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  • Family is one of the top priorities of Ecuadorians. They often live with one of their children once they are elderly and not able to live alone. In the more recent years, more facilities have been opening in Ecuador to help care for the elderly.
  • Unlike the United States, godparents are very important. Godparents are expected to provide psychological and financial support for their godchildren.
  • There are two ways in which families are formed:Both are given the same legal rights and duties.
    • Civil Marriage (which is the legal form of formalizing a bond between a man and a woman and which all married couples are required to undergo)
    • Free Union (where a man and a woman decide to form a family without undergoing any official ceremony).
  • Family structure differs depending on the socioeconomic position of the family. Wealthier families tend to follow the American or European way of life. (Culture of Ecuador, 2011)


Music is very key in Ecuador. There are differences though between Coast and Highlands. Pan pipes, flues of bamboo, violins, drums, and charangos are played often. They all have different purposes. It has a long history. Pasillo is very popular in Ecuador. It is a genre of Latin music. The style, tone, and tempo of the music differ in each village. In the music today, there is more European features of classical dance. On the pacific coast of Ecuador, it is known for the Amor Fino, a type of song. Pasillo, Pasacalle and Yarabi are popular folk songs. El pasillo is played with rondin and guitar. El pasacalle is a form of dance music. The most popular form in Ecuador is el yarabi. (Music in Ecuador, 2011)


  • Their day is centered around lunch. This is different from our culture because our day focuses around dinner.
  • They try and focus on dieting.
  • There is no food that Ecuador is known for. Their cuisine varies from region to region of the country.
  • For example, costeños (people from the coast) prefer fish, beans and plantains (unripened banana like fruits), while serranos from the mountainous regions prefer meat, rices, and white hominy mote.
  • Some examples of Ecuadorian cuisine in general include patacones, unripe plantains, fried in oil, mashed up and then refried, llapingachos, a pan seared potato ball, and seco de chivo, a type of stew made from goat. (Ecuadorian Cusine, 2011)



Meeting and Greeting
  • The most common greeting is a handshake with direct eye contact and a smile.
  • While shaking hands, use the appropriate greeting for the time of day: "buenos dias"(good morning), "buenas tardes" (good afternoon), or "buenas noches" (good evening).
  • People that are close greet in a much more tactile manner; men embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (called an "abrazo"), and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • Always refer to people by the appropriate honorific title (Senor or Senora) and their surname.
  • In general, only close friends or family use first names.
  • Once someone uses your first name it is a sign that you may also do so. brotherly-love.jpg
Gift Giving Etiquette
  • Ecuadorians give gifts for birthdays, Christmas or New Year, as well as religious events in a person’s life.
  • A young girl’s 15th birthday is considered a special date and is much celebrated.
  • If invited to an Ecuadorian home, bring flowers, good quality spirits, pastries, imported sweets for the hosts.
  • A bouquet of roses is always well received.
  • Do not give lilies or marigolds as they are used at funerals.
  • Do not give scissors or knives as they indicate you want to sever the relationship.
  • If you know the person well, perfume is an excellent gift.
  • Gifts are generally opened when received.
Dining Etiquette
  • Never arrive on time when invited to a home. Although it may sound strange you should arrive a little later than invited, i.e. 30 -45 minutes late.
  • Dress well as this affords the host respect.
  • Don’t discuss business at social events unless prompted to.
  • It is considered good manners to reciprocate any social invitation.
  • Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
  • Guests are served first.
  • The host says "buen provecho" ("enjoy" or "have a good meal") as an invitation to start eating.
  • Food is always eaten with utensils. Even fruit is eaten with a knife and fork.
  • It is considered polite to leave a small amount of food on your plate when you have finished eating.
  • Meals are social occasions and can be quite lengthy.
  • Expect lively conversation during the meal.
  • Wait for a toast to be made before taking the first sip of your drink.
  • The host makes the first toast. The most common toast is "Salud!"
  • When you lift your glass, look at the person being toasted.
  • If you do not want to drink more, leave your glass one-quarter full. (Customs in Ecuador, 2011)




Roman Catholicism is Ecuador's principal religion. 95% of the population practice this religion. It was imposed by the Spaniards during the conquest. Relgious congregations used monumental temples and convents as symbols of power. It involved multiple traits of syncretism with local beliefs. There has been a resurgence of native belief-systems of the Indigenous people. These native relgions include Pacha mama (Mother Earth) and the emphais of harmonioux coexistence with nature. Indigenous traditions value community over the individual. The churches celebrate faith but also focus on the artwork in the churches and their history of their religion. (Ecuador at a Glance, 2011)


Culture of Ecuador - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2011). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 9, 2011, from

Ecuador at a Glance. (n.d.). : Indiana University Southeast. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from

Ecuador - Culture, Etiquette, Customs and Protocol. (2011.). Professional Translation Services | Interpreters | Intercultural Communication & Training. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from

Music of Ecuador - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2011). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from

Zantine. (2011.). Ecuadorian cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from

Page Created by Kathleen Malloy©
Created: November 28, 2011
Last Modified: December 11, 2011