Two Videos on Ecuador – One to Make You Laugh and One to Make You Cry

Here is a post from my other blog which includes some information for non-Ecuador experts.

From 1997 to 1999, I served in the Peace Corps in the Andean country of Ecuador. Ecuador is rich with contrasts. With the Galapagos, the Andes, and parts of the Amazon, the country possesses stunning natural beauty. The people have an incredible generosity of spirit, yet the country is riven by racial and regional differences. Until recently, high oil prices papered over some of these differences, but the president, Rafael Correa, is a left wing populist in the tradition of Hugo Chavez. He has taken to castigating his domestic on-line critics through television naming and shaming efforts that are unbecoming for a head of state. John Oliver has a wildly funny take-down of Correa’s pompous self-importance, which prompted a vigorous response from Correa (some calling it an “international incident”) and another round of humor from Oliver. The original video is hilarious and worth a watch (I’m not sure if embedding worked on this video so here is the link here though I think clicking on the screenshot below will work).



John Oliver’s take-down of Ecuador’s mercurial president is hysterical, but the next video by Peace Corps volunteer Kyle King is extraordinary. Kyle created this video with Peace Corps Week approaching as a way to honor his counterpart host family, capturing their tremendous grace and humor but also the hardships and tragedies that families endure. It’s hard to talk about the video without sounding maudlin, but I found it to be really powerful film-making and brought back so many memories of my own Peace Corps experience.


1 thought on “Two Videos on Ecuador – One to Make You Laugh and One to Make You Cry”

  1. Ruth (Overlund) Gorham

    The first video made me laugh. The second brought back my experiences of Ecuador as well. I lived in Ecuador from July 1978 – December 1980. I was one of the only people in my little coastal town that owned a camera. Often I was asked to take a picture of a baby who had died, and most of the time, that was the only picture the family would ever have of their baby. They would be in a shoe box sometimes, ready for burial. It broke my heart, but I would do it. When I meet Ecuadorians today I always tell them that my heart is Ecuadorian. The experiences I had there shaped my life and I miss the people and the country that are so dear to me.

    Thank you for posting these two videos.
    Ruth Overlund Gorham

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