Eight out of 10 Ecuadorians will tell us they love the United States. Many that say they “love” the U.S have never been there but want to go visit. Of those that have, most that we have talked to, have only been to New York or not too far from it. So how do they know they love it if they’ve never been there? And what experiences have they had outside of living in New York?
Many tell us they watch Hollywood movies, listen to the English music and read gossip about the stars and think everybody is rich because that’s what they see and hear in the movies. Ecuadorians idolize the U.S in a superficial way because of the entertainment aspect of it but many seem oblivious or unwilling to talk about the deeper issues that are entrenched within the society.
US is the Land of Opportunity
When we equate “love” with (making) money, sure, there’s a lot to love about the U.S. In general, an Ecuadorian can go to the U.S and make more money working there than in Ecuador. And that is exactly what many have done and will continue to do. Although we’ve met at least one Ecuadorian lady that says she makes just as much if not more, here in Ecuador.
Many of the Ecuadorians, especially from Cuenca and Quito felt compelled to flee to the U.S during economic hardship during the 1980’s and 1990’s; most of them sending monies back to their families here in Ecuador.
However, just like anywhere else in the world, it is not always what it seems. In fact when we share things with Ecuadorians about the good ole USA that are not so good they can’t believe what they are hearing. “Really"? they ask. “Really”, we reply.
Does Milk and Honey Come out of the Kitchen Faucet?
Of course we’re being facetious but the way some of these Ecuadorians talk, you would think they thought that milk and honey come right out of the kitchen tap. They don’t realize that the US has hundreds of thousands of people on welfare and food stamps. We told them about the soup lines too and they are like, “really”? “Really”, we say.
And then there is Carlos
A few Ecuadorians that have moved back to their homeland of Cuenca from the US have told us some distressing stories about their life while living in the U.S.
We recently had the benefit of talking with a gregarious Ecuadorian taxi driver who was pleasantly surprised that we were speaking Spanish with him. He began telling us (all in Spanish as he did not speak English) how he went to the U.S for awhile only to find himself having negative encounters with the police on a recurring basis.
Carlos told us of the many unprovoked instances of personal confrontations with the police, and their aggressive posture.
Carlos told us it would be okay if it was just a one-time thing, but it happened to him quite frequently and the police were not nice about it either. Very intimidating and Nazi style law enforcement, who are supposed to protect and serve the people, not harass them.
Now understand, we rode in a taxi with Carlos and he is not a scary looking person, he has short hair, very well groomed, decent clothing, no holey jeans, no body rings or tattoos and yet he explains rather emphatically how he was continually harassed by the American cops.
Not wanting to endure this behavior any longer, even though he was making more money in the US than in Ecuador, Carlos decided to move back to his hometown of Cuenca, Ecuador. He told us rather emphatically, “I’ll never go back to the U.S! I am happy to be home", he said, "I’m never harassed or intimidated by the Ecuadorian police and the weather is much better here,” he grinned.
On another plane, our Ecuadorian next door neighbors, whom have never set foot in the U.S don’t realize all the problems happening over there. They idolize figures such as Justine Bieber and Miley Cyrus and watch all the Hollywood movies but do not know much else. They always talk about the U.S as a great place to “go make money”, and don’t see the flaws and negative things that go on. It’s funny how money makes some of us lose ourselves in emotional greed so that we actually can’t see how something actually appears.
Some Ecuadorians don’t seem to open up on the deeper issues that affect many Americans personally. In fact, when they experienced it for themselves, they flee for their lives. TRADITIONAL personal / family liberties like here in Ecuador seem to take a back seat or collect dust in the closet in the U.S.
The reality is some of the Ecuadorians see what appears to be something better than what they have now because they only see what they see, Hollywood movies, music, etc. Money does not make happiness and can actually stifle our liberties even more.
It is much the same line of thinking when discontented retirees leave the U.S and fall for a hyped up Eden somewhere. They soon find out it is not all as it is portrayed and many become disappointed and leave, especially after they have been robbed, conned, scammed, or shocked by under reported events from the Eden they moved to.
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