The Real Housewives of Ecuador: On class, labor abuse & passport privilege

yo, people. so by some strange turn of events my latest piece, about class and passport privilege in Ecuador, ended up on Jezebel’s Flygirl section today (excuse the Jezebel-y title). click on the image below to read the story in full.

The dining room’s Incan walls looked quilted in the candlelight, like the padded cell of an asylum. Magda sat at the head of the table beside a few aging white guests, promptly introducing me as an American travel writer of Ecuadorian lineage—“So she has the best of both worlds,” whatever that meant.flygirl

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6 thoughts on “The Real Housewives of Ecuador: On class, labor abuse & passport privilege”

  1. Love this! Called Quito home for two years and absolutely loved it. Visited the hacienda once – such a shame that the owner is such a racist bully and a cheat…Also, as a longtime lurker, any information on where to get the second zine would be great!

    1. Thanks, Mercy : ) I’ve got to find the time to update my Etsy shop, but in the meantimes you could shoot me $5 via paypal (heyitsbani@gmail.com) and I’ll send it over. I’m assuming you’re US-based?

  2. Hi!!! I’m ecuadorian American and I was intrigued by your story! I actually caught it on Jezebel and I’d really like to know more of your stories from your travels in Ecuador. I always wanted to live there and it resonated with me that at one point in the story you were saying your spanish wasn’t that good, which I feel like mine isn’t either although I’ve been studying trying to improve it. Anyhoo at the risk of sounding cheesy, it would be really cool if we could be pen pals. I actually live in NY. Let me know what you think!

    1. Thanks, Erika! My Spanish is in a good place now, jaja. Suerte with your studies and nevermind the presh to live up to other people’s standards of what being ‘Latinx’ is supposed to look like. To stay in touch, contact me at heyitsbani@gmail.com.

  3. It’s horrifying to see that colonialism is still intact and thriving. My vision of Central America was shattered when I began my travels. In even the most remote regions there are the same legacies of racism, classism, and general exploitation that were the hallmarks of the colonial era. It has not ended. The generations born into power in various countries simply continued the practice. Put that together with influx of foreign capital and we’re right back where we started. Fascinating read. Thank you for sharing and good luck with your pitches!

    1. Jaja, thanks, but that was like 3-4 years ago. About colonialism, I believe it’s the same story pretty much everywhere. If you’ve still got some land then you’ve still got some power and capitalism works best when workers are exploited, whether it’s a small political family or a big corporation.

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