8 Years of Blog Archive

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spitting on the Sidewalks in Cuenca -- Just Another Little Annoyance

Warning: if you are sensitive to vulgarities you may want to skip this article

This is not something that would make us leave Ecuador it is just another annoyance that we forgot to mention in our 12 annoyances video. It is a well ingrained part of the culture.  

In Ecuador they like to spit a lot even if they aren’t playing baseball, lol. Now we’re pretty sure this is not just an Ecuador thing but a common Latin American thing because we remember the spitting going on in Mexico and Dominican Republic too. They spit in North America too but on a different plane so to speak; this is way over done and dramatic to say the least. We’ve seen some males spit in the states before but they usually make it a point to spit in the streets, not right on the sidewalk!

It’s kind of gross actually because when you’re walking around in Ecuador you have to literally keep your eyes to the sidewalk so you don’t step in a manhole, or step on dog poop, or fall off the curb, and so you notice the spit globules on the sidewalks much more; they’re everywhere. Sometimes you can actually hear them right before they are going to spit, which is a good thing so you can move clear away. Sometimes it can be very unpleasant.

One time when we were walking down the sidewalk an Ecuadorian man almost spit on me; now he didn’t see me coming up fast behind him on his right side and he spit a loogie out, and well it missed me by inches. He appeared a bit embarrassed. You never know when they are going to spit and they don’t do it away from people so be careful.

It does not matter if you are in front of a four star restaurant or a side walk cart they will spit if they feel the need to spit. So what is all the spitting about, really? Well, when you really take notice you realize that some people have colds and they are getting phlegm out of their throat, others just spit out of habit, and still others may have health issues.

Unfortunately, we don’t think the Ecuadorians realize that spitting on the public sidewalks is vulgar and leaving spit puddles (ugh) on the sidewalks is disgusting and when most of the Ecuadorian men spit in Cuenca that means a lot of spitting going on and unsanitary sidewalk conditions. We always look before setting our bags or back packs down on the ground because of the spit puddles that have not dried up yet.

What makes it worse is there are sidewalk vendors that use large woven baskets to sell their food products in and they have the baskets on the ground with the food uncovered! We never buy anything that is low to the ground or sitting in something that is on the ground; there is just too much spitting going on.

We’ve seen young boys as young as three and four spitting; and we’ve even seen a couple of times little old ladies spitting! What we have never seen is the Ecuadorean women spitting in public, thank goodness; that would subtract to the color they add to the landscape, wouldn’t it? 

Just another annoyance you might want to know about.


  1. Yeah, well! This is what you are missing out on in the U.S.


  2. Kinda makes the spitting look like kindergarten, huh?

  3. Hello from California'

    i just wanted to let you know that I've enjoyed your blog. I hopr you have a great adventure. I hope to start mine when I get things settled here.
    Please keep up the good work on the blog. It's great info for us back here. Don't let the other knot heads who don't appreciate a truthful analysis get you down. We want to hear the pros and cons.
    Take care,
    Jim Sanders


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