Ecuador Quito Mission


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Description

Snapshot of Ecuador – Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, though Kichwa, Shuar, and other indigenous languages are recognized regional languages. About 80% of Ecuador’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic church, while about 1.4% belongs to the LDS church. Protestantism has been increasing as well. Family is very important to Ecuadorian culture, with elderly family members often living with their children. Traditional music styles such as pasillo, albazo, and bomba still enjoy some popularity. Festivals and celebrations are varied across the country, many of which mix Catholic and indigenous beliefs. Panama hats, which are brimmed straw hats, are a popular and unique clothing item. Ecuador has many regional rivalries, such as between Quito and Guayaquil, or the coast and sierra areas. Soccer is Ecuador’s most popular sport, though basketball and tennis are also somewhat popular. Lunch is the main meal in Ecuador, though cuisine varies between the coastal and mountain regions. Soup usually precedes the main course for most meals. Fish, beans, and plantains are typical along the coast, while meat (beef, pork, and even guinea pig), rice and hominy are more popular in the mountain regions. Seafood dishes such as shrimp and crab are popular along the coast. Hornado (roasted pig with potatoes) is a popular street food.

We are still collecting information on the Ecuador Quito Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at editor@missionhome.com

The Church

There are 7 stakes and districts located in the Ecuador Quito Mission.  Quito also has access to many church resources, such as a CES Institute, a Bishop’s Storehouse, and Church Employment Center.  The progress of the work in Ecuador led to the split of the mission in 2013 to form the Ecuador Quito North Mission! One missionary reported that there are an average of 200 baptisms per month in the mission. The area is serviced by the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple to the south.

Food

You will eat a lot of rice. Most meals follow a three-course structure: soup, followed by a main course of rice and meat, and then finished with a dessert.  Tropical fruits and juice made from fresh fruit are also popular.  Popular street foods include fried plantains and hornado (roasted pig).  In some of the mountainous areas, people even eat guinea pig!  A few American fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s can also be found in the more urban areas.

Fanesca, a popular type of soup made during the week of Easter.

Transportation

Public transportation is very commonly used in Quito.  There are many taxi services available in the city that are relatively cheap, as well as a bus rapid transit system (which utilizes trolleybuses), and several other bus lines.  Quito also has a bicycle sharing system that facilitates public transportation.

Outside of Quito, public transportation can be more difficult, as mountain roads sometimes get washed out and become impassable. In most areas, you will be able to walk.

A trolleybus in Quito. Photo cca2.0g by waldopics at Wikimedia Commons.

Safety

It’s best not to give off the impression that you are a tourist or that you have lots of money.  Avoid speaking English in public and act like you know where you are going (even if you don’t)!

Customs

The area covered by the Ecuador Quito Mission is very diverse, including both parts of the mountainous Andes range and parts of the Amazon basin.  Some Amerindian tribes are present in areas such as Puyo, and have their own distinct traditions and culture.  Mainstream Ecuador is primarily influenced by Spanish culture with some Amerindian influences as well.

It is polite to always say hello to people everywhere you go. Make sure that you eat everything you are given. Also, the people don’t have a concept of time, so don’t get too frustrated when everyone is late.

Local Lingo

“chuzo!” – dang it!

“bacan” – cool

Additional Info

Quito is home to many interesting sites, including several volcanoes (both active and dormant).  The city itself is located on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano.  Hiking trails and an air tram take visitors up the volcano’s slopes.  Other volcanoes located within the mission include the Illinizas and Cotopaxi.  The mission area is also home to the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge.

Quito’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is home to several monuments and historic religious buildings.  The city also has several large urban parks.

The Illinizas. Photo cca-sa3.0u by Gerard Prins at Wikimedia Commons.

Flag of Ecuador Quito Mission

Profile

Ecuador
President Roger G. Christensen

Calles Robles E4-151 y Av. Amazonas
Casilla: 17-03-078
Quito, Pinchincha
Ecuador

Spanish
About 2.8 million
Roman Catholic, Protestant, LDS
Quito has a cool mountainous climate due to its elevation. High temperatures remain consistently in the mid- to upper- 60s Fahrenheit year-round. October through May is the wet season, while June through September is the dry season.
Quito, Santo Domingo, San Rafael, Ambato, Riobamba

“Ecuador Quito Mission” Facebook group -https://www.facebook.com/groups/2232324482/

“Ecuador Quito Mission 2011-2014” Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/184424041682469/

http://mission.net/ecuador/quito/index.php?set_lang=eng

Experiences

Straight from the Ecuador Quito Mission:

*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Q tips that actually worked. Horizontally lined paper (they had grid paper), mascara, books for children”

*What did you eat the most of?
“Chicken, fried beef, rice, plantains, vegetable soup, fresh fruit juice, bread, onion salad, tuna, spaghetti noodles, tilapia, yucca”

*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“A grub from the jungle in Puyo…it was fried, but the natives enjoy them raw. Also ate armadillo and guinea pig. All those foods are considered delicacies, so you only try them if you end up in the right situation”

*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The exposure of kids to sexuality in music and other media was appalling. It was like they didn’t have the chance to be innocent children.”

*What advice would you give to someone going to the Ecuador Quito Mission?
“Learn about the people and their culture. The indigenous have traditions that are fascinating and they can help you understand how the Gospel can be connected to what they cherish. If you know the people, then you can teach them more effectively.”
-Amanda

“Prepare for a lot of changes. Make sure you have a strong testimony and just lose yourself in the work, and in the culture. The Ecuador Quito Mission is one of the most beautiful places you will ever go. I think about it daily. Make the best of every moment you have and be sure to love the people. Also, pick up on as much quichua as you can. Kids love to hear Americans speak the native language.” -Logan

*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“How diverse and beautiful the country and the people are. Every area I was transferred to was like a different world.”
-Amanda

“How fast the time goes by, and that I should have taken a lot more clothes to protect me from the rain. During the rainy season it is very, very wet. So make sure you have a lot of water-repelling clothes.” -Logan

*Other comments?
“I was one of the lucky few missionaries that got to serve in the mountains, the jungle, and the coast.”
-Amanda

**Did you serve in the Ecuador Quito Mission? If so we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at editor@missionhome.com**