Valentine’s Day in Ecuador

In Ecuador, Valentine’s Day is celebrated much like it is in the United States, but there are a few things that make it a bit different, perhaps more inclusive. The day is more widely called “Love and Friendship Day” so not only romantic love is celebrated, but also the love that exists between friends. Messages, hugs, and small gifts are common among friends in Ecuador.

The childcare staff (called tías in Spanish) at our host organization in Quito, Ecuador worked all week cutting and gluing to make a little bunny for each child to take home on Valentine’s Day. Our team on the ground right now helped with the cutting of each of the seven pieces and hot gluing them together so the children would have something to make them special and loved on this day.


The tías with the bunnies they made for the children


One of the 80 handmade bunny valentines

Singles events are commonplace in Ecuador as well – for example, a salsa club in Quito is advertising their special Valentine’s Day event for “couples, single people, married people, couple who have recently made up, friends, hook ups, divorcees, abandoned people, people disappointed with love, people who have been betrayed, people who betray, widows, widowers, and friends with benefits.” Many people in Ecuador are of the idea that no one should be left out on this day! Share the love!


Darrell with the handmade thank you card he received from the tías

Just like handmade gifts are common, love is commonly shown in Ecuador through much more simple things like simply cooking someone’s favorite meal for them. Gestures like this are very much appreciated by Ecuadorians. While the holiday is quite commercial for those who want to buy flowers and chocolates and all that jazz, many Ecuadorians will be very happy tomorrow when they receive a simple message from a friend thanking them for their friendship and saying how much they cherish it. There will be many heartfelt smiles when extra hugs are given, too.


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