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Ecuadorians are inherently distrustful of one another. When it comes to doing business, my biggest advantage is being a foreigner. People believe I will pay on time, deliver what I promise when I promise it as I promised it, and generally act with integrity, fairness, and honor. However, they don’t seem to believe any of these things about each other. They seem to hold the implicit assumption that no one should be trusted, every is trying to get the better of you, and that the most likely outcome will not be a good one. In sum, everything is seen from a win-lose perspective; how do I win, how do I come out ahead of you? rather than seeking a win-win outcome.

So when it comes to sharing information with other businesses, be it for discussing a potential product, business deal, or just because it’s interesting, at least personally and culturally, I am not afraid of sharing information. In the US, most information is free unless it’s very arcane or highly specialized.

Why is everyone here afraid of sharing information? Because they think someone else is going to steal their idea, copy their business, do it different and better, or different and cheaper, and put you out of business? Do they feel threatened? Could this be a reflection of a lack of self-esteem, a fear that someone else can and will do it better? Perhaps it is because this is still a society of scarcity; just getting enough to eat and making enough to have shelter and food is the daily concern of most people here, for that matter, worldwide. So any information that will put you ahead of anyone else must be kept secret.

If you examine the perspective and the impicit assumptions here, they are based on the paradigm of scarcity and not abundance. If you share knowledge, you are losing your unique advantage. Rather than the idea that you might perhaps be sharing knowledge and spreading abundance.

Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>

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