how the Ecuadorians speak, eat and live. I've only been here a week and I believe I've observed a lot from just looking and listening to the locals.

Too Modern

... musically speaking. My third day in the city of Quito was spent looking for salsa clubs/bars at the famous La Mariscal but we found nothing. Most of the clubs play electronic music and people are dancing to the spins of Swedish House Mafia and Daft Punk's swagger mainstream hits. If Marc Anthony's Vivir Mi Vida is the national anthem in Colombia, here, Get Lucky is on repeat. I didn't even know this song not until I came here and I had to google the title! I love these tunes too but when in South America, I'd like to experience the real culture of dancing and music. That night, we found a few bars playing salsa but not too much. After a song or two, they'll come back playing the English hits.

Less Affection

Don't get me wrong. I am definitely not looking for too much hugs and kisses however, I was expecting it. Remember when I wrote about Latin Americans being too affectionate? It never happened here. In Brazil and Colombia, I was used to kissing and hugging people as a form of greeting and I brought it here. Apparently, Ecuadorians are different. They don't do it much and I was surprised. Sometimes, people won't even greet you too much (buenos dias, etc). I cannot quite read the people's mood here. 

The Weather Really Affects Our Mood

I didn't know this until I came here. The image of all South American countries in my head has the words sunny and hot but apparently, I was wrong. Where I am now, the city of Quito is extremely cold and I wasn't prepared for it. My mood, as well as my exercise routine(s) and sleeping habits changed. I guess this is why they don't greet, kiss or hug as much. Aren't we suppose to hug when it's cold? :)

The men are...

If Argentinians are romantic, Brazilians are natural flirts and Colombians are the jealous type, I have no words for the men here. I first saw it when I took a taxi upon arriving Quito. The driver was asking me personal stuff about the men in my country, what do I like about a guy and why I had an Argentinian ex boyfriend when in fact Ecuadorians are better, something like that. Another time, there was a guy in the store who said I was beautiful. I said, thank you then he said I will be more beautiful without clothes! Well, I said have a great day and walked away. Just a few days ago, I was asked again about my Argentinian ex following up with a nasty question: Do you want to try an Ecuadorian? I said, "try?! What are you guys? Food?!" I don't know how you describe this type of men but I am out of words. On other hand, I am not taking these seriously. I guess they just like to pick up women this way and they didn't mean to offend. I know how to take care of myself and that's something I am proud of.

A Beautiful Country

Upon entering the border of Ecuador from Colombia, the country already took my breath away. Mountains, lakes, rivers, beautiful scenery came flashing my way. I've never seen anything this beautiful! The people are deeply rooted in their culture: they still wear those native costumes from long time ago and man, they cook awesome food at home! 

I've only been here a week and I have yet to explore the country with the little time I have here. Yes, I will not be staying for three months like what I did in Brazil and Colombia. At this moment, I am more focused on my volunteer job as I am having a lot of fun and making new friends and family (again!). 

In the end, let me tell you that I am being well taken cared of at the hostel I am volunteering in. 

There's more to come and I hope to see more of Ecuador for the next few weeks!


  1. Nice post although I think your prejudices got in the way. The fact that they play electronic music there is part of their culture, maybe not the culture that we - outsiders - like to see but well in the Netherlands we don´t all walk on wooden shoes with cheese in our hands dancing the polonaise.

    About the men... well men are all the same but in different packages. In Argentina they lie to get into your panties, in Turkey they show their muscles, in Uganda they be all sweet and understanding and in Ecuador they tell you the truth. I think I like that! Of course there are men in this world that are different but for the gross of them it all comes down to one thing - a naked girl :P

    I´ll be travelling to Equador this August so can´t wait for more posts =)

  2. Never take local guys seriously and be careful! They are typical flirting guys who like nice girls, especially tourists :). Seems like you are not entirely happy with the place. Hope you will accommodate quickly and adapt to the new environment :).

  3. Tae yan natawa ako ng sobra dun sa you want to try an Ecuadorian HAHAHA Seems like South Americans (men) are quite aggressive, I wonder if the women are the same? hehe


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