Christmas is time to Make a Difference and Help the Public Schools here in Ecuador. In the past few weeks our intercultural family decided to celebrate the Holidays by given to the local community. Being a part of all these local festivities in such a short period of time has not only been incredibly fun but has also got me thinking about how important and rewarding is to get involve with the local community while living in Ecuador.
Celebrating Local Christmas traditions helps me keep grounded. Celebrating this traditional holiday brightens up my mood for weeks as I become absorbed in preparations for the event and the excitement of the day itself.
Traditional celebrations are some of the core aspects of any culture. Whether it is a wedding, a harvest festival, a religious holiday, or a national observance, our celebrations are woven tightly into our overall cultural identity.
When you move overseas, part of the excitement of living in a new culture is exploring and joining in the celebration of the local holidays and traditions of the country. Some of these experiences will provide memories that will last a lifetime.
Celebrating a special day can also help you connect with fellow compatriots in your area who can add to your mutual support group. When we host our last expats gathering, I meet a new couple who had just spent an exhausting couple of months going through the trials of getting settled into a new job, finding appropriate housing, and jumping through the usual bureaucratic hoops that accompany any move to a new country. They were extremely grateful for the chance to wind down, meet new friends and exchange tips on local life.
Experience Something Unique: Burning of the Año Viejo!
This is a unique experience that you will remember years later. We will celebrate New Year the Ecuadorian style, meaning we were off to burn the dummies! The origin of Año Viejo – made of paper mache and/or wood and sawdust – is a bit of a mystery. Dummies today take the form of political figures, super heroes, manga and anime characters, or famous movie characters. They range from doll size to absolutely, ridiculously huge. They are real works of art. When you burn the dummy at midnight you are burning away the bad things from the old year, then welcome 2014, and celebrate among firework explosions the rest of the night. It is an enormous, amazing conflagration of a fire ceremony.
So next time you see one of your traditional holidays approaching on the calendar, start planning. Invite your friends, involve the kids, and create your own lasting memories.
Here I share with you pictures of our visit to a Public Local School for a Christmas Celebration:
My entrepreneurial adventure side takes me along new interesting ideas while living in Ecuador. I could a sure you that it will be a real learning path in this society and economy.
Here in Ecuador I have found plenty of small business opportunities base on the informality in their local market trade, which it is the result of the high tag most formal businesses have on their final product. In the local Ecuadorian market there is hiked on prices due to a lot of the overhead on imports and local production, I could say that most local consumers try to find on the side options to be able to save and enlarge their expending power.
Christmas it is a great time to supply home made goods and also introduce special imported products for the season. My business creation for this Christmas season is home made spirits and distribution of a reasonable priced Scotch Whisky. Plus on demand elaboration of Corporate Christmas Baskets with home made goodies…
Let me tell you, I am not the only one doing this sort of business adventures, this seems to be the common activity between Ecuadorians at this time of the year, in November, they basically start promoting or asking around what are you making or offering for the holiday season.
Ecuadorians are big spenders when it comes to family, festivities, presents and food.. They do not miss out anybody on their list, they make wonderful Christmas cakes and a delicious home made eggnog, which is the standard to be offered when you visit friends and relatives. They love hot chocolate and “Pan de Pascua” which is a traditional Christmas Round Bread usually in the morning as breakfast.
They are very Catholic oriented and follow a lot of the traditions set by the church. They do the “Novena del niño” , Prayers Novena to the Infant Jesus, gathering friends and family for 9 days before Christmas eve to pray in the name of the Infant to be born, later on they will sing and chant some of the most common Christmas Spanish songs, what a lovely fulfilling way to celebrate the season.
All of this traditions and social behavior provides a great opening for any expat or foreigner to explore the local business opportunities and introduce themselves with new innovations and flavor in life… There is a chance for catering services, events organizer and planners, and even clothing design it is well appreciated, Ecuadorian ladies are very much into fashion and beauty. They love spas and beauty centers, sports and health instructors are very much in fashion. They seem to like top notch quality professionals here, and overseas trainers and instructors are very well paid. Beside all this you have the traditional English teacher jobs, but I would say that unless you are referred by a well know international institute, it will be difficult to get hired, lately, they are enforcing regulations in their education system, and unless you have a teaching degree you could not work as an English teacher.
Today you got a small introduction from this land of opportunities, if your choice in life it is to retire overseas and still make an extra income or keep busy while living abroad, I will say Ecuador is the place to be.
Now, this will be possible around the city suburbs which must of the higher income families live. You can always live by the ocean front or on the hills and travel to your city activities while driving from one place to the other in a very short period of time, most places and cities are not far from each other, distances in this country are fairly close.
The important decision to make ahead of time is the region you will like to live at, if you love the warm weather and the ocean view you have to choose the Coastal Region, you can find wonderful spots no far from the main cities for your on going activities. The same will apply for the Highland Region. Always ask and get informed about your options and don´t forget to be creative, there is plenty of interest from locals about foreigner´s knowledge and experience.
Until next post… here I leave you with my business add