Black Americans

I finally made it to Ecuador, I am currently in Quito. My son and his wife "who is Indian" their 22 months old and myself.
When my son or I flag down a taxi they would not stop, but when my daughter-n-law flagged them they would stop. My son was very upset about this. we went  to Plaza Independicia my dau-n-law and I were together and we walked right in, but when my son who was behind us tried to enter, he was stopped and not allowed to enter, we left and did not continue the tour.
Later, a friend of ours rented a taxi for half a day to give us a tour of the city. we asked him about the treatment we experienced and he confirmed that the people here are prejudiced against blacks, (and he is Ecuadorian). He said it is targeted towards the black Cubans who came here to Ecudor and they are known for commiting crimes, so consequently all blacks are considered the same. (Sorry to any black Cubans reading this blog)
However, my second day here my cell phone was stolen from my back pack, go figure.... and there was no black people around, much less Cubans.
On a positive note we encountered many friendly people here.

I understand your point, but when you've lived here for many, many years, you will see that the culture is biased. There certainly is the risk of imposing our own American values on the culture here as you have mentioned. Yes, black face is common, but it is done not just in the Mama Negra celebration but also to imitate people of color. When schools in other places talk about the culture in Esmeraldas, they often paint their faces jet black because to them that's all Esmeraldas is. They don't talk about the people from Esmeraldas who bravely fought in the Spanish Independence Wars nor do they talk about the diversity of the culture in Rio Verde or La Tolita. There are TV shows that put actors in black face and put pillows in their pants while they wear horrible wigs.That has nothing to do with me imposing my American values. I have lived in Esmeraldas and have worked in the neighborhoods along the river. In addition, what makes this so interesting is that during the economic crisis of 1998, hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians fled to the US, Italy and Spain. And when you've been here a while, you will hear them talk disparagingly about Colombians, Peruvians, Cubans and Argentinians. So, there is a lot of hypocrisy. Don't get me wrong, I like it here, but I have to speak my mind on what I see.

The closer to the caribbean you are, the less color becomes an issue. Colombians have a different attitude, a much better one with regard to color.

very good story! Thanks for sharing. Yes, Ecuadorians blame Cubans and Colombians for everything gone wrong, haha literally, which is ironic given how a large percentage of the country fled abroad due to the economic crisis of 1998. With the money they made, they sent it back and that sustained the economy. As far as getting a taxi, it can be verrrry hard! It depends on how I am dressed and my demeanor. If I look like I am not a thief then they will pick me up. To them a potential thief is often black, wearing sport clothes, tennis shoes, certain hairstyle. But if I have a book in my hand, have long pants and smile or something that denotes that I am not a thief(because no thief have ever smiled?). Usually what I do when possible is catch cabs as bus terminals where they are usually waiting in large numbers. They can't all say no!  Also I  have several cab numbers in my cell phone when I need a lift at night. I go to the gym to work out so when I am done, I am sweaty and wearing gym gear. Most taxis wouldn't dare pick me up so I just call a Taxi amigo ( that's what they're called) and I can get taken home with no problem. But the food is good here, haha.

Have all folks living there in EC who are replying and sharing been robbed?

What would be a good income for two to live on? Is the weather in Manta hospitable? Are diseases a concern? We're in Maryland!

[Moderated: Off topic]

Once-upon-a-time :

So, there is a lot of hypocrisy. Don't get me wrong, I like it here, but I have to speak my mind on what I see.

Almost everyone posting here has concerned about safety, crime, and prejudice and legitimately so. As it is with human nature, that often draws stories about how one experiences those very concerns. Again, very legitimate. These are not criticisms.

Well, every country has its problems, so the question is: will I, coming to Ecuador, experience these problems? You could talk statistical probability, but if you have a problem, the fact that this problem might have had a statistical value does not mean much. So, how does one answer this?

I must admit that every comment I have ever posted here is biased. The reason for this is that I have had have virtually none of the negative experiences in Ecuador that others have had. I certainly believe that those discussions highlighting problems are quite valuable; many have said so. But, I also think that following your heart is a bit more productive than following your mind. So, I have taken it upon myself to present my own experience with passion and all its positive implications. But, I am only one person and one view. I cannot claim "truth" whatever that is.

