Ecuadorian people in general are easy going, laid back and kind. I am yet to have any sort of problems or have been in a bad situation concerning the locals throughout Ecuador. They love their land and culture and are always willing to educated anyone who wants to know how their country functions.
With big families and lots of friends, Ecuadorian people are extremely social and love to be together. Dancing and loud music is always involved in any get together or even sometimes just at dinner. There is more of a tolerance here in Ecuador about noisy neighbors. Every single morning from 7am to 9pm our neighbors across the street blares his Spanish music to the point where I can here it all the way down the street… no one says anything to him. It is considered rude to ask him to turn down his music, so everyone gets use to it. That is definitely opposite in the States.
English is everywhere in the world so it is no surprise that some people do know a little English but most of them not enough to hold a conversation. Kids learn in schools how to speak English at an early age, but not everyone goes to school through high school or possibly even middle school. But education is important in Ecuador. In small towns a school is usually always there, you can tell because it is usually the biggest building in the whole town/village. Regardless there is a lot of American influence here in Ecuador. From movies, music, clothing and advertisements there is a lot of English (more so in the bigger cities). The more you move away from the bigger cities Spanish is all that is spoken and heard 99.9% of the time. But language barriers shouldn't stop you from talking and interacting with people. Just today I had a four hour long conversation with a woman from Ecuador, all in Spanish . She was telling me about Ecuador and I telling her about the United States. People are open minded here, but they won't make the first move so you will have to be willing to make the effort. You will get one of two reactions I have experienced. One – they will go out of there way to try to help you or get to know you or, Two – they will stare blankly at you. To me it is worth the risk to get to learn more and to get to know someone, 98% of the time you will have a good experience. An example I have is that I was a little lost in finding a park, I was suppose to meet up with someone and was running a little late due to traffic. I asked a businessman in Spanish for help and he went out of his way to walk with me to my desired destination. Unfortunately he wanted to keep talking so I more late than I planned to be.
I have noticed that if you ask an Ecuadorian for directions and they don't know where your destinations is they won't tell you that they don't know. They want to try to help you so they give you their best guess. How locals deal with this is that if they are asking for directions they will ask multiple people along the way to verify the last person's directions and so on a so forth. It's interesting because 3 out of 5 people usually have different responses on how to get somewhere. Either way eventually you end up getting to your destination sooner or later, it just depends on how many people you've asked.
Ecuador has been known to have lots of petty thief. Crowded bus stations and buses are prime for something like this to occur but I haven't fallen victim to this during my stays in Ecuador. Of course I have taken the proper precautions if something of mine was stolen, like never carry too much cash and never put your cell phone in your back pocket. As a whole, I feel safe during the day but at night there are certain places to be careful of… just always use common sense. As a Gringo (foreigner) be careful not to flash around a lot of money and make yourself a target. Understand a lot of people don't have money so don't be too generous in your giving because it maybe difficult to know true intentions of people. If they like you for you or for your money you spend on them.
Ecuadorians are the friendliest people I have ever encountered in my travels. They love to have fun, laugh and enjoy life. Though day to day living maybe difficult at times, they never lose focus that family and friends are important to enjoy and embrace. They are not money driven so maybe this is why they aren't blinded to want is truly important in life.