There are a few things of utmost importance in Ecuador. Among them: family, faith, and football.
I was informed before I began teaching that the last, football, has a way of changing things in the country. As a teacher, a football match would mean poor attendance. Yet still, miraculously, I had 50% of my class present during the same time slot as the big Ecuador vs. Uruguay game. Incredible!
On my way to classes just about every other person I saw on the street was wearing an Ecuador football jersey. I made the mistake of walking through a main square, where I had to battle cars for walking space as fans took up the sidewalks. Once at work it was almost haunting to see that the staircases, which are usually overwhelmingly clogged with students, were starkly empty.
From the very beginning of class some students in attendance pleaded with me to be able to watch the game. I declined, but we were all kept abreast of Ecuador’s progress nonetheless. With each goal came shrieks of honking cars and yelling fans out on the streets below.
Yes, Ecuador won, 2-1. ¡Viva Ecuador!