Difference between pages "Packing list for Mozambique" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador"

From Peace Corps Wiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
m (1 revision imported)
 
m (1 revision imported)
 
Line 1: Line 1:
{{Packing lists by country}}
+
{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
 +
In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Mozambique]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. You can get almost everything you need in Mozambique, including clothing, so do not try to bring two years’ worth of everything.  
+
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Ecuador, as in other Peace Corps countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Ecuador.  
  
When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis, trains, and buses and often lugging it around on foot. It should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those that allow you to wheel the luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Nylon is the best material for resisting mold. A backpack without a frame is very practical, and a midsize backpack (2,000 to 3,000 cubic inches) for weekend trips is essential. A regular-size book bag is also a good thing to bring.  
+
Outside of Ecuador’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ecuador are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
  
===General Clothing ===
+
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Ecuador, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
  
Most clothes are washed by hand using harsh detergents and rocks for scrubbing. This method and the intense sun wear out clothes quickly, so try to bring lightweight but sturdy clothes. Clothes made of rayon or nylon are good, since they dry quickly and do not need ironing. Although lightweight fabrics are best for the hot climate, it can get cold in the winter (45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit), especially in poorly insulated housing, so you will need some warm clothes too.
+
===Overview of Diversity in Ecuador===
  
White clothes soil easily, so colored clothing is best for hiding dirt. Dry cleaning is not really an option for Volunteers because of the expense and the limited availability. It is a good idea to bring one outfit for special occasions, such as the swearing-in ceremony, going out in Maputo, or attending a cocktail party at the U.S. ambassador’s residence.  
+
The Peace Corps staff in Ecuador recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture. There are a number of support groups in Ecuador, including a Peer Support Network of trained Volunteers in each region, that meet a few times a year to discuss and deal with challenges faced by specific groups.  
  
Unisex Items
+
===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
  
* Lightweight coat or jacket
+
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
* Waterproof rain jacket or poncho
 
* Swimsuit
 
* Two pairs of jeans or casual pants – the comfy ones that you wear at home
 
* Two or three pairs of walking-length shorts
 
* T-shirts (in neutral colors)
 
* Sweatpants
 
* One or two heavy sweatshirts or sweaters
 
* One or two long-sleeved shirts
 
* Six to eight pairs of good-quality socks
 
  
For Men  
+
Gender roles in Ecuador are markedly different from those in the United States. Most Ecuadorian women, especially those in rural areas, have traditional roles: They run the household, prepare meals, clean, and rear children. Many women also work in the fields, run small businesses, and care for farm animals. Men also have specific roles, and “manliness” is considered very important. Although many Volunteers are bothered by these gender roles, it is important to understand them to be effective in your work.
  
* Two or three pairs of dress pants
+
It is not uncommon for women to receive stares, comments, and offers of dates on the street or in other situations. Female Volunteers are obvious targets because they often look quite different from Ecuadorian women. Female Volunteers must learn how to handle these situations and sometimes have to accept constraints on their behavior that male Volunteers do not face.
* Three or four button-down shirts, both short- and long-sleeved
 
* One or two ties
 
* Six to eight pairs of underwear
 
* Shorts
 
* One or two belts
 
  
For Women
+
Male Volunteers also encounter harassment, though less frequently. If you do not drink, smoke, or like to pursue women openly, you may be teased about not being manly enough and pressured to participate in these activities. Male Volunteers who cook, wash clothes and dishes, and clean the house may seem very strange to their neighbors.
  
* Three to five knee-length or longer skirts or dresses
+
All Volunteers have to adjust to the gender norms and different ways of doing things in Ecuador. Pre-service training will orient you to these norms and customs.
* Three to five button-up or collared dress shirts 
 
* Two nice pairs of pants for work (black or brown is professional; khakis are also good)
 
* One nice outfit for going out
 
* Tank tops are fine as long as they are not spaghetti straps
 
* Five to seven T-shirts
 
* Ten to 20 pairs of underwear
 
* Cotton bras and sports bras
 
  
Shoes
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
Volunteers walk many miles every week, so shoes wear out quickly. Past Volunteers recommend newer and more expensive footwear because it will last longer. Female Volunteers suggest bringing one pair of fashionable sandals or shoes, as there are chances to dress up a bit and go out in Maputo. People with large feet (especially men or women who wear size 11 or larger) should bring an extra pair or two of shoes, as larger sizes are hard to come by in Mozambique.  
+
Ecuador has a variety of ethnic groups, including an Afro-Ecuadorian population concentrated in a couple of areas of the country. Thus African-American Volunteers are likely to stand out more for their manner of dress and lifestyle than for their ethnic background, especially if they live in these particular areas. And since Afro-Ecuadorians are a visible minority subject to negative attitudes or discrimination, African-American Volunteers may experience similar treatment.  
  