I have been here just under two years, and you suggest you have been here much longer. Therefore, your experience must be broader than mine. I don't doubt and, more so, honor your comments. I am glad you have to speak your mind and share that sentiment. Discussion has it's value, but I wish to remind everyone that, if your heart is pointing you to Ecuador, then follow that urging. But, if you are just coming here because of reasons that are conjured in your head (cheaper, warmer, safer, etc.) then you might be disappointed. You really just have to visit here to find out. But, consider that there are many, many expats that truly love it here, so perhaps all those worries might not be as important as they seem.

Do your homework, find out as much as you can, but also know that if you really want to be here, you are likely going to be very happy. Just because an expat got killed here (that happened in Vilcabamba recently) does not mean that is your fate. Trust that your own wish can lead you to happiness, independent of any one else's experience.

If you want to come here, come. If you want to figure out if you want to come here, I can offer one suggestion that may be of value. Sit down and list the things most important to you. Things you don't want to be without. For example, how important is an experience with prejudice or being pickpocketed in comparison with living among people who value family and friendship at a level most North Americans have never experienced. Be very specific and thorough, even sometimes to the point of being almost silly. For example, I can't live without really good coffee (how silly is that?) and yes, there are good coffee beans here, but you may have to search for them (bring a coffee grinder). Once you have that list, then start asking those questions specifically revealed by your list. Yep, I know, that is why there are so many questions about crime and prejudice. But, go much further. In the end, though, visiting here is going to yield the most valuable answers.

Oh, about those statistics. The chance of experiencing a violent crime is less, especially after you settle and learn how to live here. But, pickpocketing or petty crime is most a greater probability than in North America (depending on where you live, of course).

guitarj,

No, not everyone here gets robbed.  Pretty safe place.  Lived here for 4 years....nothing. Done business here for 25 years...nothing.  Just stay alert, the way you would in Baltimore.

Hector G. Quintana
RDRHGQ[at]gmail.com

guitarj:

You might want to start a separate thread regarding these questions. Your questions are likely to be lost in this thread since the header for this topic is a completely different subject. This is especially true since this topic is a narrow one: Black Americans. Hope this helps.

guitarj,

Manta's weather is good.  The city has a port, industrial feel not that different from Baltimore, only warmer, with some beaches.  No major tropical diseases, if that is what you meant.  Hard to say what a "good income" for anyone would be, since I don't know anything about your lifestyle or expectations.

Hector G. Quintana
RDRHGQ[at]gmail.com

Hector,

(laughing) And me of little faith. I was afraid guitarj's questions would be lost and here you come to save the day. I want to thank you for the many valuable comments you have made in this forum and so how much I value you as a member.

Appreciate the kind thought, Joseph.

Hector G. Quintana
RDRHGQ[at]gmail.com

I am planning on Staying in Ecuador for a few months near January,
I have been to about 30 different countries and have found that the world is way better than the USA. Period! I have never served in the military....
Beside the Oceania region I have seen every continent. I am going to Ecuador in particular to see if I like it better than Uganda, Scandinavia, and other spots.
Though the Ugandan infrastructure is poor its generally very peaceful with an emerging economy, and most people share my Christian beliefs; otherwise I'd stay in Sri Lanka or S.E. Asia.
My comment is this middle passage racism thing was huge, I have found that every culture with colonialist roots; be it America, Portugal, France, Australia, Spain, Italy, there the racism based on skin color lingers. The downside is when there was no colonialist ideology most countries still had wars between clans and tribes; this includes Europe, and Africa. With that being said,"I travel on." Nowhere is perfect but I want a country without that lingering white at top, black at bottom racism.

Do you have an opinion on Panama and The Seychelles?

I am an african american who is strongly considering moving to Ecuador. Id like to know your opinion on the current state of  racism there in Cuenca!

Pupp:  Hope you see this post.  I am a single woman moving to Ecuador in early November and bringing my adult Cane Corso.  I wonder if you are still coming, where you will locate, and what did you decide about your dogs?

Mspre -- I will not move to Ecuador for another month, however, I have been there a couple of times, and find that insofar as racism is concerned, it is not that much unlike USA.  Taxi probably won't stop for you in certain areas depending on your dress; I am a woman and when in a business-type setting find Ecuadorian women to present an attitude that strongly resembles jealousy, that sort of thing.  I mainly encountered that in Quito.

