Ecuadorian Culture

Ecuador is slightly smaller than the state of Nevada and is home to over one million species of insects, 1,500 species of birds, and 4,500 species of butterflies. Ecuador’s traditional arts, textiles, and ceramics are based in a culture that dates from around 3200 B.C. Ecuador is divided into four distinct regions–the highlands, coastal areas, rainforest, and the famous Galápagos Islands (where Darwin studied and wrote about evolution)–and is located directly on the equator. Ecuadorians are open, affectionate and curious people who take friendships seriously.

Host an Ecuadorian student in the U.S.

People and Community

Ecuadorian family

An extended family with grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts is customary and an important element of society, providing both economic and moral support to its members. Families are close-knit and enjoy most activities together, like daytrips to the mountains or to the beach. Brothers and sisters attend social events together.

Ecuadorians are very protective of their children; children are expected to show respect for their parents and elders. Teenage girls have more restrictions placed on them than teenage boys have and are expected to assist with domestic chores and caring for their younger siblings.

Language and Communication Styles

Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, but the Indian language Quechua is also widely spoken.


People from the mountainous regions (including Quito) eat lots of corn and potatoes; people from the coastal area prefer rice, beans and bananas. Caldos (soups) are often served at breakfast. Other popular dishes include lechon (suckling pig), llapingachos (fried mashed potatoes), seco (stew), tostados de maiz (corn-fried pancakes), cheese pancakes, often served with fritada (scraps of fried and roast pork), and arroz con menestra (rice with spicy beans, barbecued beef, and plantains).  A popular afternoon snack includes hot bread.