Life in Ecuador

Ecuador is a very peaceful country. The people are kind and loving and they all want to get to know exchange students. At school the other girls in your class will like you if you are humble and enjoy talking to them.Sabine from OR, Year Program
Take dance classes and learn to dance from the beginning because it is very fun and popular in Ecuador. Sabine from OR, Year Program
"Borrowing" in Ecuador actually means "keeping" so don't lend anything too valuable. You will be surprised at how amazingly warm and generous the Ecuadorians are but don't be shy. Sabine from OR, Year Program
Family is very important, when they ask if you want to go with them, be it your aunt's house or your grandmother's, be open and willing to go with them. Sometimes they won't ask outright questions, things tend to be more subtle, so you have to pick up on hints (and they will be disappointed if you don't). Camille from WA, Year Program
Ecuador is the most beautiful country you could choose. It’s geography is so intensely varied that when you travel an hour one way or the other, you can see the green Andes mountains turn into the colorful Amazon. Take advantage of all opportunities to travelCara from OH, Year Program
One of the biggest things for me was the time issue. Ecuadorians tend to run late and do not have the same idea about time as Americans. I found this difficult to adjust to. Don't worry about it thoguht, it will only lead to more worries, just go with the flow.Camille from WA, Year Program
Don’t worry about clothes if you’re on the coast, they dress just like us. In the mountains it’ll be freezing all year long. Roxane from CA, Year Program
Set the standard early on if you are a light eater. Ecuadorians eat huge portions and do not understand the concept of being full or not hungry. Maya from WA, Semester Program
Family is the single most important thing in their life. It was hard for me to adjust from a family where I see my cousins once a year max to living down the road from my entire host family and having dinner with them every weekend. Expect to spend much more time with family.Mary from OH, Year Program

Digging Deeper

Language Resources
Cultural Resources
News and Media
Movies and Documentaries
  • How much Further (2006)
  • No Autumn, No Spring (2012)
  • La Muerte de Jaime Roldós (2011)
  • Minds in Water (2011)
  • In the Name of the Girl (2011)
  • Oil & Water (2014)
  • A Tus Espaldas (2011)
  • With My Heart in Yambo (2011)
  • Mission Blue (2014)
Books
  • The Queen of the Water (2012)
  • The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (1995)
  • Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos (2013)
  • Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle (1990)
  • Galápagos (1985)
  • Through Gates of Splendor (1957)
  • The Boy on the Back of the Turtle (1997)
  • Ecuador- Henri Michaux (2001)
  • Cultureshock Ecuador (2009)
  • Huasipungo (1934)
  • The Indigo Notebook (2009)
  • The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador (2012)
LGBTQ Resources (Diversity) Heritage and Ethnicity Resources (Diversity)
Note: The links and resources listed in "Digging Deeper" have been provided to AFS by people involved with our organization, including alumni members, volunteers, etc. AFS has not reviewed the resources in their entirety and presents them "as is" for your own information. As such, the sites, publications, films, etc. do not necessarily reflect the approval of nor the views, opinions, and/or values of AFS.