Equator Gringos

September 9, 2007

North American Indian Woman and Baby Seen all over Ecuador

Filed under: Ecuador — lstollin @ 11:13 am

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An Indian woman carrying a baby on her back would not raise eyebrows in Ecuador, except that this woman is actually from North America, is probably over 200 years old, and is found on a coin minted in the U.S. but seldom found there and even more rarely used. The fact is, EVERY SACAGAWEA DOLLAR COIN has found its way to Ecuador (or so it seems), and is experiencing a popularity among the locals here unmatched by her native people nor by those who minted her likeness.

In addition to Sacagewea and Jean-Baptiste, many other kinds of U.S. currency is used here. Just to spice things up, though no Ecuadorian paper currency circulates, there are local coins that are used coequally with U.S. nickels, dimes, and quarters. All of these local coins feature local historical luminaries, and match U.S. coins in shape and size. Furthermore, there is a huge 50-cent piece, giant in diameter but thinner than the dollar.

Notice I said “many kinds” of U.S. currency are used here. Don’t think about trying to bring and change $50 and $100 bills. You would probably have to go to the bank to change those, and I wouldn’t doubt even they would balk. Even ATMs give out nothing bigger than a $20. I was dumbfounded with surprise and pleasure the first time I got $5s, $10s, and even dollar bills, starched and pressed, out of the cash machine. “Awesome! I don’t have to fight with cabbies or the hardware store to change a $20!”

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1 Comment »

  1. […] you probably know, Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar, so bank machines here dispense the familiar green stuff.  But they dispense […]

    Pingback by How Bank Machines Should Work « Equator Gringos — October 26, 2008 @ 7:21 pm


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