Hector good answer expectations and what is your income....what rent do you expect in what area...and do you expect to drive or take a bus see this all matters.,,great answer

Black american well your not even totally accepted in america yet....cabs not call stop there...
I think everyone needs some one to hate......regretfully it is true...that is their problem every ones they dont like tall women, they dont like gays, they dont fat people, they dont like old people it is always something......but lets turn it to a pisitive...
At least we know who is hating abd who to stay away from because these people give off bad energy and are not nice human beings...so you really should not be getting in their cab...god is warning you in advance stay away....i think that is great...you dont want to get in nd tgen have him drive your son some where he does not want  to be and be attacked.  i would prefer to wave to another can happily...  i had someone drive me to a cemetary and it was no pleasant...so smile and move on....make a negitive a positive that is what my grandmother use to say...she would  say dont dwell. ?.move on.....thats life...no one saud it wouldbe a bowel of cherries..there is a reason for all these old sayings they were not talking to them selves they were life experiences...wave at them and smile...dont let them bother you or your son or they win.....
[Moderated: Off topic]

Hello everyone, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on this subject.  We were raised in Seattle and taught from day one that we are all God's Children.  Being color blind is the only way to go.  Every time someone acts like that they are missing out on the opportunity to interact with someone else.  They miss the light and the sharing their fellow earthlings would share with them.  It is totally their loss.  Each of us has something special to share with one another.  We lose that sharing when we put up silly artificial barriers like race or religion.  Hate is something people dreamed up.  It is so much more  natural, relaxing and fun to give and or care about each other.  We have not seen any racial type activity here in Ecuador.  I am sure given the chance, the haters will come out.  Yet hate knows no color, nor creed.  The live and let live attitude of most Ecuadorians is great to see and we need to learn from it.  Many of the "old" attitudes are fading and we all need to see each other as people, not different but all from one family.  I realize this sounds like a Sermon, but wanted to tell you what I think.  One thing I noticed is that we all bleed red blood.  Another is that it is so much easier to be kind than mean.  I do not think you will experience the type of race problems here.  We welcome all people here.  Each of you have something special to share with us and we do not want to miss it.  I am not a Preacher, but gees let's enjoy our lives and one another!!

Still Living It and Loving It, here in Bahia , Ecuador

If you're being drawn to Ecuador, just go. Regarding racism, consider that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are more than 1000 organized hate groups throughout the USA. Add to that the racially biased that you might work with or sit next on a bus; Ecuador might be a cakewalk. Just go with an open and vigilant mind.  There's something to be learned from both negative and positive experiences. I'm willing to bet that you are going to meet many more good people than bad.

Every encounter is an opportunity to open someone's mind. You could be the first..."white, black,gringo, iceback" that breaks the stereotype that person has in their mind.

Don't become a reaction to another person's problem... or you make it your own.

Oh, you might ask what is an "iceback". I had a cameraman who went to work in California. When he learned that some Americans referred to Mexicans as "wetbacks" he decided as Canadians we must be "icebacks.

Humor breaks through a lot of barriers.

I came to this "Black Americans" forum, hoping to find suggestions. Curious as to where "black" Americans were relocating. But, I read the same thing, I want to leave behind. There's really no good info here. Is there anyone(black, white, green, blue,stripe, polka dot) considering DR, Panama, Seychelles, Jamaica?

Judee :

Every encounter is an opportunity to open someone's mind. You could be the first..."white, black,gringo, iceback" that breaks the stereotype that person has in their mind.

Don't become a reaction to another person's problem... or you make it your own.

Oh, you might ask what is an "iceback". I had a cameraman who went to work in California. When he learned that some Americans referred to Mexicans as "wetbacks" he decided as Canadians we must be "icebacks.

Humor breaks through a lot of barriers.

Hey, I got that joke! I must be Canadian. :)

I think every human carries a load of prejudices around in their mind, some fostered by genes. One of my experiences on knowing i threw some off, came after a business meeting in the Caribbean. Someone had asked me if the gentleman i referred to was white or black? I paused. In my minds eye, I didn't have the immediate answer, having to think about it. It then dawned on me, my brain was no longer boxing people by colour. It was a good feeling.

