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- Visiting South America
Ecuadorian Culture, Values and People
There are many ways to enjoy and immerse yourself in this wonderfully diverse country in South America. Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America and is bordered by Columbia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the two countries in South America not bordered by Brazil. There are many things that a visitor can see while exploring this country, immersing themselves in its culture, with its archaeological sites to its historical locations, representing its diverse population and history. A trip to immerse oneself in the culture of Ecuador includes the pleasure of experiencing the traditional and modern together, getting a full rounded picture of the cultural diversity.
1. To truly immerse yourself in the Ecuadorian culture you need to experience some of its past. The best way to see and learn about Ecuador’s past is to visit historical locations that can be found. To begin you can go visit la Tolita and Ingapirca archaeological sites to give you an interesting insight into the lives of the early inhabitants of Ecuador. It is a good point to start in your immersion into Ecuadorian culture.
2. A second way to continue with your Ecuador cultural immersion is to experience the natural preserves that can be found around Ecuador. Experience your natural surroundings as you tour the number of natural and ecological preserves that can be found around this small country. Embrace the natural beauty of the nature preserve Guayaquil Historical Park. Getting to know your environment better is essential to getting to know exactly how the Ecuadorian people interact with different parts of their environment.
3. As you continue to progress in your new found culture you must not forget that history and nature are only the start. Hungry by now the next place on our agenda is a stop for food, for some authentic traditional food, which is diverse here. A good place to start is with fanesca followed by fritada and vegetables, a great way to taste their cuisine.
4. When travelling to Ecuador there is no best time to go as it is a year round destination. In the Amazon it rains all year round, on the coast the hot season is December to March, and in the Andes you can get all four seasons in one day, the driest months are June to August. You can immerse yourself in Ecuadorian holidays of Christmas, Semana Santa ( a weeklong festival before Easter) and in February or March Carnival is celebrated, and that is done by throwing balloons filled with water, bags filled with flour, water weapons and anything (even eggs) that may make others look messy. This is all in fun. This will help also to enlighten you into how Ecuadorians celebrate their holidays and further immerse you in their culture.
5. In Ecuador communities gather in and around their town squares at weekends and on holidays with the street vendors and entertainment, the shops and local cafes buzzing with activity. Here you can immerse yourself in the culture with the costumes, crafts and food of Ecuador. Walking through the markets you can take in the sights and smells, taste what is on offer. With everything you touch and taste, or smell, you will find yourself wanting to see and try more and more.
6. Another step to immersing yourself in the culture of Ecuador is to meet people, talk to them about their lives, making new friends in the process. The markets and the local shops are a perfect place to do this. You can meet local artisans in their shops; learn about their family’s roots and their ancient traditions first hand. This is a good way to relax and unwind, a good time to mingle in an unstressed atmosphere.
7. Another great way to immerse you into their culture is to volunteer through the one of the many programs around the world that takes annual trips to Ecuador. Ecuador is known for its uneven wealth, there being those in need of help. There are opportunities to teach English to some of the poorest children in the capital, in the poor district of Quito. Other projects to look for will help the community on a larger scale, as well as the ecology and nature. This is a great way to see and experience Ecuador in ways most tourists never will.
Any of these steps above is the perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a foreign culture. To see the world through the eyes of the inhabitants of that country is often an eye opener, yet a great experience. However you choose to do it you will be forever changed by your experiences. So plan your trip carefully, making sure you make the most of the time there. Following these guidelines will help make your trip to Ecuador unforgettable.
If you would like more information on Ecuador please visit my website at http://ecuadoriangringo.com and come share with us your adventures and thoughts on everything ecuador
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