11 Things Family Members Smuggle From Ecuador


What’s a trip to the motherland if not to bring back 398523 luggages full of recuerdos to give to all your friends and family? Each country has its fill of necessary souvenirs, and here are some things you will most definitely bring back from Ecuador.

1. Panama Hat

While the name can be confusing, the Panama Hat actually originates in Ecuador and got its nickname and popularity after gold prospectors used the traditional hats against the sun along the Panama Canal. The hats have since become a strong tradition in the country.

2. Llama Keychains

If your family is from Ecuador or Peru, you’ve had one of these cuties hanging off your keychain at some point.

3. Embroidered Shirts

@andreagilerkids #ecuadorianstyle #ecuadorianshirt ? Gracias @santoslola28

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Nope, H&M has got nothing on these details.

4. Alpaca…everything

To the best guy I know. Happy birthday pops. Rockin his new alpaca sweater from Ecuador.

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These are the warmest things on the planet.

5. Café

This stuff is the G.O.A.T.

6. Bracelets

Like our Colombian primos, Ecuadorians love to rock the yellow, blue and red around their wrists.

7. Wooden Decor

Ecuadorians love their woodwork and an entire town, San Antonio, in Northern Ecuador, is sustained by their artisans gorgeous works of art. They kind of love religious carvings, so this is good spot to get a Virgen for abuelita.

8. Tapestries

Need a new wall hanging in every color imaginable? Tablecloth? Rug? Ecuador has you covered.

9. Pacari Chocolate Bars

So… Ecuador has some of the best cacao beans in the world and Pacari chocolate is super extra with their variety of flavors so everyone will find something they like.

10. Ponchos

En el mercadito de los ponchos ?? @ferchoescobarv #Otavalo #Ecuador

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Even if you live in humid Florida, you will find a reason to bring back these amazing, one-of-a-kind handmade ponchos straight from the Andes.

11. Ecuadorian Muñecas

Maybe I am a bad half Ecuadorian but I still don’t know the name of these tiny, decked out dolls that my tíos brought back for me EVERY.TIME. But aren’t they sooo adorable?!

12. Honorable Mention: Balsa Wood Crayons

Is this just an Ecuador thing? I have received a few bundles of these throughout my life and have never really seen them anywhere else. Anyway, they’re suuuper cute and unique gifts.

READ: Here Are The 9 Stages Of Road Trips You Go Through Every Time You Travel With Your Family

What else did you bring back when you or your family traveled to Ecuador?

Environmentalists Are Outraged At The US’s Latest Plans To Use The Galapagos Island As An Airstrip

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Environmentalists Are Outraged At The US’s Latest Plans To Use The Galapagos Island As An Airstrip

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Ecuador is receiving heavy criticism for giving the U.S. military permission to use a Galapagos island as an airfield. The proposed plan by Ecuador to allow the U.S. to use an airstrip on the Galapagos island of San Cristobal has drawn anger from local politicians and activists that say more harm than good will be done. The historic islands in Ecuador are one of the most biodiverse regions on the globe and are home to a number of species found nowhere else on the planet.

Ecuador and the U.S. plan on using the island as a way to stop drug trafficking flights.

Credit: guillaumelong/Twitter

Under the deal with Ecuador, the Pentagon will use the tiny airport on the San Cristobal island to “fight drug trafficking”, defense minister Oswaldo Jarrin told Latin American TV network Telesur.

Jarrín announced Ecuador President Lenín Moreno’s administration’s decision to expand an existing airfield on the San Cristobal Island for U.S. spy planes targeting drug traffickers on June 12. The aircrafts that would be used include a Boeing 777 and a Lockheed P-3 Orion.

According to the Los Angeles Times, multiple Latin American nations like Colombia, Peru, and Panama don’t allow the basing of U.S. anti-drug overflights controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Ecuador’s constitution, which was adopted in 2008, prohibits the installation of foreign military bases in the country.

Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa tweeted “Galápagos is NOT an ‘aircraft carrier’ for gringo use. It is an Ecuadorian province, world heritage site, homeland.”