* Closed walking shoes
+
Volunteers of color may encounter verbal harassment on the street—especially when away from their sites in larger towns or cities. Asian Americans may be called chino or china even if they are not of Chinese descent. However, comments or jokes regarding race or ethnicity are more likely to be used in a descriptive sense than in a derogatory sense. Most of them arise from misinformation or unfamiliarity with other races and cultures rather than mean-spiritedness. You will find it helpful to maintain a positive attitude about yourself and to approach any negative comments with patience and confidence.
* Athletic shoes
 
* Waterproof, low-top, all-purpose walking / running shoes with good soles
 
* Sturdy sandals
 
  
Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
+
Ecuadorians (particularly in rural areas) tend to think of all Americans as Anglo. For Anglo-Americans who have had little experience with being the only one of their kind in a community, being the center of attention because of one’s nationality, regardless of race or ethnicity, may sometimes feel uncomfortable. 
  
You should bring only enough of your usual toiletry items to get you through your first months in Mozambique. All the basic items one finds in the United States are available at reasonable prices in Mozambique, albeit in a limited selection. However, if you have some space it is a good idea to bring a couple of months’ worth of your favorite toiletries;
+
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
Volunteers especially suggest deodorant (the variety available in Mozambique is limited), good razors (hard to find), and shaving cream (expensive).  
+
In general, older members of the community are well respected in Ecuador. Specific challenges for senior Volunteers most often are related to language acquisition and adaptation to the relatively basic living conditions of Ecuador.
  
You do not need a two-year supply of aspirin, vitamins, dental floss, and insect repellent because the Peace Corps provides such items after training. But do bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs you take, to cover what you will need until the Peace Corps medical office can order more for you.
+
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
Kitchen
+
While some Ecuadorians in larger cities are open about their sexual orientation, gay, lesbian, or bisexual Volunteers will have to be very circumspect with their Ecuadorian colleagues.  There are support mechanisms for gays and lesbians within the Peace Corps community, but not many in the broader society. 
  
You can easily buy most kitchen supplies—dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils—in Mozambique. Consider bringing small packages of soft-drink and sauce mixes and some spices.  Peace Corps/Mozambique will provide you with a locally appropriate cookbook.
+
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
  
Miscellaneous
+
Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Ecuador. Other religious groups are increasingly visible, however, and tolerance of other religions is fairly high. In some smaller communities, divisions exist across religious lines, and Volunteers need to understand these and be careful about being seen as aligned exclusively with one side or the other. 
  
* Journal and/or sketch books
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities====
* Watch—reliable, durable, preferably with indiglo, but inexpensive
 
* One medium-size cotton towel
 
* Makeup (you can get makeup here, but good makeup can be expensive and hard to find)
 
* Slippers or socks to keep your feet warm in the winter
 
* Money belt that fits under your clothes
 
* Visor/hat
 
* Duct tape (extremely useful and unavailable locally); also rope/string
 
* Swiss army or Leatherman knife, preferably with bottle and can openers 
 
* Sewing kit with clothing thread and nylon thread for fixing bags and hanging items on walls in your home
 
* Small, portable tool kit
 
* Pictures of home, family, friends, or anything “American”
 
* Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene; available at any sporting good store)
 
* Self-adhesive U.S. stamps, including a few one-cent stamps
 
* Lightweight sleeping bag or fleece blanket
 
* Flashlight—(e.g., Maglite) or a headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs is useful
 
* Camera, film or digital (Advantix is not available in Mozambique), and batteries
 
* Plastic storage bags—a must
 
* Walkman, Discman, iPod or tape recorder with portable speakers
 
* Mini voice recorder (help with Portuguese accents, local dialects, and recording beautiful impromptu music sessions) Your favorite music mp3s, tapes or CDs
 
* Shortwave radio (Some Volunteers recommend Radio Shack’s DX 375, about $80, because it is easy to tune)
 
*      Solar bulbs or/and solar power panels. With a power panel you can charge your cell or any other low-voltage USB-port devices, such as IPod, Kindle, etc. All you need is sun, and that's plentiful. You may want to check the Nokero and Solio products. Peace Corps Volunteers get a 25%-50% discount on Nokero products when they join Market for Change [http://www.marketforchange.com].
 
* Games and/or cards (Scrabble, Uno, Phase 10, etc.)
 
