YFU Switzerland

Christmas in Ecuador

Hello everyone!

I know I haven’t written in quite some time but now I’m back saying MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone on the other part of the world. I hope everyone had a great celebration with their loved ones.

Christmas party for the host families:

Here in Ecuador they don’t really celebrate the “before christmas time” like we do. The only thing they do is decorate the house. So on sunday the 13th of december we exchange students from Portoviejo made a christmas party for our host families. We all made some specific food from our country (the netherlands, switzerland and germany) and planned some games.

Mia and Vincent making pizza rolls

Mia and Vincent making pizza rolls

So, on saturday we went to Santiagos house to prepare most of it (after doing the shoppings). I made christmas cookies and a “Aargauer Rüeblitorte”, a cake from switzerland. The preparation time was fun. We put on music and enjoyed baking and cooking. The next day we went to Santiagos house early. There we finished everything and I made rice pudding (something you eat in Norway in the christmas time). When the families (we were about 35 people) came, we ate and played some nice games all together. It was very nice and funny. i think everyone liked it.

Quinzañera

Here in Ecuador the fifteenth birthday of a girl is very important. They say that that is the age when a girl starts performing into a woman. That’s why many families make a big party when a girl gets 15.

With my friends

With my friends

A friend from school asked me if I wanted to go to such a quinzañera with her, so I said yes. I could borrow a dress from my host sister. Sadly the dress I took with me from Switzerland doesn’t fit me that good anymore (exchange student problems 😉 ). The party was very elegant. Everyone wore nice dresses and smokings. The girl that celebrated her birthday wore a beautiful, big, pink dress. Some people held speaches and the girl danced with her father, uncles and grandfather. It was very traditional and I’m happy I could see how this gets celebrated here. After the traditional part there came what everyone had been wating for, dancing 🙂 Ecuadorians love to dance. from 5 to 70 years everyone got on the dancefloor. This is something I love about the people here. They enjoy life with music. I’ve never been a good dancer but it still was fun.

Christmas celebration

I was very excited to see christmas celebration here and thought it would be a big thing. But that I got disappointed with. We stayed in the house and there came some cousins. We ate food (rice with meat) and I had made some desserts. After that we watched a movie and that was it. I guess it’s understandable that I was quite homesick that evening and the day after. On the 25th we didn’t do anything at all.
The 26th we went to a river with the whole family. There we bathed. For everyone considering to come to Ecuador, be prepared that people here bath in clothes. I found it very weird in the beginning, that they just went into the sea or river with their clothes on. Especially women. Kids and men sometimes wear bathing clothes just like we do in Europe. One of the reasons is the strong sun, but more important is that women don’t want to show themselves in Bikinis. Maybe because many people here are over weight and they don’t feel well in their bodies or just because it isn’t seen as respectable that women show too much skin. At least that is something I had to get used too. But the bathing was fun.

where we bathed

where we bathed

A nice house I saw next to the river

A nice house I saw next to the river

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So my christmas celebration wasn’t very special.

I’m looking forward to new year’s eve. I was told that it’s a tradition here to burn figure that are called “año viejo” (the old year). I will write another post about the new year’s traditions here.

That’s it for now,

Feliz navidad y prospero año

Annette