Spotlight: Quito
Football and Life with not too many modern accoutrements 

 

With a breathtaking view of its mountains from any vantage point in the capital city, Quito is home to a generous and happy people and it shows. Expect kisses on the cheek with greetings and strangers asking amusing and harmless personal questions!

In the “centro historico” witness the city’s colonial architecture. Quito’s nightlife is also abundant with clubs, bars, theatre, events, concerts and international restaurants. Fiestas are celebrated until early dawn. Soccer is the way of life—experience the passion that people have about the sport and attend a game! Every game is like the US’ 4th of July, with fireworks and celebrations. From a westernized perspective, Quito a magical place where the majority of the people live near the poverty line, bullfights are still practiced, ‘80s and ‘90s music are in, and everyone (even older generations) dance the salsa. 

Must See Sight 
Parque Nacional Cotopaxi

Predominant Language 
Spanish is Ecuador’s official language of, however, Quichua is the language spoken by indigenous bilingual groups (with Quichua as mother tongue and Spanish as a second language)

Most memorable experience 
Volunteering at an orphanage in Quito, for children with special needs

Best places for a single girl or groups of girls to go out  
Love Discoteca – Ladies Night on Thursday (free entry and shots before 11pm)

Safety & Medical Tips  

Walking alone and at night
Safety Scale - 2: Recommended that you walk in groups or chaperoned by a male

Try to avoid walking around at night if at all possible.  Quito is a very dangerous city and there are constant robberies.  Most of my friends (both Ecuadorians and expats) have at one time been robbed, some at gunpoint. 
Tips: Be aware of your surroundings, never take money out in front of other people, be careful when standing in front of ATMs, place your purse/bag in front of you when you are walking (and hold it for dear life), never carry valuable items with you or flash your valuables in public, and only carry the amount of money you need for that day

Popular over-the-counter drugs for cold/flu symptoms
Tempra is your standard Tylenol. It’s a pain reliever and fever reducer

Over-the-counter drugs available for curing women’s infections
The good thing about Ecuador is that you would never need a doctor’s prescription for antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicines, etc.  There are pharmacies all over Quito, and you can pretty much get anything there.  A well-known pharmacy in Quito is Fybeca and they are located in almost every street corner

Process to acquire birth control pills
Birth control pills are easy to obtain, you can just ask for them at the pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription

Chia-Hsin Chung

Chia-Hsin Chung

With contributions by Chia-Hsin Chung 
Chia-Hsin Chung taught English and lived in Quito for 1 year, after leaving a decade-long consulting career.