* Funds for travel and vacations (cash and credit cards are more practical than traveler’s checks)
 
* Compact umbrella
 
* Compact tent, if you like to camp
 
* Hobby materials
 
* Art supplies
 
* Seeds for vegetable garden
 
* Favorite books
 
* Dictionary
 
* Teaching supplies (e.g., colored chalk, felt-tipped markers, crayons, books for science teachers)
 
  
Volunteers recommend that you not bring a solar shower, sheets, two-year supply of vitamins, pencils, flip-flops, and toothbrushes. Nor should you bring anything you would be heartbroken to lose. The main things to bring are yourself and a sense of service and adventure!
+
As part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in Ecuador without unreasonable risk of harm to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/Ecuador staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
  
[[Category:Mozambique]]
+
That being said, Ecuador is not generally an accessible country. Places that make accommodations for those with physical disabilities are generally restricted to small areas in the largest cities. The major cities, however, do offer a broad range of good healthcare for the disabled. 
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Ecuador]]

Latest revision as of 13:02, 23 August 2016

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with their host countries, Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ecuador| |7}}]]

In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.

Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Ecuador, as in other Peace Corps countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Ecuador.

Outside of Ecuador’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ecuador are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

To ease the transition and adapt to life in Ecuador, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.

Overview of Diversity in Ecuador

The Peace Corps staff in Ecuador recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture. There are a number of support groups in Ecuador, including a Peer Support Network of trained Volunteers in each region, that meet a few times a year to discuss and deal with challenges faced by specific groups.

What Might a Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Gender roles in Ecuador are markedly different from those in the United States. Most Ecuadorian women, especially those in rural areas, have traditional roles: They run the household, prepare meals, clean, and rear children. Many women also work in the fields, run small businesses, and care for farm animals. Men also have specific roles, and “manliness” is considered very important. Although many Volunteers are bothered by these gender roles, it is important to understand them to be effective in your work.

It is not uncommon for women to receive stares, comments, and offers of dates on the street or in other situations. Female Volunteers are obvious targets because they often look quite different from Ecuadorian women. Female Volunteers must learn how to handle these situations and sometimes have to accept constraints on their behavior that male Volunteers do not face.

Male Volunteers also encounter harassment, though less frequently. If you do not drink, smoke, or like to pursue women openly, you may be teased about not being manly enough and pressured to participate in these activities. Male Volunteers who cook, wash clothes and dishes, and clean the house may seem very strange to their neighbors.

All Volunteers have to adjust to the gender norms and different ways of doing things in Ecuador. Pre-service training will orient you to these norms and customs.

Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

Ecuador has a variety of ethnic groups, including an Afro-Ecuadorian population concentrated in a couple of areas of the country. Thus African-American Volunteers are likely to stand out more for their manner of dress and lifestyle than for their ethnic background, especially if they live in these particular areas. And since Afro-Ecuadorians are a visible minority subject to negative attitudes or discrimination, African-American Volunteers may experience similar treatment.

Volunteers of color may encounter verbal harassment on the street—especially when away from their sites in larger towns or cities. Asian Americans may be called chino or china even if they are not of Chinese descent. However, comments or jokes regarding race or ethnicity are more likely to be used in a descriptive sense than in a derogatory sense. Most of them arise from misinformation or unfamiliarity with other races and cultures rather than mean-spiritedness. You will find it helpful to maintain a positive attitude about yourself and to approach any negative comments with patience and confidence.

Ecuadorians (particularly in rural areas) tend to think of all Americans as Anglo. For Anglo-Americans who have had little experience with being the only one of their kind in a community, being the center of attention because of one’s nationality, regardless of race or ethnicity, may sometimes feel uncomfortable.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

In general, older members of the community are well respected in Ecuador. Specific challenges for senior Volunteers most often are related to language acquisition and adaptation to the relatively basic living conditions of Ecuador.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

While some Ecuadorians in larger cities are open about their sexual orientation, gay, lesbian, or bisexual Volunteers will have to be very circumspect with their Ecuadorian colleagues. There are support mechanisms for gays and lesbians within the Peace Corps community, but not many in the broader society.

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Ecuador. Other religious groups are increasingly visible, however, and tolerance of other religions is fairly high. In some smaller communities, divisions exist across religious lines, and Volunteers need to understand these and be careful about being seen as aligned exclusively with one side or the other.

Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities

As part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in Ecuador without unreasonable risk of harm to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/Ecuador staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.

That being said, Ecuador is not generally an accessible country. Places that make accommodations for those with physical disabilities are generally restricted to small areas in the largest cities. The major cities, however, do offer a broad range of good healthcare for the disabled.