Customs in Ecuador
Are you thinking about moving to Ecuador for work or study abroad in this beautiful country?
Sara Mercedes Arevalo Lopez contributed this informational blog post about the culture and Customs in Ecuador to MariaAbroad! Thank you very much!!!
Customs in Ecuador – Guest Manners
Ecuadorians are very friendly and hospitable people. One of the many customs in Ecuador is to invite strangers to come and eat with you and it is a normal practice there. Every country has its specific costumes and manners. When you come to Ecuador, it is important to know what Ecuadorian people expect you to do and what they don’t expect you to do in order to make them and you feel comfortable. So if you want to enjoy your trip, pay attention to these recommendations.
1. Make yourself at home
When an Ecuadorian invites you to his/her house, it won’t be a surprise that the first thing you will hear from your host when you arrive at his/her home is “welcome” and “make yourself at home”. In contrast, in other countries, people never say welcome to their guests. The only thing they say is “how very nice to see you” and that’s it, but Ecuadorians will give you the most warming welcome.
2. Never go to an invitation with your hands empty
If you are invited to an Ecuadorian dinner, it is advisable to buy a small gift such as some candy or a bottle of wine. Doing that, will make your host think you really appreciate his/her invitation. But getting a gift is not a rule; so they won’t think you are not a nice person if you don’t give them a present. They think your presence is the most important thing.
3. Be ready to help
While the host is setting the table you can help him/her by putting the napkins or the forks. If you do that, for sure you are going to be invited another time and also you will get a good reputation. The same thing happens when you finish eating. If you help at least lifting your plate, they will think you like to help.
4. Don’t be shy!
Ecuadorians enjoy table conversation. So if you don’t talk and remain almost quiet, your host will feel offended. They will think you are weird and that you don’t like them or maybe that you feel uncomfortable. Sports and politics are good topics for conversation. Talking about the last soccer game will create a social environment.
Also it is not bad to ask personal questions such as “Are you married?” or “What do you do?” But never ask too personal questions like “Why did you get divorced?” Although they will answer all your questions they won’t feel comfortable if you ask that kind of question.
5. Finish all your meal
Ecuadorians don’t consider it polite to leave food on your plate after the meal. If you don’t finish your meal completely, they will think you didn’t like the meal or that it didn’t taste good. Usually hosts make a huge effort to prepare the most delicious meal for their guests and they want them to like the meal. So even if you are fed up you should finish your meal.
6. Don’t go immediately
After you finish eating don’t go immediately, usually after dinner Ecuadorians like to talk, to play the guitar or to play any card game. If you go like if you were in a hurry, they will think you don’t feel much comfortable or maybe that you have to do something more important than to be with them. However, you shouldn’t stay too long. But if the hosts are old people, the best idea is to stay a few minutes after the dinner.
7. Thank your hosts
When you leave, don’t forget to thank your hosts. It is advisable to say the dinner was delicious, even if you didn’t like it much, or that you really enjoyed their company. Ecuadorian people like to hear those things.
If you are the kind of people that like to enjoy a trip, you already know what to do if you come to Ecuador. Knowing about Ecuadorian customs and manners will help you to have a good time there.
Have you been to Ecuador? What was your experience like? Did you get to spend time with many locals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments about your experience in Ecuador!