Hi all,

Please note that some posts have been moved from the thread for they were off topic.

Thanks
Armand
Expat.com Team

hola, los ecuatorianos somos gente amable,buena, generosa, racismo por el color de la piel no hay...NO como he visto en las película con un odio horrible e irracional hacia los negros, ese odio no existe en ecuador, lo que si existe son algunas personas ignorantes que no aceptan a personas diferentes, gracias a Dios son pocas, usted no tenga miedo de ir a Ecuador compruebe por usted mismo como es la gente en cuenca o en otra ciudad,... los Ecuatorianos por lo general somos gente respetuosa con los demas...

mayi navarrete :

hola, los ecuatorianos somos gente amable,buena, generosa, racismo por el color de la piel no hay...NO como he visto en las película con un odio horrible e irracional hacia los negros, ese odio no existe en ecuador, lo que si existe son algunas personas ignorantes que no aceptan a personas diferentes, gracias a Dios son pocas, usted no tenga miedo de ir a Ecuador compruebe por usted mismo como es la gente en cuenca o en otra ciudad,... los Ecuatorianos por lo general somos gente respetuosa con los demas...

Is it possible to translate this?

brownsand :
mayi navarrete :

hola, los ecuatorianos somos gente amable,buena, generosa, racismo por el color de la piel no hay...NO como he visto en las película con un odio horrible e irracional hacia los negros, ese odio no existe en ecuador, lo que si existe son algunas personas ignorantes que no aceptan a personas diferentes, gracias a Dios son pocas, usted no tenga miedo de ir a Ecuador compruebe por usted mismo como es la gente en cuenca o en otra ciudad,... los Ecuatorianos por lo general somos gente respetuosa con los demas...

Is it possible to translate this?

yes

According to Google Translate:

hello, Ecuadorians are friendly people, good, generous, racism by skin color no ... NOT as I have seen in the movie with a horrible and irrational hatred towards blacks, that hatred does not exist in Ecuador, which if there are some ignorant people who do not accept different people, thankfully few, you will not be afraid to go to Ecuador see for yourself how people in watershed or in another city, ... Ecuadorians are generally respectful of the other people ...

BobH :

According to Google Translate:

hello, Ecuadorians are friendly people, good, generous, racism by skin color no ... NOT as I have seen in the movie with a horrible and irrational hatred towards blacks, that hatred does not exist in Ecuador, which if there are some ignorant people who do not accept different people, thankfully few, you will not be afraid to go to Ecuador see for yourself how people in watershed or in another city, ... Ecuadorians are generally respectful of the other people ...

Thank you, BobH!

Vistamar, it is a little over a year since your post to which I am responding (and that I just discovered), and I am curious about your experiences and perspectives on living in Ecuador as a black woman.

I am a black American and considering a move to Latin America, possibly Cuenca or elsewhere in Ecuador in the near future. Of course I will visit the country first.   

I have a friend (not black) who just moved there a few months ago, and although she is white, I've been asking her to check with black expats she meets as to their experiences.  I am getting positive reports from her.  So far, so good!  My friend loves it there and moved there sight unseen and without knowing any Spanish!

Unlike her, I am fluent in Spanish (per education, experience teaching Spanish), and I lived in Spain for a time.

I am not so delusional that I would imagine that there is no problem with racism in Ecuador (why should Ecuador be any different from most of the rest of the world...always something), but it would take a lot for Ecuador to be more racist than my country of birth with so many reported hate crimes! 

Thanks for any insights!

I have obviously not been monitoring my post.  As an update to my post of some time ago, first, I was not intending that my post be interpreted as strictly about me being subjected to racism.  I was merely relaying one aspect of my experience in Quito.  I was not trying to condemn an entire country or any part of it based on that alone.  OK, that being said, I have made my move and my dog and I are living in Puerto Lopez, having arrived November 1.  I.Am.In.Love!!!  This is the ideal place for us to live, at least right now.  I don't expect that to change, but I may find another place that's better!  love2knit addressed your post to Vistamar, but I cannot find that post.  I don't know just what was said, but based on your response, may I insert myself?

