69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Not just another travel guide book,
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This review is from: Cultureshock Ecuador (Cultureshock Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) (Paperback)
For those of you who have already read travel guide books but want a more in depth account of the culture and customs of Ecuador, then this book is for you. This book is unique because in addition to the typical useful facts about climate, political upheaval, the height of volcanoes, and the possibility of dying from myriad tropical diseases, it explores topics pertaining to social class. The author includes a section on women's issues, (yes, prostitution) machismo, immigration, and how indigenous groups fit into the fabric of society. As a result of reading Crowder's book, I have less of an excuse for making a cultural faux pas when interacting with Ecuadorians. For example, the chapter on etiquette, humor, personal space, bribery, and the importance of diplomacy, provide valuable insight into their culture. And did I say bribery? The detailed description of the Ecuadorian diet is appreciated although I think I will skip the consumption of roasted guinea pig and just witness its use in religious rituals.
Although one can certainly read selected chapters in any desired order, I enjoyed and benefited from reading the book in its entirety. For those readers who are already proficient Spanish speakers, the chapter about language includes some unusual information about regional accents, slang, titles and nicknames, and how one is judged in Ecuadorian society by one's choice of vocabulary. The glossary containing specific colloquialisms is a real gem and is a welcome addition to the usual list of basic Spanish vocabulary found in most books.