• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Culture & Identity of Ecuador


Ecuador is a country quickly moving into the modern era, but this shift in culture and way of life is only being undertaken by a portion of the population, generally the wealthier fraction living in the cities. In more rural areas the way of life still reflects a more traditional lifestyle as the people truly live off the land.

In many rural settings the whole family may work the fields as farmers, especially during the summer months (about November to February) when schools are off and the fields need the most work. For those who live in the cities, about two-thirds of the population, the work done is divided into numerous sectors and in there is a substantial wage gap.

Work and school begin as early as 7:00 am in Ecuador, but in most placed don't start until about 9:00 am. In cities this later start time is especially true and most office jobs will work through the day, only having a short lunch, so workers are finished at about 5:00 pm. For other occupations and in more rural settings there is a long lunch break during the hottest hours of the day, then work starts back up and continues until 8:00 or 9:00 pm. Once the work day or school day (which usually ends at about lunch time so they can eat at home) is over, most people get home as they arrived, via public transportation in the cities and by bike or on foot in other locations.

Night and weekend entertainment is limited in most places as only the largest cities have any sort of bar or club scene. This isn't much of a loss though as most people spend their nights and weekends with family in the home. Some young people prefer to go out to socialize, but this is typically done in large groups and often occurs in a town square or a soccer (football) field.


In many ways the definition of being "Ecuadorian" is based on what it is not, which is indigenous. Due to this identity being partially defined in contradiction to the indigenous people, the people of Ecuador tend to identify either as "Ecuadorian" or they identify with their indigenous group.

Since few people in Ecuador are fully European, much of being "Ecuadorian" is based on culture and is secondly defined on ethnicity. Anyone can be included in this definition if they are culturally, linguistically (Spanish), and religiously (Catholic) Ecuadorian, but then there seems to be varying levels of "Ecuadorian" based on skin tone as those who are paler tend to be viewed as being more "Ecuadorian." This definition of being "Ecuadorian" is slowly changing as many people today see anyone who is a citizen of Ecuador as being Ecuadorian, in other words the identity is becoming more politically defined and hence is becoming more inclusive. Despite this, many people still primarily define "Ecuadorian" by the culture of the majority or by ethnic make-up.

Most of the indigenous people, including many of the people in the Andes Mountains, such as the Kichwas (or Quechua) first identify with their ethnicity or linguistic group. In this way they see themselves as being "Kichwas" or "Aymara," etc. None-the-less, some of these people also see themselves as being "Ecuadorian," primarily in political terms, but also in cultural terms to some degree as most of these people are Catholic and speak Spanish (often times as a second language).

This page was last updated: November, 2013