First, your last paragraph made me chuckle because there is so much truth in it, so we aren't looking for bad, but aren't afraid to see it for what it is or might be.  That said, I think you will love Ecuador!! I certainly love it.  I have visited Cuenca and have met some Black Americans who purchased a home with acreage about 45 min. out of Cuenca.  While I love their home, and the views are breathtaking, I personally would not choose Cuenca.  Beautiful city with strong Spanish influence (tile roofs), strong artistic center and cultural events (festivals, music concerts), but seems almost as though expats are set on recreating USA.  They live together in gated developments with security guards.  What's that all about??  Plus, it rains rather frequently and is damp and cool, almost cold, at times. I chose to move to Puerto Lopez, on the ocean.  It is much smaller, doesn't have the artistic and cultural offerings nor the Spanish architectural influence.  It is a very small fishing village where life is lived very close to the way it was lived 2 generations ago. Mainly, I prefer it because I can live right on the ocean, have fresh fish and fresh lagostin (sp) shrimp & lobster if I wish, daily and very affordably,  Best is the sunshine and the temperature is perfect -- mid 80s to mid 90s daily with a slight breeze.  Humidity is a bit high, but the breeze keeps it from being terribly noticeable to me. Some might see drawbacks and I wouldn't disagree, but I encourage you to check it out.  Ecuador has so much more to offer!!

Thanks sungodess.  I have enough racism in the USA.  I'm looking for somewhere that is peaceful and live and let live in nature.  I guess I will have to explore the northern areas like you suggest.  Too bad, Loja sounded exactly what I was looking for.

Hi  I am looking for bahamians living in Ecuador

Thanks.  I'll certainly check it out!  :-).  I'd rather live peacefully near the ocean.

Englsh  is teh  ifficail langauge  of  Belize
Howver in  some dusructs(  eg  Cozal  wgich  bidera Mwxuci) Spanish  is  widely  spoken

Englsh  is teh  ifficail langauge  of  Belize
Howver in  some dusructs(  eg  Cozal  which  biorders Mwxuci) Spanish  is  widely  spoken

Your  pen[ose  seems  to confuse  jamaica  and belize
The  question posed was   moving to Belize so the reference  to Jamaica  was not  relevant
I  am from Colorado and was a lecturer for  10 years at  teh  University  of  the  West  Indies
I never  went  to a hut in Jamaica, none  of  my  students  ever lived in  huts
The  conditions that  you describe   are  not  the norm and highly  unusual
The Government  has a massive  housing  program ( national Housing  Trust) which  provide  low interest  funds  for  middle and low income Jamaicans to build  houses  so  the housing  stock is  good
In   big  cities  and  many  areas  the  housing stock  for  middle  and upper income housing  is as  good as that found   anywhere in the region
I  have not  seen  the  3  feet  rats  that  you mention nor  the  centpedes. By implication you  would  suggest that  life  expectancy  in  jamaica  is low whereas    life  expectancy  in jamaica  is   similar  to  that in Jamaica  with a  very  large  percentage  of  the  population  over  the  age  of 90  yeqrs
Ypur  posting  is unfairr   description of  Jamaica

johmmy 200 :

Englsh  is teh  ifficail langauge  of  Belize
Howver in  some dusructs(  eg  Cozal  which  biorders Mwxuci) Spanish  is  widely  spoken

This post confirms everything I'd heard about the English of that country being a rather tortured form of English.

Am having trouble locating Mwxuci on a map.

Sherryn said:


" I personally would not choose Cuenca.  Beautiful city with strong Spanish influence (tile roofs), strong artistic center and cultural events (festivals, music concerts), but seems almost as though expats are set on recreating USA.  They live together in gated developments with security guards. "

Hmmmm... my experience in my year and a half  in Cuenca  is much different than your brief stay.  None of my many expat friends live in a gated community. Not a one. We are mostly in condos and a few in stand alone homes. Granted, most condo's do have security, but I don't find that anything to apologize about. It's the way of condo buildings here,  and for good reason. < ask Nards >
Anyway, I have seen post's in the past that make blanket generalizations, such as yours, and  I tend to get a bit miffed. Neither myself, nor any of my friends, came here with the intention of recreating The U.S.A..
Perhaps you associated with a more elite group?
Safe Travels,
ZenSPIKE

New topic