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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

Submitted by Jetskijo

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Bahia de Caraquez

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No but had visited the country a couple times before my move

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I studied a little Spanish before I got here and then took private lessons for a month. Most of what I learned is just by getting out every day and meeting people.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Not much

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

It didn't really hit me for at least a week but then I had mitigating circumstances which brought me to this part of Ecuador.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Not too much as I have moved to many places throughout my life and am easily adaptable. I pretty much knew what I was getting into.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Being single in a town which offers nothing in the way of amenities, I became extremely despressed and also got very sick. Excessive drinking??? ABSOLUTELY as there is nothing else in this town to do!!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Still working on that one as I do not care for this town I am living in and is much more primitive than cities.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Not knowing the language and the fact that especially in this part of Ecuador, they talk extremely FAST!!

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

I'm sure I have, but don't know.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

My advice would be to visit for an extended period before you move.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Mar 30, 2012 19:21

jetskijo is 100% correct except he left a couple of things out. being a small city,ha ha ha ha,there is very little available for rentals or sale and all that is available has gotten way over priced. even in the little mom & pop stores the prices are going up. i live here 2 1/2 years now, i don't know why, and have seen the prices go up drasticly,even the street venders hav raised there prices 150 to 200% in yhe past year.everyone is jumping on the fact that the gringos are ignorant and are helping to raise the prices by buying way over priced houses & condos.

guest
May 2, 2012 09:54

Culture shock is inevitable but the sufferer often does not recognize it until it is over ;;; a year later.

guest
Jun 13, 2012 09:08

I agree with JetSki and the guest about prices. Lots of gouging taking place . And much of it comes from the first gringos arriving like the Spanish Armada and trying to run the town like some Florida tourist trap. As the local Ecuadorians have little money to take, the gringos stick there hand in every visiting gringos pocket. I like the area as I plan a simple farming-fishing quiet life on the Ecuador Coast. But it sure is not for everyone, and make no mistake, the indigenous do not like the white man. Racism abounds.

guest
Jul 25, 2012 15:29

my husband and I are planning on retiring in Ecuador - since we love the beach it was a natural choice to seek out Bahia de Caraquez and surrounding towns - we are planning on leaving the states in Sept of this year - anyone have any ideas of great long term rentals ? we will also need Spanish lessons - and would love to meet some expats when we get there - we are not rich gringos and desire to fit in with the area and people - I have not tried to rent something on line because you just never know what is next door - ha let me know if you have info Roberta

guest
Mar 29, 2013 18:00

Racism? OMG! Does racism exist throughout Ecuador, or is this racism you speak of specific to Bahia?

bzalto
Jul 12, 2013 06:40

I would recommend staying in Canoa at the Macondo lodge: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Macondo-Hotel/Canoa/58842 The owner Felix worked as a chef in New England and speaks fluent English and is very friendly and prepares great meals with fresh produce daily.

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