Diversity Committee Student profile

Name: Ana Maria Vasconez Carrera-Andrade 

Ana Maria Vasconez Carrera-Andrade

Ana Maria Vasconez Carrera-Andrade

Country:  Ecuador

What is something about your country that others may not know?

Ecuador is a very diverse country. Besides being at the center of the world,  Ecuador is a the country with the most biodiverse flora and fauna. Ecuador is the owner of the Galápagos Islands.

Is there a cultural custom about your country you like most?

Yes, we celebrate festivities like Christmas in a very particular and happy way. The nine days before Christmas we pray to baby Jesus and sing songs. The night of Christmas Eve we open gifts. Also, on New Year’s Eve, we burn a big doll that represents a bad character (ie. politician, someone who’s has been infamous in the news) along with many bad happenings of the past year, so we can bring a new year of health and happiness.

What challenges did you face entering the USA?

A lot of people like to think that every Spanish-speaking country in Latin America is Mexico. Upon being asked where I came from, when saying Ecuador, people would ask me where in Mexico it was.

What do you miss most about your country?

I miss the food, the landscapes, but most importantly, my family.

What do you like most about the USA?

I like that I have been given an opportunity to succeed. Setting aside the sociological and political matters that surround the international perspective of the USA, the States will still open the door to people who are willing to work hard to succeed. I never thought I would’ve said this myself, but I feel like a true American, thanks to the opportunities and doors that the country has opened to me.


Diversity Committee Shares a Ecuadorian Recipe

The Diversity Committee presents recipes from all around the world.  Try this tasty dish from Ecuador.

LLAPINGACHOS (Potato Cakes) 

Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are a popular side dish in the highlands of Ecuador. They are often served with fried eggs and a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and avocado. Sometimes sausages and a side of rice are added to make a full and typically Ecuadorian meal.


  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Munster cheese, shredded lard, butter, or oil
  • salt


Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and mash. Heat the butter in a skillet and sauce the onions until they are very soft.

Add the onions to the mashed potatoes, mixing well. Shape the potatoes into 12 balls.

Divide the cheese into 12 parts and stuff each of the potato balls with the cheese, flattening them as you do so into cakes or patties about 1 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

In enough lard, butter, or oil (with or without annatto as you please) to cover the bottom of a skillet, sauce the potato cakes until they are golden brown on both sides.

A Focus on Diversity at CPCC: Ecuador


Ecuador is a country in Northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, lying on the Equator between Colombia, to the northeast, and Peru, to the south and east. Ecudaor

 The colors of the flag are yellow for the diversity in the country, blue for the sky and the sea, and red for the blood of those who fought for independence.

Did you know?

  • Ecuador exports 4.5 million tons of bananas a year.
  • The Ecuadorian tradition is that in the New Year, they make dummy that is stuffed with old clothing and then is burned to celebrate the ending of the old year and the coming of the New Year. The main ethnic groups in Ecuador include Mestizo, Amerindian, Spanish and Blacks.
  • The term Ecuador means equator in Spanish. The country has been named after equator, which passes through it.
  • Ecuador was a part of the Inca Empire, before the arrival of the Spanish, in 1534.
  • Novenas, or house tours, begin the Christmas season nine days before Christmas. Ecuadorians visit other homes at this time looking at the nativity scenes. A special cookie, made with maple syrup, is eaten as a treat.