Like many of the people her neighboring countries, most Ecuadorians are a mix of Spanish with the indigenous people who have been there since pre-Columbian days. However, there are still groups of the native Amerindians living in the three main regions of the country, the coast, the Andes and the Amazon. Ecuador's people are friendly and generous.
Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, with Kichwa and other Amerindian languages also spoken.
The vast majority of Ecuadorians are Catholic.
The culture of Ecuador has been built on its Spanish and Amerindian traditions. In the areas where there are still groups of Indians who have not mingled with the European and modern influences, the cultures of old continue in practice. The family is important and the traditional roles of the man as the breadwinner and the woman as the homemaker are the norm.
Ecuadorian cuisine varies by region and what local products are available. Meat, including beef, chicken, pork and cuy or guinea pig, rice, corn and potatoes are typical of the mountainous areas. Hornado, roasted pig and potatoes, is a favorite dish in this region.
On the coast, fish, beans and plantains are popular. Expect to find ceviche, seafood marinated in lime juice, and encebollado, marinated fish, onions and and various regional spices, on the menu here.
Traditional favorites across the country include patacones, plantains fried in oil, mashed, and refried; llapingachos, potato balls; and seco de chivo, a stew made with goat meat. A variety of fresh fruit is available, such as bananas, passion fruit, pineapples, mangoes and papayas.