Daily Life in Ecuador

What's daily life in Ecuador like? When thinking of a foreign country we often have a hard time wrapping our brain around what their life is like. Daily life in Ecuador is varied depending on economic circumstances and where one lives.

The day begins early. Kids get off to school early, which usually starts around 7 am. Businesses open early as well. And homemakers are up early getting their family ready for the day and washing clothes to get them up to dry in the morning sun, before working on other household chores.

More and more women work outside the home.

Work and School

Ecuadorians work hard to provide for their family. And everyone plays a part.

In poor families, even small children can be seen selling candy on the streets. A bus full of passengers can be a captive audience for a young man trying to sell a product. Families will work together to cultivate and harvest their fields. Communities work together to clean and better their neighborhoods.

Vendors selling on the streets of Cuenca.

Middle and upper class families tend to live similar lives to those in the Western world. A 9 to 5 job....as an office worker, bank teller, construction worker or restaurant owner. Many Ecuadorians own their own business, whether a small store in the front room of their home, a stand in the local market or a restaurant.

Children attend school from early morning to early afternoon. No lunch is provided, so school lets out for the day and kids head home for a late lunch. Uniformed crowds of kids can be seen everywhere once school lets out.

Early Afternoon

Lunch time is an important time. Women will spend the morning preparing for lunch. After a trip to the market or neighborhood store, much time is spent making food.

Most who work outside the home have a hour or more at lunchtime so they can go home and eat. Most families will eat together if possible and everyone values the time together.

The meal usually begins with a bowl of soup followed by a plate of rice with meat and vegetables.

For those who don't have time to make it home, nearby restaurants will serve a set menu lunch similar to what they would eat at home.

Most walk or take a bus to get where they're going. All sizable towns have a good public transportation system. Cost is low making it a practical way to get around.

Quito has an extensive trolley system used by thousands daily.

Personal cars are increasingly popular and have become a real status symbol. Many enjoy the evening as a family by taking a ride around town.

Quiet Evenings

Teenagers meet in groups at parks, ice cream parlors and, in bigger cities, malls and movie theaters. These social groups linger while talking or listening to music.

Adults can also be seen strolling the streets in the evening. Greeting friends and buying snacks along the way.

The evening meal in most families consists of leftovers from lunch or quick, simple plate of rice and maybe a fried egg. 


What do Ecuadorians do for fun? Weekend or afternoon soccer games are popular. Neighborhoods will get together to play a game. Volleyball is also a popular pastime. Basketball is played by some.

Dance parties are a common weekend activity whether in a nightclub or at someone's home. A prerequisite for an Ecuadorian seems to be to have some rhythm. Everyone loves to dance....except my Ecuadorian husband. ???

Men will also get together on weekends or holidays for a drink. Whether a cool beer or stinging aguardiente they enjoy a good trago (drink) or two or too much. Public intoxication used to be common, but the enforcement of new laws has reduced the spectacle to some extent.

After a long night in a bar. Quito, Ecuador

The love of dance and drink means there is an abundance of nightlife in Ecuador. Karaoke bars and dance clubs can be found in almost every town in Ecuador.

For the most part daily life in Ecuador is quiet and laid back with focus on the necessities of life and one's family.

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