It is said that in Ecuador you can pay off your teachers or professor for good grades, or even for a degree. So my question is: how much do I owe you for the grade on this paper? Whoa Al, this is the United States of America! In this country we work hard to get a degree and good grades in school. Maybe that’s why Miguel came to America, to get a good degree the right way, by learning. Maybe you are wondering at this point what this paper is about and who Miguel is. In this paper I will discuss the life of Miguel and the cultural differences between Ecuador and America by examining the interview I had with Miguel.
Miguel is 23 years old, is from Ecuador, and lives in America adapting to our country the best he can. Miguel is also going to Oakland Community College and working on getting a degree in graphic design. Miguel has a lot of caring people trying to help him learn more about our culture. Miguel is also taking English as a Second Language at Oakland Community College. He tells me that he is doing well, and he understands almost everything his professors are helping him learn. Miguel is married to a woman from the United States who he met in Ecuador when she was there on her vacation. Miguel tells me that they fell in love at first sight. They were married in a beautiful beach wetting, and then he moved back to America with her. When Miguel left Ecuador, he left behind his parents, grandparents, 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Miguel really likes our country, despite the cold weather he has found in Michigan. After conducting my interview with Miguel, I have found many differences in our two different cultures. Some major cultural differences between the United States of America and Ecuador pertain to government, medical care, and religion.
When Americans think of their government, they think of it as a well-designed and ethical way of running our country. We have the freedom of speech and many more constitutional rights; in Ecuador it’s not the same. The last president treated people unfairly and then stole most of the country’s money and fled to Brazil to stay out of prison. If a person was heard talking negatively about the president there would be severe consequences with people being beaten up or even killed. But now there is a new president who is putting the country back together. He treats all people equally and with respect. The new president has made the country one of the largest trading countries in banana and coffee exports, as well as made it safer for tourism. Tourism is one of the largest sources of income for the country. Ecuador is right on the equator, and has many attractive natural settings such as sunny beaches, rain forests, mountains, and excellent waves for surfing. Miguel tells me it is a perfect place for vacation.
In the United States of America, if our government commits an injustice we have the right to disagree, have our voices heard, and do something about it. That is much different than Ecuador’s government. These are just a few differences in Ecuador’s government and the United States government.

The next difference between our cultures is medical care. Miguel has told me that the medical care in Ecuador is quite different than ours. The doctors are nowhere near as qualified as our doctors, and they don’t have access to the best of medicines like we do in the United States. They also lack the high quality of schooling you find in the United States. When people get really sick, the family tries to gather enough money to send their relatives to the United States. If the family cannot gather enough money for the family member or friend, there is a good chance that the person may not receive adequate medical care. Poor people and the homeless have very little help. In the United States the homeless have shelters and outreach programs. In Ecuador they do not have either of these.

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The final difference in our two countries is religion. Almost 100% of Ecuador is Christian. They follow their religion very closely and nearly everybody goes to church twice a week. They still follow all of the same holidays as Christians Americans such as Christmas, Easter, and best of all the New Year. On New Years Eve everyone in the city builds a doll out of wood and paper mache that is suppose to stand for who they were in the last year. At twelve o’clock everybody burns their doll which is supposed to burn the bad things you have done in the last year and to keep all the good. Then there is a huge feast and a party in the street all though the night. In Ecuador they may follow the same holidays, but they seem to take much more care in their holidays and take to heart their religion.

In this paper I have explained several differences in these two cultures. Despite these differences, it seems as if the two cultures are growing closer together. We show helpfulness to each other and take in any one who wants to journey to each other’s countries, weather it is to gain knowledge or just to relax on a sunny beach. I really had a connection with Miguel; he was a very nice guy and had as much interest in learning about my culture as I did in learning about his. It just goes to show that the major cultural differences of government, medical care, and religion can’t stop the connection of two people who are trying to learn.


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