Tips + Tricks to Bond with Host Families


  1. Say yes more! Carpe diem! Sometimes you end up on a pleasant walk, sometimes you end up at your nephew’s Baptism (severely underdressed).

My host brother Freddy, his wife Andrea, and their bootiful children Nico and Andy 🙂


  1. Laugh. You don’t have to get the joke (and they probably know you don’t get it) but effort is well appreciated. It’s real awkward when you miss the queue to laugh.

My cousins


  1. It helps if you like children. At least pretend to, especially if your family has children. This is a matter of tolerance, it’s a life skill.

Nico and Andy mid-diaper change


  1. Do your part in the house! Make your bed every morning, wash dishes, etc. You may be a slob at home, but not in this country.

Leila and two very un-made beds


  1. Send/Appreciate memes. Humor transcends the language barrier.



  1. Try things out. Speak Spanish (even if you can’t), eat that cuy!


  1. Dance! Also a life skill, bonus points if you know how to dance in heels. Heads up, parties don’t end until past 2 AM.


  1. Be patient. Just like how we may have prior assumptions about their country, they will have those assumptions about us, take the time to understand these, why they exist, clear them up.


  1. Yell at volleyball/futbol games. You may not know what team you’re rooting for, but having spirit is an admirable trait.

  1. Share! Tell them about yourself, your family, etc. They have welcomed you into their houses and daily routines, you can spare the time to tell them about yours.

  1. Earthquakes. Traumatic experiences tend to bring people together, like math class, or in this case, earthquakes. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my host sister’s room at night after being shaken awake by the house during an earthquake.

  1. Bruno mars. Do I need to explain this one? He had a concert in Quito recently and my sisters wouldn’t stop talking about that FOMO.


  1. Forrest Gump. American films are universal, and very influential. Forrest Gump just happened to be my first movie night with my fam. It’s a great way to spend time with your family and pick up some Spanish.


  1. Slang, like achachay, guagua, chuta, etc., get with it!


  1. Be grateful! And remember, gracias < muchas gracias < Dios de page