Following mass criticism, Jarrin said that the Galapagos Islands would not become home to a U.S. military base or any kind of permanent post. “A base means permanence, there will be no permanence,” Jarrín said.

He added that flight crews would stay a week at most on the island and activities would be monitored by Ecuadorian authorities. The Pentagon would also have to pay for any needed “readjustments” to the airfield, which some fear could lead to environmental harm.

Critics of the proposed plan say the move could threaten the fragile environment of the island.

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most famous areas known for its unique array of wildlife and natural plants. Famed for its rich biodiversity, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.

Many fear that construction or possible use of the island for military purposes will harm wildlife and other organisms there. The increasing number of tourists have already caused some concerns. The number of tourists visiting the islands rose from 161,000 in 2007 to over 225,000 in 2016, the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association said.

At this time, it’s unclear if Ecuador will proceed with its plans with the U.S. as many have criticized the proposed plans. The Pentagon has yet to comment or confirm any such agreement with Ecuador.

READ: New Research Shows Most Undocumented Immigrants Aren’t Coming From Mexico But Instead Central America

Huge News Out Of Ecuador As The Country Becomes The Latest In Latin America To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

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Huge News Out Of Ecuador As The Country Becomes The Latest In Latin America To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

In a landmark ruling for the traditionally conservative country, Ecuador’s highest court on Wednesday voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Judges on the court ruled five-to-four to overhaul the country’s laws. The basis of the argument was Ecuador’s current marriage legislation was discriminatory and unconstitutional towards same-sex couples that should be allowed equal rights. The judges who dissented the vote argued that the court should not rule on changes to the Ecuadorian constitution, instead that should be the governments decision.

Ecuador now joins a group of Latin American nations including, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay, that have legalized same-sex marriage in some form.  


The historic decision comes during the middle of LGBT Pride month and makes Ecuador one of only a handful of Latin American nations to legally approve of same-sex marriage.

Ecuador’s National Assembly, which is the country’s legislative branch, still has to officially change the laws that define the institution of marriage. After this is done, same-sex couples will be able to marry as soon as the constitutional court informs local government offices of their decision. The court will have 10 days to do this.

This landmark ruling was brought to the constitutional court by two same-sex couples who had petitioned for the right to marry.

Hundreds of LGBTQ supporters celebrated the decision outside the courthouse where the ruling was announced. Pamela Troya and Gaby Correa were one of those celebrating as they petitioned for the right to marry after being denied a license to marry back in 2013.

Troya told CNN she was “overwhelmed with emotion,” after the six-year battle to marry her partner. “The judges decided to be on the right side of history,” Troya said.

The ruling in Ecuador follows recent legislative and constitutional gains for the LGBTQ community.

In 2008, Ecuador voted in favor of constitutional protection that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2013, the controversial conversion therapy practice was banned in rehabilitation institutions. In 2015, adjustments to the labor regulations made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers on sexual orientation and preference.

While same-sex civil unions have been legal in Ecuador for some years, those couples did not receive the same legal rights and benefits that married couples do. Despite these gains, there are still prevalent homophobic views that continue in various parts of the country.

Many are celebrating the ruling as the decision is a sign of changing perspectives and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.


Ecuador is a mostly conservative country with a traditionally Catholic population that up until the last decade, never acknowledged same-sex rights. The legalization of same-sex marriage in the country is a move that is being celebrated and supported around the world.

On Twitter, users expressed their happiness for the countless of same-sex couples that will now get the right to marry. “Same sex marriage is finally a reality in Ecuador!!🏳️‍🌈🇪🇨 I cannot put in words how happy I am to say I lived to see that happen. Thanks for all the love and support. Love is love and love will always win” one person wrote.

“We’re witnessing an important moment in history,” Matthias Wasik,
programs director for All Out, an International LGBT rights group, told SBS News. “As these victories will send out positive shockwaves across the world and inspire more activists to continue their fight for LGBT+ rights.”

READ: Brazil’s Supreme Court Votes To Make Homophobia And Transphobia Crimes Despite The Bolsonaro Administration Being Vehemently Anti-LGBTQ+