Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Mauro, from Ecuador, an immigrant living in the United States. Mauro’s story is inspiring and fascinating, and very common, from my experience, of the life of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the US. As many of us who have moved abroad understand so well, the lure of a foreign land in pursuit of a better lifestyle is almost simultaneously shadowed by the longing for the life missed back at home. Mauro’s experience is punctuated by the difficulty of establishing himself in the USA as an immigrant, even after calling the USA home for 14 years. Mauro talks today about his experiences in the US learning about many different cultures, and shares his admiration for the natural beauty of Ecuador.

Mauro’s friend and English teacher helped Mauro to tell his story. Here is how she describes Mauro: “Mauro is one of many Ecuadorians who have settled in New York. When he arrived, he spoke little, if any English. He is hard-working, striving for the American dream. Although he has come for the experience and opportunity, he is obviously nostalgic about his home country. As his friend and English teacher, I admire his determination and ambition. He describes the many cultures he has come to observe in New York and how it differs from his home environment in Ecuador.”

Please tell us about your experience in coming to America.

My name is Mauro I am an immigrant from Ecuador to the US. I live in New York. I moved to New York in 1998 because I wanted to know about how life is in New York. After 14 years I have learned there are people from many cultures here, like Indian, Italian, French, African, Caribbean, Brazilian, Mexican and South American people. We are different in religion, in food, in clothing . For example, Indian people wear saris,  which I didn’t see in Ecuador.

How do day to day things like food differ from the US to Ecuador?

In terms of food, Ecuadorian people eat more vegetables, potatoes, plantains, (they are like bananas) rice, mangos than Americans. In the eastern part of Ecuador, which is cold, we also eat guinea pig  and chicken. In the west, which is on the coast, we eat fish. In both parts of the country we eat steak. However, like North Americans, now that I’m here, I cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.

What do you think surprises visitors about Ecuador?

I think what visitors are surprised about Ecuador is its natural beauty. For example, Ecuador has many lakes, rivers, and fauna like birds, monkeys and turtles. There are so many different colored birds, like sand ducks. For example, in Ecuador there are ducks with red chests and blue feet with black or gray feathers. There are also many turtles (Tortugas) walking in the sand that are higher than a table and big enough for an adult to ride on. They are very friendly. Flowers in Ecuador are growing naturally around the lakes and mountains. If you go hiking, you will see flowers and find fruit called (silvertre) growing wild , which you can pick and eat. In the mountains there are different kinds of flowers with different colors, like a combination of yellow white and blue.

About the author

Carrie is an American who just moved from Bali to Mendoza, Argentina. Carrie caught the wanderlust bug early on from her parents, who raised her in Mexico City. Carrie and her husband David have lived in New York, London, Barcelona, Costa Rica, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and Bali before moving to Mendoza. They are actively working to pass on the travel bug to their young son Timmy, who has already been to twelve countries.