The concept of punctuality is one distinct example of the differences between the Ecuadorian and North American cultures. Most expats tend to be compulsively prompt and even, by Latin American standards, ridiculously early. Ecuadorians, by contrast, are much looser about being “on time.” A couple years ago, a big event for expats was held at a Cuenca tour-and-travel business. The American helpers informed the owner and his staff that the event had to be ready no later than 5 p.m. for the 5:30 start time, stressing that the gringos would start showing up about a half-hour early. The Ecuadorians didn’t…
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