Participant marked with CM below. I am noted as LJ.
LJ: What was it like growing up in Chicago as an Ecuadorian?
CM: We had a lot of parties where you pay $20 at the door. We have a lot of Ecuadorian artists that um donate their time. And we have, um, a lot of people who make food for us. Oh, and we all dance from like 7 to 2am.
LJ: What else happens at these parties?
CM: We don’t really like to spend money on outside people. The community supports eachother…we’re a small community so we’re really family based.
I asked the participant to tell me about what it was like to grow up Ecuadorian in Chicago. She touched on parties and food–above is the party aspect of it.
The participant is a first generation Ecuadorian-American in Chicago. She is currently a first year at the University of Southern California.
The Ecuadorian community in Chicago seems very close knit by the way that the parties seem to operate. The participant spoke about feeling a great support within the community. It is evident in how she mentions that, for their parties they reach out to other people within their neighborhood. Music, food, and fun serves to help the keep the group together.
The participant later went on to tell me that she feels that these parties help maintain the traditions of Ecuador–that they are especially important to those who have never been or can not go back to Ecuador.